Social Media Strategy Review: Digvijaya Singh

This is a part of a series where we pick data from the MTS Election Tracker, crunch numbers and build a graphical representation of them. We have used Konnect Social to track the data along with support from our knowledge partner,Social Rajneeti. Read other articles about Election tracker here.

Love him or hate him one cannot ignore this vociferous leader from Congress. A frontline politician, a former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Digvijaya Singh currently serves the office of General Secretary of the Indian National Congress. He also heads the Party’s Committee for Publicity and Publications.Known for strong critiques against RSS and his famously vowed 10-year abstinence from elections after resounding defeat by Uma Bharti, Digvijaya Singh is a part of the six member committee that has been appointed under the chairmanship of Congress-vice-president Shri Rahul Gandhi to coordinate the preparations for the forthcoming General Elections 2014.

Recently he expressed his desire to contest Lok Sabha election from Varanasi against Narendra Modi. Speculations that the Congress may field Singh against Modi from the temple city in Uttar Pradesh were doing rounds until Congress nominated Ajay Rai to compete against Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal in the triangular contest.

While Congress Party has been too late in adopting to the world of social media, Digvijaya Singh has managed to build a timely presence on the medium. He is fairly active on Facebook and Twitter representing party’s stand over critical issues. With respect to the current election scenario his communication strategy is focused around attacking BJP’s Prime Ministerial Candidate Shri Narendra Modi left, right and centre apart from this he shares articles, videos, excerpts from the senior leaders of Congress like Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

His flamboyance, hard hitting criticism and forthright attitude keeps him in the news and makes him the soft target for anti-campaigns on social media. Whether he will return to electoral politics after 10 years, only time will tell. For now lets dig deeper into his social media activities as compared to the opposition.

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Twitter

Digvijaya Singh is very active on Twitter and tweets on a regular basis but the reach of his communication is limited because of the low number of followers. He currently has 1.64 lac followers which is really low as compared to the likes of mainstream leaders like Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal. The low follower count can be attributed to the lack of sustained efforts for building a social media presence.

Twitter followers

Even the frequency of tweets posted from his account is negligible as compared to the competitors like Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal but he makes sure to make his presence felt. Probably he believes more in the quality of content rather than the quantity.

 

Tweets

Most of his tweets focus on attacking Modi, BJP and RSS at various fronts likev the snoop gate scandal, denouncing Gujarat model of development, mocking the election campaigns and internal conflicts within BJP.

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Twitter

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Besides this he writes tweets expressing his opinions over issues, links to his blog, tv interviews. Further he posts content which depicts the growth/development under UPA-II , appeals from Sonia Gandhi, retweets from INC’s official twitter handle and at times he covers the campaign trails from Rahul Gandhi.

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Overall the content on twitter has a judicious mix and is evenly spread across different domains. Like other leaders Digvijaya Singh hardly responds to people on Twitter but interestingly he invites people’s comments and tries to strike a conversation over several issues. Another commendable aspect about his presence on twitter is the effective simulation of his offline personality, the tone of communication is also very personal and straight forward but still he does not utilize the platform to the best of its capability as a result of which he has a relatively small community of followers on twitter.

Editor’s Note: Twitter has been abuzz with chatter about Digvijaya Singh’s personal life as reports of him having a relationship with a TV anchor came to light recently. Deciding to respond to people and clear up the smoke over the issue, Digvijaya Singh tweeted & accepted the existence of the relationship, and also sought privacy for the same. It was a nice move by the politician to clarify about the entire issue without taking much time; moreover, adopting a channel where the entire saga is being played out is commendable.

The total engagement figure for Digvijaya Singh on Twitter is drastically low because of the limited reach and lower number of followers. Although the total engagement for him is too low the engagement at % of followers (3.71) for the leader is one of the highest amongst peers this can be attributed to the quality of content which contains strong and vehement opinions

Total Engagement

Digvijaya Singh receives considerable amount of mentions from the official congress handle, senior leaders and dedicated followers on Twitter. However he lags behind Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal in the race for mentions owing to the lack of sustained efforts to manage social media presence. For the amount of efforts put in the mentions are commendable.

Mentions

Facebook

On Facebook ,Digvijay Singh has 2.14 lac followers the tone of communication remains the same but the delivery of content varies with average graphics posted along with the content.

