|The Big Brother Africa Facebook page has reached a major milestone: on Wednesday 28 March the number of people who’d ‘liked’ the page hit the magical 700 000 mark.
What’s even more remarkable about this achievement is that over 100 000 of these ‘likes’ were picked up after the Season 6 finale (at the end of July 2011) and the date in question – that is, when Big Brother Africa wasn’t even on-air.
With Season 7 of the series, titled StarGame, premiering on 6 May (with guest performer J.Cole), this number is set to rise to seven figures in 2012 – undoubtedly the biggest social media presence on the continent for an African television show. The show’s Twitter stream is also doing pretty well and is currently followed by close to 80 000 people.
These huge numbers have been achieved through a strategic social rollout schedule implemented during the 91 days of the season – and outside it. While the show is on-air (broadcast on a special DStv channel to the bulk of the continent), the page acts as a mouthpiece for the (often wildly divergent) views of the African audience.
Updates that highlight the action whether it be live show performance and evictions or simply happenings in the Big Brother House – generally attract thousands of comments from viewers across Africa (sometimes thousands of comments within minutes), reflecting the pull and popularity of the show.
Also key to the social strategy is to link to and highlight the content rolling out on the show’s official website, from articles and features that focus on what’s newsworthy to anywhere up to three-dozen daily video highlights.
Outside of the three-month season, the page will link to items of interest to the massive Big Brother Africa audience, such as updates on what the Housemates have been up to. This year the page also promoted the online entry form and mass audition days, with focussed updates to specific countries in some cases.
The page also publicises all then latest news around the show, from the revealing of the season theme to the announcement of major international guest performers.
Says Head of Portals for DStvOnline, Graeme Cumming: “Big Brother Africa is one of the biggest shows on the continent, and we realised a long time ago that it was important to get this content to our users using as many platforms as possible. We will be experimenting with deeper Facebook integration this year, and are now looking at the million fans milestone as a goal for Big Brother Africa.”