Know All About The Woman Behind The Social Media Rise of RG and Congress- Divya Spandana

| October 16 , 2017 , 18:17 IST

Earlier known by the stage-name Ramya, the Kannada actress-turned-politician is now gaining fame with her real name Divya Spandana, for bringing about the rise in the social media presence of Congress in general and Rahul Gandhi in specific.

Spandana was hand-picked by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi in May to lead the Congress campaign on social and digital media, a field which was mostly dominated by the BJP. Known for being active on social media and for her sharp criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling party in general, Spandana was brought in as an outsider. In the mere span of months, Spandana's work has paid off and there has been a perceptible difference in the digital presence of the Congress party.

“Well, if we are into politics, we might as well play the game,” Spandana said about building a social media presence.

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Doubling the strength of the Congress social media team, of which 85 percent are now women, Spandana has made great strides in establishing the position of Congress online which was not an easy task.

Spandana and her team had to counter trolls, fake news and errant tweets made by Congress leaders themselves. For example, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has a history of making controversial tweets.

“Now, we can’t do much about that. We just have to deal with it too,” said Spandana.

Rahul Gandhi's efforts and willingness to engage the public via social media has gone a long way in helping establish the position of Congress online. While earlier he was reluctant to even have a social media presence, now his tweets are made timely and incisively.

Activities of Rahul Gandhi are also being regularly updated on social media, and highlights complete with audio-visual components are also posted. Over the past few months, the number of Twitter followers on his official handle have increased exponentially.

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“All of it is organic,” added Spandana.

Apart from Rahul Gandhi's individual account, the official Congress party account has also established its presence, by means of factual updates, cartoons, light-hearted posts and polls.

“We frame questions in our Twitter poll with a specific intent. For instance, the other day we asked who called Gandhiji as Mahatma. And we put RSS as an option,” a member of Congress social media team said.

A dedicated team has been established for data analysis and archiving so that every point the party or its leaders makes is backed by facts and information.

“Women do things differently, they think differently too. I can’t deny that having a women-centric team has been a huge plus,” Spandana adds.