Narendra Modi has been doing impressively well in the social media space, however, over the last three weeks his favourability on Twitter has been consistently dropping even as negative sentiment has been steadily increasing. Analysis of last week’s data by social intelligence firm Simplify360 suggests that Rahul Gandhi is now tied with the charismatic BJP leader on the firm’s SSI rankings.
Here is a comparison of the relative performance of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, the two consistently most popular politicians on Twitter, in March (Narendra Modi/ Rahul Gandhi):
Though Modi still manages to reach a high audience (indeed, the savvy politician’s awareness and spread levels have been consistently among the highest throughout this month), it is the sentiment and favourability scores that give a better perspective.
As is clearly seen, Modi’s favourability score and positive sentiment has consistently dropped over the month of March, while the negative sentiment was at its peak last week. On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi’s performance on Twitter has been something of a see-saw, though he sees himself tied with Modi in the SSI ratings for last week.
The tide seems to have turned against Modi and BJP since the Pramod Muthalik controversy, which caused significant backlash against both the party and the leader, an event which saw BJP showing the door to the Sri Ram Sena chief just hours after inducting him. A couple of reasons for the continuing dip in popularity for Modi, says Vang Lian, Head of Research at Simplify360, is that the party’s hashtag campaign of #GharGharModi, a derivative of #HarHarModi, seemingly backfired. Something that went wrong with #GharGharModi was that Twitter users started using it to mock the party and Modi. The #Abkibaarmodikihaar saw a lot of traction with negative comments on both Facebook and Twitter.
According to free, online hashtag analysis tool, Hashtagify.me, #Abkibaarmodikihaar saw a 44.6 per cent increase in popularity over the week. Of course, one also has to consider the fact that this is a relatively new hashtag actively promoted by BJP rivals, so a sudden burst in popularity is expected. As per the Simplify360 report, #GharGharModi received 90,986 mentions in the week, while #AbKiBaarModiKiHaarreceived 43,656 mentions in the week. Another negative hashtag (from the BJP’s perspective) #SharmKaroBJP also saw considerable usage, peaking at around 110,000 mentions by 28 March.
To determine the rankings, politicians and political parties were allotted a Simplify360 Social Index (SSI), based on four parameters – Awareness (total mentions and unique people talking), Spread (Number of unique people reached), Prominence (links shared, images and video) and Favourability (extent of positive sentiment).