Political parties woo millennial voters with TikTok, ShareChat and the like

Ahead of Delhi Assembly Elections, parties are moving beyond traditional social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to tap into the viewership of peripheral apps

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Jan 17, 2020 11:55 AM
Political campaign

Ahead of the Delhi Assembly Elections, political parties are spending heavily on social media campaigning and ads. While the mainstream platforms have been witnessing a social media war among parties, apps like Tiktok, ShareChat, SnapChat and Welike are also being used extensively for the political agenda-driven videos.

Political parties are openly leveraging traditional social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They're not shying away even from peripheral social media platforms like Tiktok, ShareChat, SnapChat and Welike to connect with the millennial voters. For this, the IT and creative teams of parties are on overdrive, creating infotainment content for these platforms

Parties are drawn to these platforms since they promise ample reach and viewership of first-time voters. TikTok India alone has 200 million active users.

While BJP, INC and AAP have around 30M, 13M and 10M followers respectively on mainstream social media platforms, they own around two to three accounts on apps like Tiktok and ShareChat. Interestingly, they don't run most of their accounts openly; instead, they have different teams working on each platform separately.

Experts say that these teams are responsible for creating clickbait content and making it viral among their target group. Parties have also come to realise the importance of creating free, snackable content. Most of them are willing to shell out close to Rs 1 lakh for a high-quality 15-30 second video content.

According to Naresh Arora, Director of DesignBoxed the agency handling Congress party’s social media campaigns: “Content is now the King for political campaigns too. Youngsters are not interested in political agendas. Parties are now focusing on non-political content with subtle message placement through comedy, satire or music on these new-age social media platforms.”

The two to five per cent of digital promotion budget that was kept aside for content is now raised to 10-15 per cent, given the reach and popularity of light ‘funtainment’ content preferred by millennials, Arora added.

Young party volunteers also produce content and come up with the digital Choupals/Panchayat/Samvad and run them on their web channels or YouTube.

This content is sliced and converted into a 'snackable' format, which is then shared through social media platforms like WhatsApp, Share Chat, Facebook etc. This ensures that the content spreads out evenly across the country. WhatsApp and Sharechat also help in amplifying the reach of any post.

Peripheral app Snapchat also extended support to the Election Commission by encouraging more people to come out and vote during General Elections 2019. By circulating a message to all its users, it reminded them to check their details on the online voter list before the deadline. Hopefully, the app may come up with similar initiatives this time too.

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