Battle of the soap operas in social

Whether you’ll admit it or not, many of us enjoy snuggling up on the sofa at the end of the day for a daily dose of our favourite soap opera. Nowadays, thanks to the ‘two screening’ phenomenon, this delight is now reflected online, with many of us engaging on social platforms whilst we watch our favourite shows.

But how are our beloved soap operas performing on social media in general?

Eastenders comes out on top when it comes to the soaps’ owned Twitter profiles. @bbcEastenders has a hefty follower base of 301,108, followed by @itvcorrie with 215,040, @hollyoaks with 166,070 and in last place @emmerdale with a mere 136,549 (that’s less than half the size of the Eastenders following). Follower counts not to be scoffed at…

However, it’s the Facebook statistics for the soaps that are really impressive (in the millions!). Again, we see Eastenders rule this space.

What’s interesting to note is that each Page has grown at a rate between 2-6% since August last year, but it is Emmerdale’s Page, with the smallest Fan count, which has seen the greatest acquisition in recent months (5.5% vs. 2.3% for Hollyoaks, 4% Coronation Street and Eastenders 4.8%).

What’s clear from a quick look at each Page is that the soaps are getting their content strategy right, engaging their Fans with bespoke images and questions.  Monday’s post to the Eastenders’ Page drew in close to 10,000 comments on a single post. The stuff of dreams for many brands…

And what about hashtags?

When it comes to conversation volumes around a given hashtag, we have a clear cut winner; with #eastenders returning close to 300,000 mentions over a 6-month period, that’s 23 times the volumes for #emmerdale!

A search of tweets using the hashtag #eastenders returned an impressive 67,013 tweets on 25th December alone! Check out the impressive spike on the chart below.

A quick look at the conversation cloud for this day would enable even a non-Eastenders viewer to work out that a murder or death of some sort had taken place on Albert Square! The Christmas plot clearly caught the audience’s attention…

So, from a quick look we can clearly see how social media has created an entirely new dimension to the soap opera experience. Viewers are now able to take their conversations and opinions, which were previously confined to the living room or the office, into the online space.

What I also find really exciting is the opportunity for the writers and producers of the shows to tap into real-time insight. I do hope they are listening!  Thinking about giving a character the chop? Why not check out what people are saying about them online first. Not sure which road to go down for the latest plot? Find out what the viewers are calling for…

Next time you snuggle down to watch the latest episode of Corrie, why not check out what others are saying? You might enjoy being part of the conversation!

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