January 02, 2014

Social media - game changer ? or influencer?

Social media campaign can swing 3%-4% of votes, and that can change history!

The social media users in urban India reaches approximately 86 million in October 2013, and 91 million by December 2013, according to the report ‘Social Media in India – 2013’ by the Internet and Mobile Association Of India (IAMAI) and IMRB. Social media users are expected to grow by 19% between June and December 2013. The report also says that 19.8 million users, use mobile phones to access social media platforms in urban India.

Social media is a treasure-trove of information and it provides this information on a highly accessible and interactive platform. It can be used for generating awareness in any field. We can use social media innovatively for elections by creating standardized messages, spreading it through various channels viz., facebook, twitter, wechat, youtube, google+ etc. Information becomes highly accessible for the masses via social media

It is also reported by Mobile Association Of India (IAMAI) that the highest proportion of social media usage in the top four metro cities & the non metros was among the demographic segment “Young Men” with 30% and 26% penetration levels respectively. Interestingly, the report finds that younger women are increasingly using social media, whereas, in the other metros & small metros, “College Going Students” show the highest proportion of social media usage. “Working Women” demographic segment is observed as having the lowest proportion of social media usage in other, small & non-metros whereas they show a moderate proportion of social media usage in the top four metros.

So can social media be a game changer in the forth coming elections…. ??

A study by research group IRIS Knowledge Foundation and the IAMAI, says that social media can have a “high impact” on approximately 160 of the 543 constituencies in the next election, and that no contestant should ignore this medium. The study said 316 constituencies will have something from “low” to “no impact”.

I don’t call it a game changer, but an accelerator in this election … it’s definitely setting a narrative, it is influencing a lot of people,” says Arvind Gupta, head of the BJP’s IT division, in an interview

I think it can be a game influencer, but I wouldn’t go beyond that at this stage … social media happens to offer an additional way, not a substitute for any of the traditional means of campaigning,” says Tharoor, one of the active Twitter users in Indian politics

How do we inspire and mobilize India's youth innovatively to vote in the Indian General Elections 2014 using social mobile apps?

There is a need to sensitize society on the significance and benefits of voting and effectively utilizing the voting rights. There is a need to identify the gaps. We have a need to find out how innovatively and effectively we can use social media as a vote mobilizing mechanism. There is a need to build a more informed, engaged and prepared society

Social media has proven extensively popular in the international elections sphere for example the US of A, Well this is a relatively novel concept in India, but now it cannot be ignored. Mobilizing the youth requires community involvement for which social media can be used in the following innovative ways:

• Information is the key. Social media plays a big role is spreading information. Social responsibility should be taught in school since it is better to catch them young.

• Easy to use online-web based-online interface can be implemented. A unique voter ID, supported by a bio-metric scanning for eg., Iris scanning should enable people to vote from any location. Mobile voting, telephone voting, using internet banking as a portal to voting online, car pooling, voting vans, online absentee voting should be encouraged. The news about the same can be spread using social media.

• We need to provide equal opportunity and accessibility to all citizens by taking advantage of the resources and technology we already have to save money and energy.

• Metric based messaging can be used to spread the above information. Currently, metrics are used to evaluate effectiveness of advertisement/communication services. Social media analytics can be used to track the voting system with demographics. This helps in better understanding of the voting scenario.

• "Social Voting" is a recent approach to voter absenteeism that introduces accountability and incentives into the voting process. 'No excuse' mail-in voting campaigns use existing technology (voter rolls) to encourage people to mail their ballots in. The mail-in ballots technology can be made available for hyper-local tracking of results !

• To evaluate the best options of social media messaging and their impact to fit incentive based effective scenarios. Incentive based, can be something like if an individual goes to vote, he or she will get a 5% cash back on the next purchase at a famous store. Basic amenities like LPG subsidies can be given only to people who have voted.

• Standard inspiring, creative, intriguing slogan templates can be made for each election that can be communicated via the various apps available in social media

• Young people can be inspired to make teasers on you tube and they can be circulated in colleges and among young professionals. The most popular youtube video may be later awarded …

• Free hugs campaign can be run at voting booths :)

Using Social Media Apps the system meets people where they are... in their homes....

psst this post is written for Indiblogger contest Indian General Elections 2014 using Social Mobile Apps


ashok said...

Happy New Year Sofy

Defiant Princess said...

Those are some really good points that you highlight!

I'm so sad I missed the contest deadline. Could've come up with something too But this is great, your post. I've read just a few of them and I like yours the most.

Wish you good luck :)

Defiant Princess

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