Will joining forces with social media in the eleventh hour work? I don’t think so but Indian politicians apparently believe so. According to a story published by The Economic Times, regional parties in Maharashtra have finally understood the power of social media and have jumped into it.
2014 is going to be a year that would be crucial for all political parties in the country. If all things go well then we would witness the center elections in 2014. With this the other reality is that 50% of voters in 2014 would be below 35% and close to 40% of them are from urban areas. Practically speaking, political parties who till day have been continuously wooing the rural crowds will have to rethink on their strategy. And today’s youth, whether urban or rural, is spending their maximum time online, hence the mad rush by the regional political parties of Maharashtra to open up a social media presence.
Political parties like National Congress Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), etc. have spiked up their activity on social media. For example the MNS on Facebook keeps updating about their leader Raj Thackeray’s rallies and his talks in the form of videos. The only page that justifies the social media presence to an extent and keeps the local language flavour while communicating with fans. The other pages are half baked attempts.
Truth is that all these political parties now know one thing that they need to target urban people for 2014 elections. The target audience is online so let’s open up a presence and keep posting our mandates. The approach is similar to the ninety’s mindset when everyone wanted to open a website and be online. Today the same motive has moved to social media. But the problem remains the same - all these moves lack the intent and objective.
I recently shared how the young brigade of Indian National Lok Dal has jumped on social media and trying to do an image makeover. A great thought but social media initiatives failed to match the idea. Similar is the case of the regional parties of Maharashtra and its time that they take some real inspiration about social media initiatives from Narendra Modi and his party.
Along with other traditional mediums, 2014 indeed will see a lot of push from political parties for social media, to woo voters but it won’t be a major medium as it is still a supplement for most of the parties. A thought that was shared by Chief Minister of J&K Omar Abdullah at The Big Tent India during a debate on “Politicians and Social media.”
Image courtesy: indiacurrentaffairs.org