This is a series of ‘Political Strategy Reviews’ where we pick data from the MTS Election Tracker and do a 360 degree analysis of a political party’s social media activity.We have used Konnect Social to track the data.
Aam Aadmi Party has been in the limelight since December 2013, portrayed as having mildly controversial political mottos by Indian media. The leader of the party, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, established the Aam Aadmi Parti in November 2012 and was elected CM of Delhi in the very first election fought by them in 2013.
The support and love the Aam Aadmi Party received in the Delhi legislative assembly shunned the belief that India was ruled by only the BJP and the Congress. This victory bought along hopes in the minds of Indians and promises of Swaraj echoed on the roads of Delhi. Followed [To read the rest of the article, please like the Facebook page of MTS India, as mentioned below. Ignore this line if you have done already]by over a month of political fiasco, Mr. Kejriwal resigned on 14th February, failing to table the Jan Lokpal bill.
The victory of the party in the virtual space is what I am willing to highlight in this article, the true voice of the Aam Janta. My study duration is for the last 15 days.
Fans and Followers
Aam Aadmi Party has taken to Social Media as much as it has taken to Indian politics. The party is plain transparent and voices its opinions and shares its journey with the online user community. Its offline agendas and philosophies are clearly reflected on Facebook and Twitter.
According to the MTS election tracker on Youtube, it is almost catching up with BJP at 40,079 subscribers. AAP has been showcasing its political journeys on Youtube through the effective use of videos. There is a consistency in their social media strategy. The Youtube videos are further shared on other social platforms.
Overall, AAP enjoys a fairly positive sentiment. 13.4% of the users talk negatively.
Content Strategy and Engagement
Aam Aadmi Party has emerged as one of the most effective and influential political parties. They are following the same strategy on Twitter as well as on Facebook.
The main objective of AAP on Social Media:
- Plug in their honest opinions and reach the masses.
- Spread awareness about party movements
- Display a common voice, in line with offline objectives
- Connect with the youth
Isn’t that what social media is? Unlike brands, using advertisements in politics does not make sense and since the media is not very supportive of the party, they are using social media as an outlet to talk to their fans and followers.
The party is also influencing and shaping the thoughts of online users to their advantage by using motivational images and strong content. AAP uses Twitter more effectively as compared to Facebook. For a political party this makes absolute sense because Twitter has a more mature audience.
According to the MTS election tracker, on Twitter, the party clearly has an upperhand over BJP and Congress. AAP tweets very regularly on a daily basis, with atleast 40 tweets, on an average, per day. On 2nd March during #KejriwalAtKanpur, it tweeted the most at 102 tweets.
On Facebook, the political party has a similar strategy. Sharing of videos exposes the work that AAP has been carrying out and it is posted regularly.
Their strategy on Twitter is to use hash-tags brilliantly and run a certain campaign for specific time periods. For instance during the Kanpur rally, they used #KejriwalAtKanpur and kept their fans from across the country updated about every move.
The hash-tag was trending and was in competition with #NamoInLucknow. Though there were mixed reviews from Twitter users about Kejriwal’s Kanpur visit, it was definitely in line with their overall strategy. Also, it drove engagement with controversial topics that cropped up at the rally.
The engagement levels of AAP activities are almost three times that of BJP on Twitter. I attribute this success to a personalized approach while interacting with users on Twitter. The political party uses a common voice rather than opting for self promotion.
On Facebook, the case is just the opposite. Indian National Congress and BJP are way ahead of AAP. Considering that Facebook is a platform where promotions can be bought (and it is a known fact that Congress and BJP have heavily invested in advertising), can this be an advertising game? While Congress is engaging with 60% of its fanbase, AAP is only at 4.81%.
Though Aam Aadmi Party has quickly ramped up its Facebook fan count, the party can do better with its page. Simply posting the same content on both Facebook and Twitter does not serve any purpose. If Twitter is being used for awareness, Facebook can be used for chats with spokespersons of the party or launch powerful campaigns to boost party objectives.
The sentiment in engagement would best describe what users on Twitter feel about AAP’s campaigns. On 2nd March when the #KejriwalAtKanpur campaign was executed, there was a decrease in negative sentiments.
