A few days ago, the small but proud (although fake) nation of San Escobar drew the attention of the entire world, when the Polish minister of Foreign Relations named the allegedly Caribbean country as one the nations supporting Poland as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. However, the minister later said he meant St. Kitts and Nevis. But it was too late, the social media mayhem was already going strong.
Meme platforms are very popular among Polish Internet users and social media in general. It wasn’t a surprise that Facebook was soon swarming with memes about San Escobar and its friendship with Poland’s government. A few hours after the story went viral, new fanpages started showing up. The “official” Page of the Democratic Republic of San Escobar being the most successful, with over 93 thousands fans as of January 13th. We decided to check who was liking the page and which pages they interact with the most, giving us some insight into their interests (learn more about how we do it and why it’s important).
At first we wanted to determine the prevailing political views of fans of the Democratic Republic of San Escobar. The most popular politician among them is Robert Biedroń, the left-wing and openly gay mayor of Słupsk, a town in Northern Poland, often billed as the next leader of the liberals. Among other political Pages popular within San Escobar’s community, the liberal and left side is dominant. The only exception is Janusz Korwin-Mikke – the most popular politician on Polish Facebook – a conservative and somewhat controversial MEP. The other prominent politicians and parties supported by the Escobarian community are the social-democratic Razem, one of its leaders Adrian Zandberg, Civic Platform’s Sławomir Nitras and Radek Sikorski, as well as Paweł Kukiz and Ryszard Petru, leaders of the opposition parties Kukiz ’15 and Nowoczesna, respectively.
However, the highest percentage of engaged users is shared with Marcelina Zawisza, another left-wing politician from Razem. Looking at the chart above in the percentage of mutual users column, the amount of left-wing politicians and parties is even stronger.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the most popular posts are satirizing the Polish government. Like this one showing the alleged president of the republic (when in fact, it’s an archival photo of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of ruling party) or the one, where people of San Escobar thank minister Waszczykowski for spreading the word about the country. Others make reference to Polish pop-culture or are humorous comment on the event. What struck us is the fact that people started creating more and more Pages related to the fictional country. There’s even a Jewish Community Center in Escobar, as well as several parties, some of them being spoofs of local Polish politics.
San Escobar went so viral, that other brands and media wanted to write something about it and use it to leverage their brand awareness. Just about everyone was talking about San Escobar. Various airlines started announcing that they were going to start operating flights to Santo Subito (country’s capital), travel agencies started offering vacations there (especially on the famous beach Esperal – another nod to Poland) and the Jesuits shared a photo of their abandoned mission.
Oh, and we had a pretty high number of new clients from San Escobar.
This is how the small hiccup from the Minister of Foreign Affairs became an (almost) real country, with lots of activity on social media.