Negative comments only accounted for around 10% of mentions, with some 16,500 Twitter conversations about the topic. South African artists responded warmly to the news, helping to shape the positive sentiment of the conversation. Most negative comments came from social media users who felt that the move would hurt the listenership of the affected SABC reader stations.
The vast majority of the conversation (92%) originated in South Africa, but there were hundreds of mentions from the UK, Zimbabwe, Botswana & Lesotho as well. Users in southern African countries learnt about the SABC’s local content decision from tweets by South African artists and celebrities.
Given that radio stations in many neighbouring countries already play mostly or exclusively local content, many social media users in those countries were surprised that the ruling is only being made in South Africa now. The UK conversation was sparked by a BBC News report. Metro and 5FM garnered more mentions than any other stations.
Says Andre Steenekamp, CEO of 25AM: “Management and content producers at the SABC must be delighted to learn that South Africans have come out in strong support of local content. This analysis highlights how organisations can use social media to inform their decision-making in real-time and to understand how their customers and communities are responding to their latest announcements and developments. This window into customer sentiment can help organisations understand customer needs better and to react in a more agile manner to their markets.”