When thinking about the next topic that I find worthy blogging about, I felt that this one had been slowly building up for a longer time in my head already.
I first saw a friend liking a picture on Facebook, which had been posted by a site called ‘Virgin Radio Lebanon’. That immediately got me thinking. Does that friend have a new favourite radio channel? What exactly does that friend want to express with this like?
The most dominant question, however, was: Does that friend (or for that matter all other followers of the site) even know where Lebanon is?
Just in case you were wondering too, it is a country in Western Asia and is bordered by Syria and Israel. After diving that deep into the investigation already that still did not answer my question. Why does a Facebook page of a Lebanese radio station get that many likes?
Something that might explain the popularity of the page might of course be that the station is owned by Virgin, which is a company of Richard Branson. For a long time he and his company have been known to be innovative and break the rules. However, also this explanation did not satisfy my curiosity. That is why I did take an even deeper look into the topic.
Let’s take a look at statistics
Currently, and I am referring to the 14th of December 2014, the Facebook page of Virgin Radio Lebanon has 7,816,271 likes. When doing some research on the topic, I learned that in August 2014 they had as ‘little’ as 2,189,161 likes. (Tallon, 2014) That means that in the last four months they grew over 5,627,110 likes. In social media terms that is massive and that is why in September 2014 it was proven to be the Facebook page with the highest engagement and reach worldwide. (albawaba Entertainment, 2014) Having won that many likes and followers in the meantime, I am sure that this is still a position that they currently hold.
What is the magic?
One can look at this phenomenon rising from nothing in different ways. At first I thought that this page was doing something right, according to marketing principles. During my research, it became clear that that is not really the case. Yes, they are having a lot of followers and likes, but that is just because they are posting funny pictures and videos. That means that the content that they are sharing is completely irrelevant to their cause. In fact, most of their followers come from the US and therefore there is a slim chance that they are actually listening to a radio station from Lebanon.
Abracadabra: Engagement, Traffic & Reach
However, there is still something that draws people to like their page and thus Virgin Radio Lebanon is doing one thing extremely well. It gets a wide reach and the engagement on the page is high. Seriously, when looking through the posts on the Facebook page, it appears that some people’s purpose in life is to comment the funny pictures, with other funny pictures. And of course all those likes and comments appear in their friend’s timelines again, which in turn gets them interested. It thus is a vicious circle, in which the Facebook community engages. What also helps to make the page more popular is that their posts are also always commented by their social media experts and that makes the ‘reader’ more engaged with the content. They feel like there is someone actually talking to them.
I just really want to label this as a phenomenon, since I am not sure, whether it is even a trend. Actually, I am quite excited to see, what will happen to Virgin Radio Lebanon’s Facebook presence. One thing that is for sure though, is that “social media is the access point to the station”. (Year, 2013) The concept of Virgin Radio Lebanon is to be different from other stations, because of that approach. It wants to be accessible and responsive at any time.
That is why I think that Virgin Radio Lebanon will be around for quite a while. Well, maybe that is what I hope for, since their posts are sometimes really lightening up my day.
Happy Christmas holidays everyone! 🙂