On 22nd February 2014, the Twitter handle had the maximum negative sentiment, precisely because of the attack on AAP volunteers by the NCP. This act was condemned by the online users.
The MTS election tracker shows that Twitter mentions of AAP reached 4,555, highest in comparison with BJP and Congress.
Their communication on Twitter is consistent with the communication offline in interviews and press conferences. It’s a clear communication, stating that the public is making a difference for themselves and supporting AAP objectives is in turn supporting their personal objectives.
This communication is also consistent with their website. The website entry page talks about online donations.
There is also an application to promote the same. The donation trends on their website show that the party is highly motivated to showcase each day’s donation count and the breakup of the same. It is an intelligent idea to promote donations through social media especially because it is the best way to display to a common man each day’s collection details, hence encouraging them to be a part of the collection.
Maintaining a consistent communication leads to no confusion among the minds of the masses. It is a great marketing strategy. It not only creates a recall value but instills in the minds of the public that the party stands for them and not for themselves.
The #Internship4AAP also suggests that there is an open invitation for students to join the movement and again supports transparency in objectives.
The issue of Reliance was openly taken up by AAP on Twitter, again, a very apparent approach in bringing facts in front of the country. However, where AAP is attempting to put facts ahead of the people through Twitter, they are unresponsive to the replies on such tweets. This does not serve the purpose of the platform. The political party must respond to user tweets and acknowledge their opinion.
Since the party claims to listen to people and respond to them (they had even gone as far as calling a meet every week at one of Delhi’s busiest roads, where the CM would openly listen to them), not responding on Twitter does not help their objectives. Considering that the below tweets had only a few responses, the party could have easily read and responded.
In fact, the party only responds to a, limited number of users out of which Arvind Kejriwal tops the list. What is the point of interacting with yourself?
Apart from this, the party has joined hands with Facebook Talks and News Laundry to talk live about the 2014 Lok Sabha candidates. Since AAP is against most TV channels and had taken a stand to not give interviews, this is a nice alternative method to stay within the public view. It also reveals that the political party is welcoming social media in various ways, making an effort to connect with the youth in every possible way.
Not only has it taken the initiative of being on Facebook Talks but has also executed several hangouts in the past to be accessible to the general public online and answer their questions. These videos are promoted on their Youtube channel too.
AAP is a clear winner on Youtube as opposed to BJP and Congress. The ratings per videos are much higher. Well designed Youtube videos and basic information about the political party has been imparted through various videos.
Videos are one of the most useful methods of connecting with people. When Arvind Kejriwal records a video directly addressing people on How to Join AAP, it portrays a helpful image of the political party. These videos also help the basic social media objective of spreading awareness.
Business Standard tops the list, followed by Times of India and Economic Times when it comes to top website mentions of AAP. All the websites have more negative mentions about the party and less positive mentions. Business Standard has been condemning AAP of its activities and closely tracking all movements. The magazine even criticized and justified its criticisms on all the steps taken by Aam Aadmi Party during its duration in power.
AAP is making every successful attempt through social media to reach the first time young voter. With various proactive details of the party moves and transparent behavior on social media, it is acting as a vehicle to collect vote banks.
The brilliant mix of offline field work for the rural classes and the perfect social media strategy for the online educated youngsters might prove to be a result of an exploding victory for Aam Aadmi Party in Lok Sabha Elections 2014.
Rahul Jain, Director – Digital Marketing & Sales, Social Rajneeti , a digital marketing solutions provider that specializes in online reputation management and promotional needs of politicians says:
Aam Aadmi Party has been instrumental in shaping the revolutionary Indian politics since 2014 and has taken a prime position among leading parties in the general election 2014. On social media, the party gets every aspect right from communication to uploading effective thought provoking videos and closely connecting with their audience through Google Hangouts.
It is an undeniable fact that social media played an important role in AAP’s winnings in the Delhi elections and it can replicate similar results in the general elections too. Besides reinforcing the fact that AAP has been doing everything it promised to do, they are also using social media to brilliantly display a set of activities being done on daily basis.
With the speed at which the political party is growing, it is possible that AAP will soon be leveraging other social sites to its advantage.