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Tweaking tone: Humour, positive reinforcement replace aggression in AAP tweets

As part of its new social media strategy, Aam Aadmi Party has toned down its aggression and attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

GujaratElection2017 Updated: Oct 21, 2017 23:36 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Jatin Gandhi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Aam Aadmi Party,AAP,Arvind Kejriwal
AAP’s social media team posts a cartoon on a burning issue concerning the people every morning.(Reuters)

The Aam Aadmi Party’s official handle (@aamaadmiparty) added its last one million followers on social media site Twitter over just four months. In contrast, the first three million (it had 4.07 million followers at 5 pm on Saturday) were added over four and a half years, pointing to a sharp spike in the party’s online following.

Party strategists admit the spike has come after AAP toned down its aggression and attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of its new social media strategy.

“Everyone knows Arvind Kejriwal is not fond of Narendra Modi, there is no point stating it every day,” said Arvind Jha — an old associate of the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal — who manages the social media cell of the party along with its founder Ankit Lal. “Instead we are now focusing on the achievements of the Kejriwal government in Delhi...Manish Sisodia’s work in the education sector needs to be highlighted.”

The aggression has been replaced by humour and satire. Every morning, the party’s social media team posts a cartoon on a burning issue concerning the people. Recent examples have been the metro rail fare hike in Delhi, problems faced by traders in the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and so on.

“We found that using cartoons and posting them without a comment has greater appeal. Even those who are not politically inclined towards AAP retweet the cartoons if they find them relevant,” says a social media team strategist.

“Several times, the images of these cartoons get circulated on whatsapp groups. AAP doesn’t find mention in the messages but our message is getting across.”

While party leaders say they are still evolving the strategy and it is being implemented as they go along, marked changes are already visible. Apart from a regular dose of cartoons, the team also tweets the achievements of the AAP government in Delhi, harping on the ‘Delhi model of governance’.

The AAP media cell recently held a meeting in Bengaluru on October 7 and 8 of social media volunteers from five southern states where it was decided to form a central team that will not be based in Delhi but spread across the states. AAP’s plan is to regionalise content and use the local units as the party’s eyes and ears on the social media.

“We have already been providing raw content to the state units who tweet it after translating it in the local language. That is giving us a lot of traction outside Delhi,” a senior member of the central team who attended the two day event said.

The party launched its account on Instagram a day before Diwali on Thursday. In the last 24 hours, it has posted pictures of its leaders — from Kejriwal having dinner with four AAP volunteers on Diwali to Sanjay Singh sharing sweets with the poor and Kumar Vishwas holding a small meet at home. The party’s attempt is to present its softer side.

“As a party we generate lots of photographs every day. The idea is to reach out on another platform that is now popular with the youth,” said Lal.

First Published: Oct 21, 2017 22:50 IST