Leveraging the potential of digital marketing in Political campaigns

Leveraging the potential of digital marketing in Political campaigns

Published By: Admin

Posted On: 27 Sep 2018

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Today when social media has impacted every individual, every business, it’s nearly impossible to touch a sensitive genre like Politics. Social media and politics have a deep impact on the votes and election campaigns. 2014 LokSabha election is a phenomenal example where in all parties expanded their reach during the Maharashtra Assembly polls. They failed to gain a mass audience but India witnessed a drastic change in Indian politics during that year.

Being a new battleground, our current Prime Minister NarendraModi didn’t hesitate to try out hands on it. Since the very beginning, BJP had a strong social media presence. He succeeded as a leader in using social media as his weapon. Targeting the correct audience and flashing them with the right messages was his trick. Not only India but also the US and UK parties have been using social media to defeat their opponent parties. In 2008, President Obama corralled ample votes by targeting the right group and engaging them with messages and information on Facebook and Twitter. Lately, Trump had also adopted a similar strategy using digital marketing campaign designed and executed by Parscale- an agency behind Trump’s digital marketing efforts. Parscale was one of the few agencies permitted to tweet every now and then from Presidents-Elect’s personal Twitter account.

Social media for politicians

Use of social media in politics has not only garnered them more votes but also changed the campaign strategies for local elections. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube has changed the way they interact with their officials. These sites allow them to reach mass audiences with a single broadcast. With no added cost, elected candidates are easily accessible to voters. The advantages of digital marketing do not end here.

1.   Politicians as a Brand

Talking about media platforms, today every celebrity is been given due respect. They have developed themselves as a Brand which they carry with every product they endorse. Politicians are no different. They are a brand themselves and their actions resonate depicts the image they want to build. Trump promoted his outspoken nature and waived off his strong opinions on certain topics which garnered him enough votes to make him the next President of the U.S.A. These were nothing but successful political campaign strategies, to depict an image of him as a strong leader which can be also called as the brand portrayal.

2.   Demographics and Targeting

When any business who needs to sell their product/service, they have to study their target market. Online advertising political campaigns are no different. Targeting the right audience is the key to generate votes.

Once the target audience is set, the message needs to be tailored to their needs. A campaign can be suitable for youth but the same cannot be used for senior citizens. The idea is to increase their effectiveness. Advertisers on Facebook use analytics and targeted advertising, social media campaigns in Politics run on similar lines. Thus, if you notice any political post or tweet which might be talking to you, you need not be astonished. They are nothing but campaign strategies for local elections.

Social media for politicians

3.   Direct contact with the voters

Facebook, Twitter allows them to post or tweet the message party wants to convey to their audience. Social media allows them to have a direct interaction with their voters. Virtual events and live streaming events allow voters to understand the candidates and elect officials better.

4.   Carefully study the post before publishing

Though Trump’s face was seen all over during the campaigning time, but it was the inner circle working for the candidate responsible for organizing and publishing campaigns. Every Tweet, every Facebook post, every blog or article must have a consistency in the message. There is no chance of discrepancy while posing on social media as there are high chances of getting caught in a mess.

5.   Controversy

This is not new in the world of Politics where news, conspiracy and rumours have their own role to play. Digital marketing for political campaigns has made this game easier for opponent parties. It has become difficult to distinguish between actual and fake news. A constant stream of rumours about political candidates makes it difficult for voters to differentiate if it’s the truth, satire or speculation. In the midst of this, there are fake Twitter accounts created by opposition parties to post false news in order to win the election. They intend to mislead by providing wrong information based on conspiracy theories.

Social media for politicians

6.   Digital marketing for politicians

Americans use digital marketing to join hands to petition the government, increase the accounting of their number against the influence of powerful lobbyists and groups having special interests. As these groups always have an upper hand, social media comes a ray of light in the darkness to allow like-minded citizens to fight against them.

7.   Learn about public opinions

Once a statement is being released or an issue has been brought up, politicians learn about the public opinions relating to it. The immediacy of social media helps them in doing so. In other words, political campaign marketing strategies are being developed and executed on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook following the public opinions. This adds no cost of polling that adds to the pocket or highly priced consultants.

8.   The power of Many

One of the hidden forces of using digital marketing political campaigns is its confirmation bias. As everyone is active on these platforms, it becomes powerful when a majority of the voters speak the same language. On social media sites, it is natural to create an illusion that everyone thinks alike. 

For example, if one is having a major following, then it is possible that his outlook can be shared by his followers. This means that if a like-minded person tweets or shares something on Facebook it will cross boundaries and reach majority. In such a case, 90 percent of the people will agree on most political issues. To add to this, the information you will receive will be filtered through the bias. To confirm this bias, links and stories will be added by your followers to repeat your opinion.

Social media marketing for political campaigns

Social media effectiveness cannot be ignored. It is widely popular not only among youth but also the older generation. Americans tend to make up a majority of the population who vote at the polls. Thus it’s time to involve the youth as well. Social media marketing for political campaigns does that pretty well, leaving a profound impact on elections. President Barack Obama and NarendraModi are few politicians who have tapped the power of social media during their campaign.

Future of Politics in the room of Social Media

Politics have seen a new face of elections, all thanks to social media marketing for politicians. New proposals have been initiated for internet voting which will draw more people to participate in the elections. People influencing their followers on social media could make them vote and make them a responsible citizen.

Other advancements on social media could also include online voting. We can forecast witnessing rallies being held virtually avoiding the chaos on the streets in India. It will be interesting to witness how digital marketing for politicians will impact politics and their voting techniques.

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