Social media dominates as candidates vie for digital supremacy : The Tribune India

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Social media dominates as candidates vie for digital supremacy

Social media dominates as candidates vie for digital supremacy

A social media team working for party of one of the candidates from Jalandhar on Thursday. Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh

Tribune News Service

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, May 16

In a departure from traditional electioneering methods, the social media has taken a centre stage in the Lok Sabha elections. Candidates are now vying for digital dominance, crafting engaging reels, audience-centric posts, and building their follower base, steering away from the outdated use of loudspeakers and auto-mounted microphones for campaigning.

Dedicated social media teams are working round the clock to produce, edit, and share content that strikes a chord with the public, aiming to make their candidates go viral. Not just this, these teams are also adept at turning rivals’ controversial videos and posts into fodder, while portraying their own candidates as more appealing and electable.

When the Jalandhar Tribune reviewed the social media posts of various candidates, it uncovered a transition from simple photos and tweets to high-quality reels. These reels frequently feature candid moments of leaders engaging with the public, including vendors or beggars, enjoying roadside snacks, or delivering emotional speeches, often set to popular Punjabi music, including songs by Sidhu Moosewala and party-specific tracks like “Ghar ghar chali gal, Channi kerda masle hal” (There is talk in every household that Channi solves all issues) and “Aa rya Akali Dal, masle honge hun sare hal” (Now, Akali Dal would come and all issues would be resolved).

A PR manager overseeing one candidate’s social media campaign, who requested anonymity, highlighted the strategic importance of these platforms. He said, “Everyone is on social media these days and enjoys watching videos and reels. Loudspeakers on autos don’t attract people anymore and are considered noise pollution. But a well-crafted video or reel will definitely draw their attention.”

He cited the example of Neetu Shatranwala, who became an overnight sensation after a video of him lamenting his poor performance in the 2019 elections, went viral on the social media.

Meanwhile, it was also discovered that some candidates have outsourced their entire social media campaigns to Delhi-based teams, while others have employed local youngsters on short-term contracts.

These services come at a premium, with candidates paying between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 15 lakh for comprehensive social media management, and contractual or part-time social media managers earning between Rs 20,000 and Rs 35,000 per month.

In a particularly similar move, some candidates have started live-streaming their rallies and public interactions, allowing supporters to engage in real-time. This has added a new dimension to voter engagement, making the campaign more interactive. Furthermore, memes and humorous content are becoming popular tools for candidates to connect with younger voters. By blending humour with political messages, candidates are finding new ways to engage and mobilise the youth vote.

As the elections approach, it’s clear that the battle for votes is being fought as much online as it is on the ground. Social media has not only changed the way campaigns are run, but has also redefined how candidates connect with their electorate.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Lok Sabha #Social Media

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