Social media will only work when you put in genuine efforts to make it work and be what you are. Humans prefer humans and not logos. This thought holds true for brands as well as government bodies. You read it right. Government officials, the Prime Minister, the President, etc. all of them can make use of social media, that will have far reaching effects if only they can be the real person.
If I am not wrong, the political class first felt the taste of success on social media during President Obama’s elections. The President had an entire social media campaign planned during the elections helped by Chris Hughes. Since then President Obama has used social networks extensively and he recently was chatting from The White House Twitter account with fellow Americans as reported by Mashable. The transcript was really interesting to read and the way the US President replied to some tough questions posted to him, was a treat to watch.
Now as an Indian and a social media believer, when I read the news, the first thought that struck my mind was why are Indian politicians not embracing social media with open hands. Not that they haven’t but all the presence exists in silos. All government parties or leaders in India have one policy – we can only talk, we can’t listen. Doesn’t that kill the basic principle of social media i.e. Listening.
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India Against Corruption showed the real powers of social media in India and it was only then that the sleeping government geared up. It drafted a social media policy that is yet to see light of the day and then the great launch of the Prime Minister’s office on social media. Only good it did that it started spamming networks with links and informing us about the whereabouts of our Prime Minister. I think we expected more from the Prime Minister’s office when it appointed Pankaj Pachauri for this work. Apart from our Prime Minister, other political parties tried their hands. The Congress party created a warzone on Facebook and other’s couldn’t figure out what is the difference between having a personal Facebook account and a brand page. However during the crucial UP elections, Akhilesh Yadav and his party had put lot of efforts on their Facebook presence, which was by far one of the well crafted presence. But then if you see from the eyes of a reviewer, you will find the page beating the drums of it’s own success. The CM and his team should brainstorm on how they can connect to people on a one-to-one basis to give social media it’s true meaning.
Do you think we are asking more from our political parties and could this be the best time to do so? The elections are getting closer and investing time and money on using social media effectively would be a positive move from the government. We copy so extensively from the West, then why can’t the Indian government take a leaf from the US President’s experience? You can get the numbers if you do it months prior to the elections but then how many fans would vote for you, is the question with a known answer.
So do you think we will ever see a day when our dear Prime Minister tweets us to say, “Namaskar bharatwasiyon, main apka pradhan mantri bol raha hun #itonlyhappensinindia!” ?
Slider image courtesy: asiancorrespondent.com