State budget on Feb 6: Govt to use social media as tool to gauge public mood, acquire feedback

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HT Bureau

Guwahati, Feb 4: For the first time in the state, Assam government will use social media as an additional platform to inform and engage the people on the state budget 2019-20, which will be presented by the finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on February 6.

A decision to this effect was taken by the finance department as social media is an effective tool to gauge public mood, acquire feedback and also to engage the people for the budget, an official spokesman informed here Monday.

“The department picked social media as a game changer tool for working on their special campaigns and strategy for the budget,” he said.

“As social media enables one to one, one to many, and many to many exchange of ideas and communications. It allows us to network, find people with similar interests. It flattens out the world and gives us access to people we never would have been able to meet otherwise,” he also said.

The use of social media for seeking people’s participation and inputs in the budget is also one of the first of its kind experiment in the country and has been very effective so far, the spokesman said.

In 11 days, the department has reached out to more than 1.6 lakh people by posting 200 feeds on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in 11 days, he said.

The use of this dynamic medium, in addition to other traditional means, has been inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ and also in keeping with the commitment to adhere to the principles of participatory governance, he also said.

One of the key objectives of the social media campaign outreach strategy has been to create a bonding with the vibrant pool of youngsters and many other tech-savvy people of Assam, the spokesman said.

The state government’s budget app, called Assam Budget, is also a unique initiative towards a ‘Digital India’.

“With the help of our sources, we come across few insights of their Social Media Campaigns. Insights showed they have reached more than 1 Lakh people by tweeting and posting more than 200 posts combined of Twitter, Facebook & Instagram in just 11 days with the follower base of more than 1,535 on Twitter & 1,760 on Facebook,” he further said.

“In the months ahead they are planning to continue to engage citizens as well as reach critical information using their social media platforms. The facts and figures of their social media campaign outreach strategy is a successful step in creating a bonding with our vibrant pool of youngsters & other people of Assam who are adept at communication using social media platforms,” he added.

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