Google, Facebook, Twitter Eye Rs 500 Crore Social Media Poll Pie - The New Indian Express

Google, Facebook, Twitter Eye Rs 500 Crore Social Media Poll Pie

Published: 31st March 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 31st March 2014 01:21 AM

Political parties are expected to spend an estimated Rs 500 crore on social networking platforms like Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in their bid to woo voters in the upcoming general elections starting April.

The total advertisement and publicity budget of all parties for the elections is pegged at nearly Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore, of which digital platforms are likely to comprise at least Rs 400-500 crore.

Out of the 814 million Indians eligible voters, more than 200 million have internet access including over 100 million active on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. As per studies conducted by various parties, internally and by third-party agencies, as many as 160 constituencies out of the total 543 seats are likely to be influenced by social media.

“With over 200 million internet users in the country, internet as a medium has found its own space in the political parties’ media spends. Leading national parties are actively engaging users through digital medium. Different parties are adopting different strategies and digital spending varies from 5 -10 per cent of their total advertising budgets,” said Gaurav Kapur, Industry head, Google India.

He added that YouTube was playing a central role in this -- as it overcomes the language barrier and political parties are able to engage users through audio-visual medium in local languages.

Google is also seeing independent spends from political candidates to drive user engagement on their websites to create awareness about their achievements and plans for their constituencies.

Various types of campaigns are being run by parties, including crowdsourcing their poll manifestos, soliciting online donations to targeting resident Indians as well as NRIs.

Social media is also being used to sign up volunteers and increasing party membership.

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