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How Times Now used social media platforms in election week

The channel’s aim was to capture this historic moment and present it to a larger audience with an in-depth look at what people were thinking about the recent General Elections

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | June 9, 2014

Times-NowThe entire population of India waited with abated breath last month as the country went through a prolonged and historic General Election, with more than 563 million people casting their vote. Times Now’s aim was to capture this historic moment and present it to a larger audience with an in-depth look at what the people are thinking about the elections. The channel had a few objectives in mind, the first being the desire to be No.1 channel across all platforms during the Election Result week and on the Result Day; to get maximum viewership on air and to ensure that the most accurate election results were revealed on time; and finally, to integrate the various social media channels to reach out to a wider audience.

To make the audience most updated with all the election news during the 90 days, Times Now used a mixture of social networks, mobile applications, SMS service as well as live feeds.

MK Anand, CEO, Times Now, said, “The election coverage was focussed on providing the best second-screen experience to viewers as well as the fastest real-time information on the go. We concentrated on creating innovative properties which were a first for any Indian TV channel, like a dedicated election mobile app and ‘tweet to remember’ which is being adapted in other countries like the USA. The seamless integration of on-air coverage with online coverage using hashtags and social media sentiment analysis as part of Exclusive Twitter partnership has never been done before in India. We were focussing on further building our social media presence through exciting tent pole properties lined up in the coming year.”

Social mediums

Among all the social networking mediums, Twitter was mainly used to reach out to the audience. This campaign was mainly driven by the television content. A huge buzz was created on Twitter across the counting week from May 8 onwards, with hashtags like #MegaExitPolls,  #PollofPolls, #ModiSpeaksToArnab, #May16WithArnab, #Results2014, #TimesNowatTimesSquare and #Modiat7RCR trended in India and worldwide. Four hundred million+ potential impressions were generated by Times Now hashtags on Twitter during the Election Counting Week.

The channel, for the first time, conducted a contest from the Times Now Twitter handle, which asked people to share their views on the issues which would be addressed on counting day. In all the campaigns, the main focus was on coining hashtags which were simple to use, easy to insert in conversations and, most importantly, were relevant to the news of the day.

Twitter updates were also made available to people on their mobile devices for all the major events like exit polls, counting day and government formation. Facebook and Google Plus were also updated with the same hashtags to maintain similarity.

Mobile

The channel had launched an exclusive election app, bringing live feed and video content of all the election programming while giving viewers a chance to interact with each other and with the channel.

The app got more than 100,000 downloads in two weeks with more than 1.5 million+ page views on the app, 3.5 lakh+ live feed views and 4.5 lakh+ video views. It was also the featured app on Android, Windows and Apple for the election week.

Video

The election coverage was also available on YouTube as live feed and was a part of the election hub created by Google especially for the event. Vine videos were strategically used throughout the campaign to promote standalone events like interviews, breaking news, etc.

The result was spectacular: 4 lakh+ people logged in on the Times Now’s live YouTube feed to watch the counting day coverage live and 1.5+ million views on the YouTube channel in a period of 15 days.

Sarmistha@BestMediaInfo.com

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