Hyderabad

Ad spend on social media rises

The ad spend for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections was not limited to newspapers, buntings, pamphlets, and banners but also included online ads hosted on social media sites.

Even on December 1, when a few voters were stirring to go for voting, Chintala Vijayshanti Reddy was promising them: “Vow to be available 24/7 for #alwaldivision134 people be it development or for any natural calamities. Please #VoteForTRS to serve you all again.”

For ₹3,334 she was able to reach about 60,000 people on the social media. BJP candidate Boini Anusha Yadav from Hafeezpet spent ₹28,359 for an ad that ran till hours before polling began. She was not the only one. Other candidates too used social media to reach out to voters even after the end of canvassing.

The candidates for GHMC elections are allowed to spend up to ₹5 lakh for campaigning.

According to data hosted on Facebook Ad Library, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi candidates and their backers posted about 80 ads while the Bharatiya Janata Party came close second with 44 ads. The ads hosted by other political parties’ numbers were in single digits.

This election also saw guerilla marketing with big spending. One Page called ‘Kya Hua KTR’ popped up on November 18, a day after the announcement of GHMC elections. Another called ‘Hyderabad rejects TRS’ was created on November 23 and the pages have become inactive since. Both of these were sponsored by someone called Naveen Chandra Kalla.

While paid ads are being tracked, posts by followers and non-political entities are out of the ambit of political expenses giving a big leeway to candidates.

While Facebook and Instagram have an ad library allowing the expense of the candidates to be tracked, Twitter has disallowed political ads. This has however not stopped politicos from using the micro-blogging site to spread their message or challenge the rival candidates.

As the countdown begins for the counting day of December 4, it remains to be seen how the social media spending helped the candidates spread their message.

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 9:20:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ad-spend-on-social-media-rises/article33234917.ece

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