Facebook

The content mix again contains pot shots on Modi, BJP and RSS,opinions and views on issues of national importance, greetings and testimonial for leaders and achievers, mocking the claims and campaigns from opposition. Occasionally he also reiterates that he predicted ArvindKejirwal’s political interests during the India Against Corruption movement , he also suggested Kejriwal to follow Sheila Dikshit’s programme for public grievances and redressal. Besides all this he is the voice of Indian National Congress online and tries to highlight various aspects of communication from Rahul Gandhi as well as Sonia Gandhi.

 

 

Digvijaya Sing FB

 

Digvijaya Singh FB

Digvijaya Singh has an interesting style of presenting his views where in the content for the post is displayed in both English and Hindi. Keeping in view the preference of target audience.

Dig Facebook

Digvijaya Singh has an interesting style of presenting his views where in the content for the post is displayed in both English and Hindi. Keeping in view the preference of target audience.

 

Facebook post

In terms of percent of fans engaged Digvijaya Singh (2.68%) again scores higher than Arvind Kejriwal and Narendra Modi for the same reason – quality of content which has the capability to go viral in a short span of time. While he leads the race in percent engagement he has a long way to go for catching up with the likes of Modi and Kejriwal when it comes to Total Engagement. This would require a well-planned social media strategy focussing on community building and engagement.

Facebook post 1

He tries to fill in the space for the absence of senior Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi on social media by posting content which relates to them or covers their part of election campaign.

Official Website

The official website for Digvijaya Singh is the storehouse of content which relates to his activities , events and happenings. The website contains immense amount of data spread across various sections like bio which summarises his career, achievements and milestones. The Blog houses his bold opinion and views over contemporary issues. Speeches section entails verbatim scripts of his speeches in public gatherings. Gallery section has images , audios and video from public rallies and events then there is a section called Raghogarh which contains the illustrious history of Hindupat Dynasty led by his forefathers he is the current king of Raghogarh and that’s how he got the famous nick name – Diggi Raja. 

Digvijaya Singh Congress

The section titled Initiatives highlights his initiatives as a Chief minister, cabinet minister, Bhopal Declaration, Dalit Initiative, Population Policy Of Madhya Pradesh, Pro-poor Governance Reform Initiatives in Madhya Pradesh. The websitealso contains videos of his exclusive interviews with different News channels/journalists, testimonials from leaders & visionaries for Digvijaya Singh.

Top Websites

In terms of mentions in online publications for Digvijaya Singh, Zee News stands tall followed by Times of India and Financial Express. While Zee News, Times of India and Ibn Live carry a highly negative sentiment for Digvijaya Singh owing to his controversial remarks over recent issues. Financial Express, One India and First Post have a fairly neutral sentiment. Most of the negativity around his mentions comes from his forthright and vehement opinions.

Top Websites

Sentiment

Analysis of the sentiment by date suggests that Digvijaya Singh faced some amount of flak from Baba Ramdev supporters because of his controversial statement calling Ramdev a money launderer. His opinion on Modi-RSS polarizing the country also sparkled reactions from political stalwarts.

 

Sentiment

Overall Digvijaya Singh enjoys a fairly neutral sentiment (89.7%) across social media platforms. There is no positive sentiment because of his inactivity in electoral politics. However, he has managed to gain a lot of traction from congress supporters , media and opposition as well because of his witty and head on digs at NarendraModi, BJP and RSS.

 

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Conclusion

Digvijaya Singh has managed to build a social media presence which is consistent with his offline personality but social media platforms have been underutilized. A politician which carries such credentials and has the reputation to be vociferous appropriate usage of Social Media could have done wonders. He could have played a pivotal role in the Social Media Strategy for Congress. The focal point of his digital strategy is aggression and befitting response to the opposition which brings him considerable amount of engagement and traction.This approach brings him to the lime light very often and creates a strong recall. His critiques, opinions and pot shots also feed congress supporters with confidence and good content to debate with Modi/BJP supporters.

The perfectly judicious mix of content spread across various domains justify the fact that Digvijaya Singh’s journey on social media is a classic case of so far so good but to make a greater impact he needs to work on community building and engagement with the masses.

Expert Opinion

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:

Digvijaya Singh is one of the few politicians who is genuinely interested in tweeting and has been using Twitter as a personal medium to voice his opinions instead of following a herd mentality and merely using it as an advertising medium. The very fact that he converses online on social mediums and invites conversations is a rare instance for a politician. It is definitely pleasing to know that among a group that only believes in one way communication, there is a politician who not only replies to tweets by users but also acknowledges and accepts remarks on his personal life.

It is evident that politicians who are more active and conversational on these platform receive more flak as opposed to those who have carefully aligned their strategies more as advertising and masked it with personal profiles.

 

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