The relevance of the social media is wide in the context of the state and politics. It is no longer considered as just a medium to connect people socially but the social media now a day is able to connect people politically. Not only the public but also their representatives are trying to reach and form the public opinion socially. Let us discuss how the political leaders are turning this modern field into an open platform not only to promote but also to engage the people of the respective country.
Just like in the corporate world, the social media has enabled a two conversation between a politician and constituents. In the context of Australia, the most popular politicians, who are in a constant war with each other, can be clearly specified as Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten, the former one representing the federal and the later one from the state council (Ara, Dellarocas and Godes 2013). The duo are using the social media as a platform to connect with the voters and and are trying to reach the people and gather their view.
Figure 1: Turnbull on a social meeting
Source: (Twitter.com 2016)
Bill Shorten belonging from the labour party and an electorate of Maribyrnong from state of Victoria elected onwards 2007 to present and Malcolm Turnbull member of the liberal party and an electorate of Wentworth of New South Wales (Berthon et al., 2012) elected onwards 2004 to present have used social media extensively during their campaign. Both of them utilized the social platforms to analyse the mass conception, turned, and moulded their plans tactfully.
According to the sources across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Turnbul has 985,513 followers where as Bill Shorten is estimated with only 295,508 followers (Guo and Saxton 2013). Turnbull is always in the timeline of facebook, as he is voted as the most active leader among the other political leaders. Turnbull is also famous for posting pictures riding public transport to attract the attention by being close to the common person.
According to the sources of Twitter, a campaign was done based on twitting the either leader’s name and the result was interesting too, as people mentioned Turnbull in 57 percent and Shorten was only mentioned for 43 percent of time (Mergel 2013). This cleared the fog from the battle. However, in a reflection of the popularity of the social media, both the political leaders turned their face partially from the television cameras and started debating the vital issues in front of the online audience. The process was launched by Facebook namely as the “Facebook Faceoff” (Mergel 2013). In the event the leaders not only discussed their political views but also they engaged the people by popping random questions regarding issues like climate change, marriage equality and many more.
Therefore, the changing world is accommodating many changed ways to engage people in the political field. The social media has enabled many distinctive ways to connect people and the political leaders are using every possible means of the access the chance. They are not only promoting through it but they are tactfully using it to engage themselves with the public.
Aral, S., Dellarocas, C. and Godes, D., 2013. Introduction to the special issue-social media and business transformation: A framework for research.Information Systems Research, 24(1), pp.3-13.
Berthon, P.R., Pitt, L.F., Plangger, K. and Shapiro, D., 2012. Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy. Business horizons, 55(3), pp.261-271.
Guo, C. and Saxton, G.D., 2013. Tweeting social change: How social media are changing nonprofit advocacy. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, p.0899764012471585.
Mergel, I., 2013. Social media adoption and resulting tactics in the US federal government. Government Information Quarterly, 30(2), pp.123-130.
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