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This Indian Election Campaigner Has the Formula to Win Elections

"Winning elections is more than just a mandate"
Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific
4 min read

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

From fintech to blockchain, the digital wave has garnered every ounce of India, and the elections are not something that has been away from it.

Whether it’s General Elections or a State Legislative Election, today the most intense political campaigning takes place on social media instead of the streets.   

Entrepreneur India met one of those heroes of social media election campaigning - Ankit Lal - who helped an anti-corruption party to position its place in the minds of 1.2 billion people of India with his broad vision.  

A crusader, consultant, social media strategist, author and now an emerging entrepreneur, Lal wears many hats, but is best known as the face behind the sweep win of Aam Aadmi Party in the 2015 Delhi Legislative Assembly Elections.  

In a candid chat with Entrepreneur India, he talked about how winning elections is more than just a mandate and discussed his strategies and thought-provoking ideas of doing a successful election campaigning on social media.  

‘It’s Like Pieces of Puzzles that should be Brought Together’

Behind the clean sweep of AAP in 2015 Delhi Assembly Elections, social media had a great role to play. When Lal was asked about the formula to win elections and topping the charts of trends on Twitter and Facebook, he shared his secret strategy to do that. He emphatically spoke about how is there no single formula to win any elections, and instead it comes from within the ecosystem.

“It’s like pieces of puzzle you need to bring all the pieces together in order to bring a perfect formula,” said Lal.

Sharing further on it, he said, “It depends on the ground strategy, policies that other parties are taking up, perception that people have, it also depends on the social media strategy because lot of people are on the social media. So social media and ground activities go hand in hand, not independent to each other. They are heavily inter-dependent these days.”

Is a ‘Meme’ a Negative Publicity for a Party on Social Media?

Considering the fact that the members of anti-corruption party Aam Aadmi Party had been victims of the funniest memes on social media, Lal spoke about how a meme is never a crisis for any party.  

He said, “A meme is something that somebody creates generally because they are topical. So memes are created about most of the politician who are relevant. They are not created about somebody who is not relevant, I won’t take name but somebody who is not relevant is not talked about. So when you are being talked about means you are relevant.”

‘Respond Within the 11-min When the Crisis Hits You’

Talking about how social media campaigners should deal with negative publicity if and when hits you on web, he said, “If some crisis hits you, respond within the 11 minutes of it.”

“In the ideal scenario if some crisis hits us at 8’o clock, I would love to have the response ready by 8:11. 11 minutes is what we called the real time response. Referring a US research, Lal objected that if you respond to anything within the first 11 minutes then there is a chance that the response is carried as well as the initial allegation.

Is Every Publicity a Good Publicity on Social Media?

“Not every publicity is a good publicity,” asserted Lal.

“The #Metoo campaign is one of good examples for this.  Not every campaign sees the kind of success that it should, some campaigns get more success than they deserve. In my opinion, some campaigns that get less success are much important to our society,” he further added.

Three Crucial Takeaways from his election campaigning:

  • Being fast matters a lot

  • People to people connect is very important

  • Videos are the key. It connects to individual like nothing else does.

Check out the full video to know more about social media campaigning of elections.

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