Ahead of planned November 2016 elections, Ghanaian political parties are adopting some innovative measures to try and capture the hearts and minds of voters.
The tight nature of Ghanaian elections demands that political parties exploit every available opportunity to gain an electoral advantage.
And unlike previous elections which saw political parties focus on mainly of traditional advertising campaigns in the mass media, the 2016 election has been characterised by aggressive campaigns on new media platforms.
Below are three innovative campaigns implemented by some political parties, especially the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The flagbearers of the two main parties have ramped up their activities on Facebook, sharing text, pictures and videos.
The NDC’s President John Dramani Mahama currently has 824,000 folowers on Facebook.
The NPP’s Nana Addo Dankwa, on the hand, has 669,000 followers on the social networking platform.
The two rivals have also deployed apps on Facebook to deepen engagement with prospective voters.
Nana Addo’s ‘I am for Nana’ app enables people to sign up to a mailing list to receive firsthand information on the flagbearer’s activities on the campaign trail.
It allows allow NPP supporters to create a temporary profile picture.
John Mahama’s ‘Meet JM’ app enables people to sign up to meet the president for a private conversation.
At least four people have so far met the president by using the app.
READ ALSO: Mahama meets Facebook friends
The leading parties have also stepped up their campaign on Twitter, with the personal profiles of President Mahama and Nana Addo facilitating the sharing of information about their respective campaign.
The president’s @JDMahama handle and other suchs as @flagstaffGhana and @TransformingGH have combined to keep to the public updated on his campaign.
The @FlagstaffGhana handle, for instance, has been instrumental in sharing information on President Mahama’s ‘Accounting to the Nation’ tour.
Nana Addo’s handle, @NAkufoAddo, has also adopted a similar posturing on Twitter.
Hashtags are another key feature of the 2016 electoral campaign.
The NPP is promoting the hashtags #IamforNana and #ChangeisComing across social media platforms.
The NDC also promotes the #ChangingLives and #TransformingGhana hastags.
In the 2012 election, the EC declared Mr Mahama victor with 5,574,761 votes representing 50.7% of valid votes cast, with Nana Akufo-Addo coming in second with 5,248,898 votes representing 47.74%