Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Campaign to governance, Modi’s still growing strong on Facebook

modi-m Modi’s fan base grew from 11 million on March 6, the day elections were announced, to 14 million when the campaign got over. (Source: IE archive)
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Posted: September 2, 2014 7:00 am

Despite shifting from campaign to governance mode, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s growth on social media has hardly shown any signs of slowing down. According to data provided exclusively to The Indian Express by Facebook, Modi’s fan base grew at an average of 28.4  per cent in the first 100 days of his government, while it grew at a slightly better 28.65 per cent during the campaign period.

Modi’s fan base grew from 11 million on March 6, the day elections were announced, to 14 million when the campaign got over. With over 20 million followers, Modi is now the second most followed person of Facebook which has 1.32 billion monthly active users globally and 108 million monthly active users in India. Only US president Barack Obama is ahead with 42 million followers. At the present pace, it won’t take Modi long to become the most followed leader in world, given that India is adding Internet users at a brisk rate and Obama is in his last term.

As expected, a bulk of Modi’s followers are in the 18-34 age group which made up the first time voters in the recent General Elections. Facebooks says his engagement is most in Delhi, UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. “While corruption was the primary poll plank for the BJP, it was not the number one issue on Facebook. The number one issue was jobs and that again maps on to the youth demographic. For them the economic agenda was more important,” says Ankhi Das, Director – Public Policy, Facebook India and South Asia.

Since coming to power Modi has been connecting with the country using the PMOIndia page too. Das says the PM has very distinct tones on the two pages, with his primary page still carrying a personal touch and the other being more institutional. Interestingly, his posts around foreign policy and defence seems to driving the most engagement along with the Independence Day speech outlining his govternment’s priorities. “If you see both the pages, the most engaging posts have been in terms of the projection of India as a regional power. There is so much focus on foreign policy when it comes to the PMO page,” adds Das. With over 4.5 million followers, the PMO India Page has since launch received 15.6mn likes, shares and comments.

Since coming to power, Modi has got a lot of his Cabinet colleagues as well as their ministries to open Facebook pages to keep connected with the people. Union minister Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj all now have pages with over a million followers. In fact, 332 of the 543 MPs now has a Facebook presence, the maximum on any social media platform.

“Increasingly governments are realising that there is value in disintermediation. Own your voice, talk to people, build participation. You really don’t need a conduit or a mediator to translate your voice. The medium also talks back and that is the beauty of this platform,” says Das.

Data points

Social media mapping of MPs by GrassRoute India.

Total MPs (543) Website (129) Facebook (332)  Twitter (179) YouTube (102) Google+ (93)

Facebook users

Growth chart

Story of two handles

PMO India: 4.5mn
Most engaged city: Delhi
Most engaged age group: 18-24 y old
Total likes, comments and shares: 15.6mn

Narendra Modi: 20.7mn
Most engaged city: Delhi
Most engaged age group: 18-24 y old
Total likes, comments and shares: 48.6mn

Top 5 global leaders

Leader (Likes)

Top posts (Narendra Modi)

April 30 (selfie) 368,093 likes 18,471 comments 13,450 shares

modi

Atal May 10

atal

379,131 likes 11,613 comments 14,693 shares

Mother May 16

maa

1,583,705 likes 88,464 comments 115,656 shares

India has won May 16

india

696,657 likes 53,786 comments 93,781 shares

Top governance posts

I-day Aug 15

Iday

1,082,418 likes 22,282 comments 24,151 shares

Vikramaditya June 14

vikram

Sharif May 16

shariff

Top names in cabinet

Leader (Likes)

1) Rajnath Singh (2,402,574)
2) Smriti Irani (2,264,258)
3) Arun Jaitley (1,276,3870
4) Sushma Swaraj (1,204,884)

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