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.
Unlike a lot of rabble-rousers in Indian politics, Yogendra Yadav of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has intellectual sublimity required in politics to think beyond the populist slogans and walk beyond the populist stance. He is the chief strategist of AAP, a party born out of emotional outcry of some apolitical middle-class youth (predominantly Hindu). Inclusion of likes of Mr. Yadav may be a step towards talking party beyond its populism. In this article, we’ll see how social media plays a role in shaping up Yogendra Yadav as a leader, and forwarding his and his party’s agenda.
Yogendra Yadav on Facebook
At the time of writing this review, Facebook page of Yogendra Yadav had a little over 250,000 fans, which may not be a huge fan base, but its engagement quotient was much higher. As many as 70,000 (almost) people were engaged in discussion on the FB page of the AAP leader, which is over 25% of total fans, and as per Social Samosa Election Tracker, the engagement level on Facebook had been 45.05%, which is quite high (see the following image). Very few brands/personalities can claim to have this level of engagement.
Content-wise, there is not much unique content created for Facebook. A very large portion (bordering on almost) of what has gone on FB page is repost from Twitter, but then a few originals that go up on FB has not failed to excite its followers. See the following images.
Talking of twitter reposts, it is worthy of mention that even such content pieces have caused significant engagement. The post in focus is the one where the page asked people to take pictures wearing AAP topi and share the image. The response had been quite good (see the images below).
The AAP strategist has used Facebook to build community of strong fans and followers who happen to be very much engaged with the page, which appears to be more because of the offline activities by the AAP’s MP candidate from Gurgaon than because of exclusive social media activities. The candidate has used Facebook to maintain the on-ground momentum to keep its followers posted with updates like the following.
Yogendra Yadav on Twitter
Twitter is more politicized than Facebook is. People are more vocal on twitter about things related to politics, society, etc., than they are on Facebook, so engagement here matters a great deal. On Twitter, the AAP leader has more than 167,000 followers who are as engaged here (if not more), as fans are on Facebook. To draw a parallel, I’d like to bring to notice the responses to “wear AAP Topi, click, and share image” activity. As you can see below how enthusiastically people have shared their pictures wearing AAP Topi.
Discussions around Yogendra Yadav on social media
In Nitish Kumar’s terms, since Modi has switched on the blower to create artificial buzz, social media is seething with political cacophony (a few real discussion, a lot of them are just hate speech passing on for real discussion), and all the key players are talked about by common man as well as media houses, and what could be a better way to take a quick peek into the topics of discussion around a leader than the word cloud? The following one is for Yogendra Yadav.
The above word cloud gives some idea about the politician we are reviewing here. It also talks about ignorance of people and overlooking of media by conspicuous absence of words like CSDS, where Mr. Yadav has worked. It also doesn’t talk about his being a psephologist, and his professorship of political science in Punjab University. The word cloud speaks more of the discussions than of the person; talking of which it is worth mentioning that the AAP strategist has secured mentions on news websites.
But as it happens, all the discussions around the politician are not positive. There are some negatives as well, but a great deal of them is neutral. A new website-wise analysis of each news source will give a decent picture of who is taking which side. From the following analysis it seems that apart from the websites of Zee News and the Economic Times, the scale is skewed towards negative and neutral. Media clearly appears to taking a stance and thus forming opinion about the candidate here, despite the fact that there are very little objectively negative things about Mr. Yadav.
A date-by-date analysis of mentions suggest that the coverage which began with barely noticeable negativity built a strong negative opinion over the period than falling into neutral zone as time progressed and buzz gained momentum.
An overall picture of sentiment expressed by media and people is largely neutral, and negative and positive sentiments almost strike each other out, as seen in the following image.
Yogendra Yadav has been pretty much active on social media and has a strong fan following on both the platforms we studied, and despite a negative bent of media, he has succeeded in building a largely non-negative perception about him. And when discounting the importance of this neutral reaction, we should keep in mind the financial strength of these media houses and pit it against the media-buying power of common man consumed totally in the activity of getting his and his family’s needs met. No wonder there is such a shout about paid media all around by AAPians (has somebody called them so?)!
Akhilesh Yadav is a politician who has continually been interested in making waves though his candidature in AAP. With a few celeb names like Gul Panag, Raghu Ram, Javed Jaffrey and Vishal Dadlani talking for the Aam Aadmi Party. Kumar Vishwas and Yogendra Yadav are the other two people who have enjoyed much the deserved attention in the media alongside Arvind Kejriwal.
When it comes to maintaining a positive image Yogendra Yadav is one of the few politicians whose sentiment pie features with a comparable slice of positive and negative sentiment.
Other than that he is also one politician who has been spoken of with a maximum positive emotion on websites congruent to print publications. He also shows great engagement rates for a politico coming from a party that is discussed in an obviously conflicted light.