Top 10 Politicians on Social Media

Top 10 Politicians on Social Media

October 20, 2013

Politicians in India have always been seen a rather staid lot, doing things the old-fashioned way. And that includes reaching out to people. However, now, with 35% of total voters eligible to vote in the 2014 general election to be aged 30 or below, the political class is turning to the ways the youth connect with each other in order to connect to them. If we consider a more liberal version of the definition of youth and set the cutoff at 35 years, then a whopping 47% of eligible voters would fall in that bracket, for the general election next year.

With such a large portion of Indians young, this demographic is going to be a deciding factor in any major election, be it state or general. So their opinions need to be carefully considered by parties if they want to cash in on their support. And what better way to connect to the youth, especially the urban youth, than through social media?


Opinion matters on Social Media

Social media is one of the primary means of communication among the urban, and increasingly the semi-urban, Indian youth. With internet reach spreading fast, thanks to the availability of cheaper, affordable smartphones, social media is coming closer at hand too. And of course, there are the good old landline and cyber cafes too. And a large proportion of internet users in India is the huge youth population. Hence the political class is rapidly jumping on to the social media bandwagon.

After Anna Hazare started the anti-corruption movement in 2011, campaigning for the passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill, more and more young people are becoming politically aware. Everyone may not be joining active politics, but many are certainly taking a keen interest in the political happenings around, much more than before. The activist tone is becoming more pronounced amongst young Indians.


In India, the two most popular forms of social media through which casual communication happens are Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook and Twitter accounts are being opened up by many politicians. There are numerous accounts being opened up by fans as well, called fan pages, very similar to fan clubs for film stars.

The top political personalities of all parties have accounts in Facebook or Twitter or both. Through these accounts, they are trying to present what they stand for, their views on different issues to the youth, the group which will drive the country forward, and be at the forefront of political change.


Two-Way Communication

Since social media is a two-way communication, the youth and anyone else logging on to their pages are also expressing their views on different issues they and the parties are concerned with.

Because of social media, communication is happening with a much wider audience, much more than would have been possible through the traditional methods – speeches and door-to-door campaigns. Another advantage of social media is that people are being able to express freely their thoughts. This would not have been possible in face-to-face communication, what with the stature of people coming in the way of free expression.


Logging in to Politics

Politicians of BJP and the Congress are majorly represented in social media, with multiple persons from each in the top 10 of both Facebook and Twitter, in terms of the number of followers. However, some who have come in late have also gathered a lot of online clout too.

The chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, can be considered the foremost among the late-coming high-achievers. Though only about a year old in the world of social media, she already has the fifth highest number of followers on Facebook, notching up more than 4 lakh fans.

Digital presence is a must-have ingredient for any political party worth its name. Parties are holding workshops to make its members more digital-savvy. Top politicians of each party in the social media are taking those classes. Politicians have always been media-savvy. Now, the in-thing is to be digitally savvy. How else to connect to young India, a large proportion of which is urban and semi-urban?

Those who were not in social media are rapidly coming in board, even those who had criticised such digital-savvy people. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had ridiculed politicians who have taken to social media as the “chirping brigade”. However, he too joined Facebook and in just a few days attracted 2,500 followers.

Top 10 Indian Politicians on Twitter:

Rank

Handle & Name

followers

follows

tweets

1

narendramodi
Narendra Modi

2,589,746

795

3,105

2

ShashiTharoor
Shashi Tharoor

1,940,520

434

19,778

3

PMOIndia
Dr Manmohan Singh

844,532

52

3,402

4

SushmaSwarajbjp
Mrs.Sushma Swaraj

731,316

0

2,712

5

ArvindKejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal

651,931

66

1,985

6

abdullah_omar
Omar Abdullah

366,901

91

5,934

7

Swamy39
Subramanian Swamy

300,496

74

25,916

8

quizderek
Derek O'Brien

183,953

122

22,626

9

rajeev_mp 
Rajeev Chandrasekhar

122,148

0

2,256

10

milinddeora
Milind Deora

102,877

50

1,876



Top 10 Indian Politicians on Facebook:


1.  Narendra Modi                     5,277,789 fans
2.  Arvind Kejriwal                        630,436 fans
3.  Vasundhara Raje                    531,209 fans
4.  Vijay Goel                                502,247 fans
5.  Mamata Banerjee                   415,941 fans
6.  Subramanian Swamy             265,155 fans
7.  Deepender Singh Hooda      253,263 fans
8.  Ashok Gehlot                          248,078 fans
9.  Oommen Chandy                   215,797 fans
10. Akhilesh Yadav                     128,720 fans



Parting Thought

Nowadays communicating through social media is one of the most happening things in terms of public-relations activities, and the same holds true for politicians in modern India. The modern youth do not want politicians to take them for granted and social media is one of the important means for politicians to listen to what they are saying.

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Comments (2)
 
Krishanu Reply
October 20, 2013
Connecting through social media is important as it also gives people to express their opinions without any hesitation, which may not be the case for face-to-face interaction.
Anirban Ray Reply
October 20, 2013
Good to see politicians are reaching out through FB & Twitter.
 
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