Social Media Strategy Review: Politicians on Social Media
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.
Every once in a while there comes a time when a shift happens in the way situations are laid out. For a few years now, politicos pan-India, have been making waves with their presence on popular social media websites.
May it be to take shots at their opponents during an election, to instigate furore amongst their followers, open a dialogue (in rare cases) or to lure the voter bank to the booth, Indian politicians seem to be willing to go that extra mile in social vulnerability.
The 2014 General Elections might be easily regarded as the year online political wars intensified and hit a chord with the tech-savvy masses. The politicians have been closely watched on social media platforms and their online activities have been as much the point of focus this election season as their manifestos and agendas.
With the help of the MTS Election Tracker, we attempt to assess the performance of most political leaders on social media in comparison to one another.
Out of the 15 politicians seen on the MTS Election Tracker, Narendra Modi leads the pack when it comes to mentions with a recorded 27,162 mentions during the period of study for this review. He is followed by his chief critic and underestimated-threat, Arvind Kejriwal with 6,950 mentions. The gap between the mentions received by the first and second ranking politicians on Twitter raises several questions on the means adopted by Narendra Modi in receiving such unadulterated attention from the users of Twitter. What must he be doing so much better than the others?
The third politician to receive maximum number of mentions is Smriti Irani of BJP with 5,023 mentions, closely followed by Yogendra Yadav of AAP with 3,474 mentions. Considering the first two ranks are divided between politicians belonging to two parties, I wonder when Congress will begin to surface on social media and in the review.
Going by the web mentions of the politicians, the most spoken about public figure is Narendra Modi, followed by Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Sonia Gandhi and Arun Jaitley, in that order. While Narendra Modi sets shop under the spotlight with 6,318 mentions, the others play catch up with 1772, 1099, 990 and 472 web mentions respectively.
Narendra Modi might seem like the man most loved on social media but it is only when we attach a sentiment to the chatter does the picture gain an insightful perspective. Narendra Modi is also the forerunner of negative mentions soaring to 603. Competitive as ever and giving a fight on negative mentions as well, Arvind Kejriwal stands second with 59 negative mentions. The least negative mentions at 15 were received by LK Advani of BJP.
But numbers when tallied against one another as a percentage the revelations are variant. The highest percent negative is given to KapilSibal at a staggering 10.47%. The lowest on this ladder is LK Advani with just 4.19% negative commentary for him. The other politicos in focus Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani carry 5.37%, 8.63% and 5.27% negative commentary on social media. Rahul Gandhi’s absence on social media may be responsible for the lack of CRM and the resultant rise in the negative percentage. I hope he is reading this.
Fans and Following
On Twitter, the lowest fan following is seen on Sharad Pawar’s profile with just 32,562 followers. The highest number of followers, 39,07,119 to be precise, are found on Narendra Modi’s twitter handle. The second-most listened-to politician is Shashi Tharoor with 21,59,930 followed by Arvind Kejriwal with a quickly earned following of 17,49,189.
On Facebook, the story remains somewhat similar, Narendra Modi is the most-liked politician on Facebook with 1,39,80,608 likes. The second most-liked politician on Facebook is the self-proclaimed common man Kejriwal with 53,87,957 likes. In the meantime, the blue-eyed boy of the nation, Rahul Gandhi continues to ignore social media platforms.
Most slices of the mentions pie are user generated but engagement is one factor where we all know that the page and account holders have much to contribute to.
I cannot stress enough how apt it is that SharadPawar’s @pawarspeaks account has the least total engagement and engagement as % of followers. Even though Sushma Swaraj and ShashiTharoor display 0% engagement as percent of followers, Sharad Pawar’s handle outrightly states that only @pawarspeaks. The highest total engagement is of course on the NaMo account. However, the highest engagement as % of followers is a tie between Akhilesh Yadav and Digvijay Singh at 5.
SmritiIrani is a close second with a 4, followed by a tie between NaMo and Yogendra Yadav at 3 and Arun Jaitley at 2. Arvind Kejriwal is surprisingly at 1 alongside National Conference’s Omar Abdullah.
And once the again the tussle between NaMo and AK becomes obvious and so does the chasm of total engagement. NaMo leads the pack with a total engagement of 2,32,768 but Smriti Irani of his Bhartiya Janata Party leads the total engagement as % of fans with 3.85. Arvind Kejriwal hops on second on the total engagement wagon with 57,495 and Sharad Pawar very surprisingly jumps in second with 1.87 engagement as % of fans. Very surprising. Arvind Kejriwal makes it in time to make the third spot on engagement as % of fans with 1.76.
The lowest total engagement is shown Kapil Sibal, Shahsi Tharoor and Yogendra Yadav. And the lowest engagement as % of fans at 0.31 is reserved for Shashi Tharoor who loses to Yogendra Yadav by 0.01.
The MTS Election Tracker’s pie chart for sentiment analysis is an eye-opener at a glance. Additionally, the tracker guides us through the content that generated the findings and validate them as well.
Sharad Pawar’s sentiment analysis
While Twitter and web mentions might be a game for the Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal duo, recording negative sentiment is a skill best honed by Sharad Pawar with the highest negative sentiment statistic of 17.2% with no trace of positive sentiment. Arun Jaitley of BJP enjoys the least percent of negative sentiment with 2.6%.
Arun Jaitley’s sentiment analysis
Nearly half the number of politicians evoke a positive sentiment, with the highest percent attributed to Arun Jaitley with 3.7%. Narendra Modi might be creating all the buzz around his name and brand but Arun Jaitley takes the cake on maintaining his image on social media. When considering the least positive sentiment recorded, it is a toss-up between Smriti Irani and Yogendra Yadav with 0.4% positive sentiment for each.
Smriti Irani’s sentiment analysis
Yogendra Yadav’s sentiment analysis
Going purely by the data collected on the MTS Election Tracker it is safe to say that Narendra Modi wins the battle of Social Rajneeti, when accounted for in mentions and fan following. However, the labyrinthine gap between the stats of the forerunner and the ones that follow, raises questions on the methods adopted to gain such accelerated traction on social media. It could mean only one of two things, either NaMo has managed to bring on board a strong social media team or there is more to the strategy than meets the eye.
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:
Social media has acted as a fulcrum in this year’s run-up to the elections, based on which the news agencies and various media houses are taking a shot at predicting the ultimate winner. With the war on virtual world intensifying with every passing day, the public sentiment surfaces in a more vivid manner.
Narendra Modi has been a consistent leader on every social circuit, hardly faltering in any of his social media strategies. Whereas Arvind Kejriwal hasn’t done anything majorly wrong with his social media approach, Rahul Gandhi’s absenteeism from this platform has affected INC’s fortunes.
These national leaders have devised strategies and got the audiences hooked on the go. The communication levels increasing each passing day, it is just a matter of time the cards are revealed. It would be interesting to see that the ones who have ruled social media extremely well are really capable to be at the helm of handling our country’s affairs or not.