Twitter is where political conversations happen and where you can see all sides of a conversation especially during the recently concluded #KarnatakaElections2018. From breaking news to behind the scenes action, political parties, candidates and citizens sparring over hot election topics, we saw more than 3 million mentions in relation to the #KarnatakaElections2018 over the past 3 weeks (from Apr 25 - May 15, 2018).
Despite the fact that the Elections occurred in one State of India, i.e. Karnataka, discussions on Twitter were vibrant all over the country and even overseas. People all over the world leveraged Twitter to see what’s happening in India as the nation develops as a cultural, economic and political force to be reckoned with.
Throughout the State Elections campaign, politicians and parties took to Twitter to regularly communicate with people all over India. Between the parties, it was a close fight in Karnataka as BJP (@BJP4Karnataka) garnered 51% of the share of voice on Twitter while Congress (@INCKarnataka) took 42%, and Janata Dal (Secular) had 7% of mentions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) emerged as the most mentioned personality during the course of #KarnatakaElections2018 on Twitter, while former Chief Minister for Karnataka Siddaramaiah (@Siddaramaiah) emerged as the most mentioned candidate on Twitter.
While the political leaders and parties were active, Twitter users also participated in dynamic conversations around the Karnataka elections with relevant hashtags and Retweets. #KarnatakaVerdict emerged as the most talked about election-related topic in the past 24 hours. The most used hashtag across the elections from Apr 25 - May 15, 2018 was #KarnatakaElections2018.
Top 5 hashtags related to #KarnatakaElection:
Top 10 Retweeted Tweets in relation to the Karnataka Election:
In relation, we introduced several initiatives to provide Indians with real-time updates on the campaign trail, connect voters to politicians on the most important election issues, and to have their voices heard during the #KarnatakaElections2018. This included the elections voting emoji, content partnerships with news organizations to provide Twitter users with live updates, and a special event called #ElectionsOnTwitter was held in partnership with civil society organizations @AshokaIndia and @BPACofficial and media partners @thenewsminute, @CNNnews18 and @News18Kannada.
The first panel discussed ‘News From the Ground’ what journalists Dhanya Rajendran (@dhanyarajendran), Editor News Minute, DP Satish (@dp_satish), Senior Editor, CNN News 18, Vasanthi Hariprakash (@vasanthihari), Roaming Editor, Pickle Jar, Gautham Machaiah (@GauthamMachaiah), Senior Journalist has picked up through their reporting across Karnataka.
The second panel was moderated by Artika Raj (@ArnikaRaj), Social Impact Communications, Ashoka India, and asked “What Drives the Urban Vote?” Panelists were Ashwin Mahesh (@ashwinmahesh), Columnist, Meera K (@meerak), Citizen Matters co-founder and editor of Citizen Matters, and Bharath Palavalli (@bharathmp) of FOVLabs.
The third panel looked at Electoral Activism and was moderated by Revathy Ashok (@RevathyAshok), CEO-B-PAC. The panelists included Santosh Hegde, Former Judge, former Supreme Court of India, Anjali Saini (@anjali_WFR) of Whitefield Raising, and R J Smitha (@MirchiRJSmitha), Radio Mirchi.
The final session, “Digital Tsunami” moderated by Twitter included young digital leaders from Tejasvi Surya (@tejasvi_surya), Head, BJP Youth Wing, Karnataka, Aishwarya Mahadev (@aiyshmahadev), State Coordinator, Karnataka-AICC Research Department and MC Abbas (@MCABBAS), AAP Candidate, who talked about the long term impact they are going to have on digital campaigning and the election cycle.
Innovation from news partners
We were delighted to partner with news leaders like CNN News 18 and News18 Kannada, from participation in the #ElectionsOnTwitter conversations and live streams on Counting Day.
News18.com and Twitter India on Karnataka election results day worked like a perfect political alliance that blends the unique strengths of each. News18, which is India’s largest news network, is known for its speed and accuracy in election results. And Twitter is now the default medium for live news consumption.
The News Minute was delighted to have a tie-up with Twitter India for the Karnataka Assembly Election. The tie-up was important especially with regard to the Ask The Leader series, which allowed readers/Twitter users to send questions to TNM’s reporters, which were then posed to the respective leader. The questions that users asked gave a fairly good sense of what were the issues that mattered to those in Karnataka. Finally, Twitter India’s reach also helped TNM reach a larger audience this election season.
While NDTV took a different approach, engaging with the audience on Twitter via a DM Responder on Counting Day.
It was terrific to have NDTV partner with Twitter for an election result seeped in drama. We offered a simple graphic showing real-time results on twitter (auto responder) that ensures we delivered the latest twist and turn to our users.
And it seems #TheBattleForKarnataka is just the beginning, paving the way for more elections on Twitter.