The effect of social media on individual voters in India

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Malik, Neha
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MBA in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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The Problem: Today the idea of social media usage is drastically different from the media usage of an era ago. Before the users considered social media as a new technology medium however now they consider it as a source of information and think it to be reliable medium. In 2014 Indian lok-Sabha elections, the social media platforms became a medium for Indian vote casters to find about the Prime Minister candidates. As a result, Prime Ministers political campaigning also used social media to target these citizens effectively. Mr. Modi who is currently Indian Prime minister established social media as an essential part of the political campaigning. This research studies whether political campaigns that are more social media savvy ultimately garner more votes. Secondly, the study also seeks to ascertain if use of Facebook and Twitter for sending messages to potential voters for their support – can positively affect only the younger persons possibility to cast a vote or it has affect on all age groups. Methodology: The sample size for this study was 150 Indian citizens who were above the 18 years age who agreed to take part in the quantitative element of this research investigation. The research was conducted using a cross-sectional quantitative (Survey Questionnaire) design. Survey methodology is behavior-oriented research that focuses on the actions of the respondents. The overall research approach is deductive in nature, as its main aim is to explore the previously researched phenomena’s from a new and a different perspective and test the hypothesis that have been based on the literature review of this research. Probability sampling technique has been used to identify the sample from the overall population. Conclusion and Recommendations: The research shows that due to the presence of social media in Indian politics and political campaigning, the influence on individual voter behavior is limited. Respondents still find the traditional communication mediums like Television, Newspaper & Magazines and Public opinions to be significant and essential in comparison to receiving or reading updates on social media about political candidates. However, it is evident from the survey findings that the major portion of the active users on social networking websites became heavily reliant on social media for seeking updates regarding political leaders. Moreover, they consider it is very important for a political leader to have a profile on these social networking sites. The scope of use of social media in Indian politics is extensive if utilized strategically. Lastly, although twitter has most number of registered users in India, as per the survey response Twitter is the site, which is never used even once a month by most of the respondents. Author keywords: Social media, politics