WhatsApp Election Campaigning: The Need for it is More Than Ever Today
As global citizens remain glued to their screens, the importance of highly personalized political campaigns has grown significantly.
This reinforces the use of social media, especially messaging apps like WhatsApp, as it allows political campaigns to reach voters quickly.
The importance of WhatsApp is also increased during times when many far-flung areas are deprived of the internet and cannot use other platforms.
While essentially WhatsApp also runs on the internet, many mobile service providers give it to their users for free, considering its widespread popularity.
Why should you use WhatsApp in political campaigns in your elections, and how is the platform changing its policies for political campaigns? Let's see.
Why Politicians Need WhatsApp to Run Election Campaigns
WhatsApp provides everlasting avenues of election campaign features to its users, including:
- It helps create groups of up to 256 people who can communicate with each other rapidly.
- Volunteers can stay in contact with each other using these WhatsApp groups.
- In these WhatsApp groups, you can share your campaign material readily. Everything you share on other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, can be just reshared with them on WhatsApp to increase your outreach.
- Through this biggest messaging app, the message comes directly on the voters' phones, portraying the notion that you are getting in touch with them personally.
- It can help political campaigns to reach rural communities with limited access to the internet.
- You can segment voters based on their interests by relying on data and make separate groups of voters to campaign for the issues that matter most to them.
- It can help you create a sense of urgency in voters, as the messages are delivered instantly, unlike other platforms where the public has to open them to see the message.
- It is free of cost, and you can even use it for calling your volunteers and supporters without spending a cent.
- The communication is end-to-end encrypted, making it safe for you to share whatever you want to.
WhatsApp Changing its Policies to Comply with Campaign Ethics
Although the platform is untapped to a large extent, many politicians have started exploring its potential in recent years.
WhatsApp is well aware of the potential embedded in the platform. This is primarily the reason why it has changed its policies over time to comply with modern needs.
For instance, WhatsApp was regarded as the black hole of fake news doctrine in India. Many political campaigns tried to manipulate people's minds by sending them fake news, pictures, links, and memes.
However, the platform introduced a fact-checking service named Checkpoint Tipline to see whether the news is fake or not.
The users just needed to send the message to the service to get a reply whether or not the sent message is correct factually or not.
In a country of 1.4 billion, this was extremely crucial, as people just forward the messages in bulk to their contact lists without fact-checking at all.
Whether or not the service was successful is a separate debate, but WhatsApp showed its intentions that it is planning to introduce these kinds of services for the future as well.
Secondly, WhatsApp discouraged the addition of random people in WhatsApp groups. Now, until or unless both people are on the contact list of each other, no one can be added to a group; instead, they receive an invitation to join the group.
This is a significant change in paradigm as WhatsApp groups are considered goldmines of politicians to increase their outreach.
Even Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a WhatsApp political campaign to outrun his competitor completely in the last election.
Politicians going forward must consider this approach to market their candidacy to a targeted audience in no time.
It is also one of the platforms dedicated to content marketing, through which you can help your voters to see your website in significant numbers.