NEW DELHI: : Ninety two percent of social media users in Tamil Nadu are following the election on social channels, with 28% of the 234 constituencies likely to see netizens play a decisive role in determining the winner, says a report titled ‘Social Media Impact On The Tamil Nadu Election 2016’ published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and The Campaign 360.
This report is a part of the series of assembly election reports, and follows the hugely successful social media impact report that IAMAI published in 2014 on the eve of the General Elections.
According to the report, there are 66 High Impact constituencies in Kerala, the results of which are likely to be influenced by socil media users in the state. There are 14 medium impact and 154 low impact constituencies in the State. The report contends that 28% or more than 1 in 4 Constituencies, which have been classified as ‘High Impact’ could determine the eventual winner in the State.
|Number of Constituencies||% of These Constituencies outside the Top 10 Cities|
A web survey of a representative sample of 250 social media users also found that TV and Print still stand as the most trusted media sources for election related content, while 32% rely on Social Media and only 15% access Digital News.
While TV and Print are still the most trusted media sources for election related content, interestingly enough, the incidence of opting for either of these is below 50%, surprisingly low in a state with high TV Penetration and Daily Newspaper Readership.
Consequently, the gap between Social Media and Print is less than 10%. In West Bengal, the corresponding numbers for TV and Print were 63% and 55% respectively indicating a much lower level of media engagement in Tamil Nadu as far as the current elections are concerned. The Social Media number at 32% is also lower than West Bengal which was at 41%.
Overall, Media Engagement for Election related content seems low with as many as 18% not trusting any mainstream or new age form of media for content regarding the Tamil Nadu election, considering that the corresponding figure for Bengal was only 9%.
Additionally, during the 10 day tracking period between 22-31 March, using social media “listening tools”, Employment emerged as the topmost topic of discussions, followed by political issues and Law & Order. J Jayalalithaa, the incumbent Chief Minister, enjoys unrivalled presence over her DMK rivals individually.
According to the report, the DMK alliance dominates the conversation on social media channels. However, the net sentiment is negative. The AIADMK has significantly lower presence but also very high negative conversations, with 1 in 3 conversations about the AIADMK on Social Media are negative. The same trend impacts all the other parties/alliances except the small PMK which has more positive than negative conversations.