With the election fervour at its peak, political parties are leaving no stone unturned to utilise social media to its fullest potential to reach masses as much as they can in their bid to win Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
The recently introduced Ad Library report by Facebook, a searchable database comprising ads related to political and issues of national importance from February to 16 March, 2019 shows Pro-BJP page, Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat spent the highest amount on political advertisement. The page spent a total of Rs 2.07 crore on 3,655 ad runs on the social networking site from February to 16 March, 2019.
There were a total of 30,457 ads that were run on Facebook during the said time period.
The study also showed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), pro-BJP pages and the central government spent Rs 3.8 crore out of total Rs 6.5 crore expenditure all parties incurred on political advertisement on Facebook, amounting to around 58 per cent of total ad revenue made public by Facebook.
Pro-BJP page, Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat claimed the first two spots (with and without disclaimer) with around Rs 2 crore alone on a total of 3,655 ads on Facebook. The first spot ad spend was Rs 1.08 crore for running 1,226 ads while the second one's ad spend was 99 lakh for running 2,429 ads on Facebook.
The page was launched in February by BJP aiming to help the party to craft its election agenda before the Lok Sabha elections next month by inviting suggestions from citizens from across India.
Another page 'Nation with NaMo' bagged the third (without disclaimer) and fourth position (with disclaimer), spending a total of Rs 1.07 crore on a total of 2,254 ads. The page at third place spent Rs 58 lakh for running 773 ads which were run without a disclaimer while at fourth spot it spent Rs 49.4 lakh for running 1,481 ads.
MyGov India ran by the Central government came a distant fifth (without a disclaimer) for an ad spend of Rs 28.9 lakh for running a total of 124 ads and bagged the seventh spot with disclaimer for spending Rs 13.8 lakh for running 19 ads. Launched on 26 July, 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this page is a citizen engagement platform aimed at "crowdsourcing governance ideas from citizens."
Meanwhile, the official Facebook account page of BJP spent only Rs 6.6 lakhs on 2 ads for the said time period.
The official page of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of the Biju Janata Dal spent Rs 21.8 lakh in total.
Out of the top 10 political advertisers which included the government pages as well, 6 were related to BJP and spent nearly Rs 3.57 crore on Facebook ads.
BJP also has the most number of ads. 'My First Vote for Modi' which is a pro-BJP page ran 2,765 ads, making it the highest amongst all.The report also mentions popular search terms from 10-16 March, 2019. The top term was 'BJP' followed by 'Congress', 'Narendra Modi', 'Rahul Gandhi' and 'India".