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Monday, March 31, 2014

Google, Facebook, Twitter eye Rs 500 cr social media poll pie

AS POLITICAL parties throng social networking platforms to woo voters. Internet giants like Google. Facebook and Twitter are looking tor their slice of an estimated Rs 5OO crore digital spending pie for this Lok Sabha polls.
Out of the 814 million Indians eligible to vote in this elections, more than 200 million are estimated to have access to the Internet including over 100 million active on various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
According to dig ital media experts. a bulk of about 100 million first-time voters joining the electorate for upcoming Lok Sabha elections are very active on social networking sites and they are the main target of parties taking the social media route to reach out to their largest audience. Estimates suggest that out of nearly Rs 4.000-5.000 crore total advertisement and publicity budget across the parties, digital platforms may get at least Rs 400-500 crore in the run up to the polls.
Willi online campaigning emerging as a major tool for the Arvind Kejriwal  Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi Assembly polls last year, social media is gelling greater attention of the strategists for Lok Sabha polls as well as across parties.
According to officials at digital marketing firms being used by some leading parties, judicious use of social media could turn out to be the 'game changer' in someurban seats.
As per studies conducted by various parties, internally and by third-party agencies hired by them, as many as 160 constituencies out of the total 543 seats are likely be influenced by social media. Parties, including smaller regional outfits, are therefore leaving no stone unturned to get that crucial 'online swing' in their favour.
Notwithstanding traditional media outlets like on-ground political rallies and speeches, social media's word-of-mouth novelty factor is ensuring leaders are on top of the mind for online citizens.
Google India's Industry Head Gaurav Kapur said. "With over 200 million Internet users in the country. Internet as a medium has found its own space in the political par-tics' media spends. Leading national parties are actively engaging users through digital medium. Different parties are adopting different strategies and digital spending varies from 5 per cent to 10 per cent of their total advertising budgets."

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