Viewing Tamil Nadu Elections From The Lens of Social Media [2.5 Million Mentions]

Politicians in India are increasingly starting to get Net savvy. The central election campaigns in 2009 featured both BJP and Congress using social media and digital marketing strategies to cater to younger audiences. The current regional elections in the state of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Pondicherry provide an excellent opportunity to view the elections from the lens of social media, its adoption and acceptance among Indian voters from those regions.

We decided to review Tamil Nadu (TN) for multiple purposes. The total number of voters in TN is about 45,900,000, or about 63% of the TN population. At 1.33 Million broadband Internet users, and a total of 3.2 Million overall Internet users (including Cybercafe, mobile, etc) they are the largest by number of all the states facing elections. Active twitter and facebook accounts speaking about TN elections during the period March 1st to April 13th was a little less than 1 Million based on social media analysis from Vangal.

Here are some of the highlights from the analysis:

1. A total of ~2.5 million mentions were made during this period. This represented little less than 1 million unique mentions from about 800K unique users.


2. Of those mentions, 41% were from main stream media sources such as newspapers, which primarily provided long form articles which were mentioned multiple times by several users. The primary three accounts were TheHindu, dinamalarWeb and vikatan


3. Main stream media users tended to dominate twitter mentions, whereas facebook was the medium of choice for individual users. Primary discussions from individual users were around excessive “black money” that was seized during the pre-elections.


4. In terms of discussions for individuals, Karunanidhi topped mentions with over 100,000 unique users mentioning him, closely followed by Vijayakanth. Jayalalitha and M K Stalin, made fewer than 50% and 15% of the unique user mentions as Karunanidhi did.


5. Finally in terms of positive sentiment that results in a mention for various parties, AIADMK got most of the positive mentions at 37% followed by DMK at 29%. Both these mentions were however superseded by positive mentions for the Electoral Commission.



1. While numbers vary, it is widely accepted that India has about 80 Million Internet users and about 30 million active (use Internet at least once a month).

2. Total population of Tamil Nadu, from Wikipedia

[Guest article by Vinita Ananth, founder of Vangal, and actionable insights software Company. Vangal helps marketer’s optimize their campaigns & customer engagement with precision & accuracy. You can reach her at vinita at vangal dot com.]

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