I believe that it was only Narendra Modi and BJP who understood the importance of social media in politics. I will not talk of Arvind Kejriwal and AAP as classic case of social media political branding as they have just understood the importance and power of social media but did not use it effectively for branding. They failed in the department of branding and mostly got engaged in cheap publicity and theatrics.
Narendra Modi understood much in advance (when he was CM of Gujarat) that in the age of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Instagram and other social media platforms the rules of engagement has changed. He as a politician identified the shift in the tools used in political communication, and law of engagement with the current generation. Narendra Modi also understood the shift in engagement process which now is driven by likes, shares, and retweets on social media sites. Hence, Narendra Modi embraced social media and digital marketing as tool to engage with voters.
Narendra Modi Absolute Winner of Social Media: Narendra Modi with approximately 2 million+ followers on Facebook page and 6 million+ followers on Twitter is one of the most famous politicians on social media. He joined Facebook and Twitter in 2009 and became the first politician to use Google Plus, YouTube and others.
In my views he has been the absolute winner of social media for politics in India. However, the emergence of brand Narendra Modi over social media is not all positive. I believe it is obvious to have positive and negative voice for any politician and Narendra Modi is not devoid of it. Here is for and against of Social Media Brand Narendra Modi.
- For Social Media Brand Narendra Modi: I want Narendra Modi as the Next PM of India, Narendra Modi for PM, Narendra Modi Fan Club, Narendra Modi for PM 2014
- Against Social Media Brand Narendra Modi: I Hate Narendra Modi, Narendra Modi: The Biggest Terrorist of India, Criticism of Narendra Modi
Challenges of Building Digital Brand Narendra Modi: A three-time Gujarat chief minister who was a regional brand trying to go national was not an easy task. He had a challenge positioning himself as a right choice in front of urban youth and almost 150 million first-time voters; challenge of a 63-year-old seeking to connect with the youth and first-time voters; challenge of Hindi and Guajarati speaking regional politician trying also to connect with English speaking urban, middle-class; challenge of engaging with audience that is becoming more politically conscious; challenge of the taint of the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat and image of Hindu hardliner; and coming out of Gujarat’s brand ambassador image and positioning himself into a national brand.
Narendra Modi, ventured out of their home states to brand himself, and he ventured out with aggression. He made his aggression seem decisive and hence desirable. The key elements of digital brand Narendra Modi Success mantra lies in power of thinking, being desirous, stable and hardworking, risk taker, never looking back, not apologetic, self-made, strong, efficient, and inspiring individual and transforming each obstacles into opportunity.
Digital Marketing in Making of Brand Narendra Modi: Digital marketing helped Narendra Modi gain more transparency as it helped him engage with voters around political decision-making processes. The digital marketing also help find Narendra Modi’s view on topical themes and on his political fights. Narendra Modi has exploited the benefits of digital marketing to promote his brand image and spread the political messages by means of the various digital marketing and social networks. The learning from the digital marketing campaign of brand Narendra Modi:
- Official Site: Create a personalized content experience for each website visitor
- Digital Marketing: Create a ROI oriented digital experience with the help of display ads, video streaming, native ads, etc.
- Social Media: Create a highly engaged social media experience.
- Email & SMS: Deliver individualized messaging throughout every step in the voters lifecycle
- Mobile Campaigns: Give customers highly relevant interactions on the go
- Analytics: It is important to use a highly impact analytics tool which tracks ROI and performance at each stage of campaign.
In my views, the learning from the brand Narendra Modi can be implemented while branding any politician.