The Power of a Mayor’s Social Media Posts to Create a Support Base of Young Local Citizens: A Case Study

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

With an active and engaged citizenry, the picturesque city of Bandung, the capital of West Java province, has become a major city in Indonesia. Keeping with the times, Bandung’s erstwhile mayor and the current governor of West Java, Ridwan Kamil, has maintained an active social media presence and continues to be a popular figure in social media. During his time as mayor, between 2013 and 2018, Kamil attracted millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram and used social media as a platform to help him manage the city. Kamil would use his Twitter page, @ridwankamil, to actively interact with citizens, and he made it a point to reply to mentions on Twitter. Kamil maintained a more informal tone on Instagram, where he appeared as any other local citizen taking in the sights of the city. In fact, he would ensure that the captions on pictures and contents of his posts were “Instagrammable,” knowing fully well that he had a large number of youth followers. This study aims to discover the motivations of social media users in following and in responding to posts from the account of major political influencer’s. In light of Kamil’s use of social media to help manage the affairs of Bandung, this paper uses a qualitative constructivist approach to uncover the motivations of social media users in following social media posts by politicians and in acting on them. The data used for the research include primary data garnered through in-depth interviews with local youngsters as well as secondary data from traditional and digital literature. It is argued on the basis of the analysis of the aforementioned data that Kamil’s conversational tone on social media significantly influenced the youth of Bandung and prompted them to become more aware of the city’s issues and more proactive in addressing urban problems. Additionally, the findings of this study also suggest that Kamil’s popularity among the youth could prove beneficial for him in future elections. Finally, the study suggests that social media posts are a powerful means to influence young citizens to engage with issues of collective importance and highlights the need for governments to encourage youth participation by increasing the use of social media platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of The 3rd International Conference on Vocational Higher Education (ICVHE 2018)
PublisherAtlantis Press
Pages331-339
Number of pages9
Volume426
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6252-947-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2020
Event3rd International Conference on Vocational Higher Education (ICVHE 2018): “Understanding Digital World. From Theory to Practices.” - Batam, Indonesia
Duration: 2 Aug 20184 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research
PublisherAtlantis Press
Volume426
ISSN (Electronic)2352-5398

Conference

Conference3rd International Conference on Vocational Higher Education (ICVHE 2018)
Country/TerritoryIndonesia
CityBatam
Period2/08/184/08/18

Keywords

  • social media
  • political
  • influencer

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