Narendra Modi takes the lead in Twitter popularity

Data analysed by social business intelligence firm Simplify 360 suggests that the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate has pulled away from top rivals Arvind Kejriwal & Rahul Gandhi in terms of popularity on social media

e4m by Abhinna Shreshtha
Updated: Mar 18, 2014 9:09 AM
Narendra Modi takes the lead in Twitter popularity

Data analysed by social business intelligence firm Simplify 360 suggests that Narendra Modi has pulled away from top rivals Arvind Kejriwal and Rahul Gandhi in terms of popularity on Twitter. To determine the rankings, politicians and political parties were allotted a Simplify360 Social Index (SSI) based on four parameters – Awareness, Spread, Prominence and Favourability. In all, nearly 35 crore social media conversations were collated and analysed by February-end to generate the report.

Vang Lian, Head of Research, Simplify360 said, “In the last three months of our analysis, Narendra Modi continues to dominate the ranking except for December, when Arvind Kejriwal topped the most popular politicians chart due to the Delhi elections. The popularity of a politician or party is based on a combination of parameters. Therefore, a politician having the highest social media buzz may not be the most popular politician.”

This is reflected in the statistics. Narendra Modi had 121,435 unique people talking about him but Arvind Kejriwal had more than 160,000 uniques with more buzz— 954,289 as compared to Modi’s 742,713.

Surprisingly, BJP president Rajnath Singh has a better favourability score (extent of positive sentiment) among all the top 10 politicians according to the index. His favourability score of 69 edged past Modi and Jagan Mohan Reddy (both at 68), while Akhilesh Yadav scored 70 on this scale. Kejriwal scored a remarkably low 50 in the favourability section, lower than Gandhi’s 61.

However, the radical AAP founder had very high scores for prominence (links shared, images and video) and awareness (total mentions and unique people talking), scoring 83 and 88 respectively. This could be credited to Kejriwal’s understanding of the social media platform as well as the buzz generated after he resigned as Delhi chief minister. In fact, unsurprisingly, this event, says the report, created the most buzz in social media last month.

Interestingly, the Big Three (Modi, Kejriwal and Gandhi) all saw a drastic drop in unique people talking over January.

Meanwhile, on the party front, BJP and Congress were tied at 71 on the SSI scale though BJP scored a very low favourability rating of just 54 (among the least) as compared to AAP (60) and INC (62). Unsurprisingly, the Biju Janta Dal, founded by Odisha CM Naveen ‘Mr Clean’ Patnaik scored very high in this area with a score of 67 (the highest among all political parties according to the report).

Analysis of social media conversations provides great and insightful data on the mood and perception of the different leaders and political parties. For example, what does it mean if Narendra Modi scores so high on the SSI scale but his party scores among the least in terms of favourability? Does this mean that BJP’s campaign focus on Narendra Modi has backfired? The dropping number of unique people talking on Twitter is also a surprising fact. One would have thought that as the date of the elections draws closer, more people would be discussing and sharing content about politics.

Watch out for our weekly Election Tracker (starting next week) for more facts and figures from the social media space.


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