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How to win big with social media

Thought Leader

How to win big with social media


Is there really a strategy behind social media? Is it not just uploading the occasional selfie to Facebook and hoping it's a hit? Unfortunately, this will only get you so far. Virgin Media Pioneer Social Media Makes Sense – SMMS – explains how they helped the BBC’s Poldark win a BAFTA.


Have you encountered social media challenges with your business? Remember you can ask Charlotte in the comments below, or check out our discussion boards.


Let’s hear it from Charlotte Oxborough, Social Media Coordinator at Social Media Makes Sense…

Imagine salty sea air, mercilessly fighting against a rugged Cornish coastline, broken up only by derelict yet architecturally stunning mining factories. I am describing 18th century Cornwall, the home of BBC's hit drama, Poldark. The award-winning show’s success has exceeded expectations and with the support of an intensive social media strategy, our brooding Captain has received global appreciation.


So what was our role in getting this visually captivating drama worldwide recognition?


Awareness and engagement: two crucial words for anyone involved in Social Media, especially when it includes potential Audience Awards; perhaps the most notable of which is the BAFTA Radio Times Audience Award.


This is where SMMS come in.


The challenge: The competition took place a year after the heart shattering season finale of Poldark Series 1. With only a limited amount of new content, it was important for the social media team (SMMS) to maximise the assets we had to boost audience engagement levels, while not using all our most valuable content in one go. We had to time new exclusive releases against recycling previous photos and videos.


The strategy: When it comes to interacting on social media, statistics are your holy grail. Our analysis showed that the majority of fans used Twitter to express their love for the show, more than other platforms such as Facebook or Snapchat. For this reason, we prioritised more content releases on Twitter, allowing us to reach out and interact with a larger number of Poldark supporters.  With a team of creative individuals, we found new ways to recycle old content effectively with a play on words, puns, direct quotes, creating new GIFs, etc. This provoked a reaction - getting fans voting - and maintained the anticipation for the second season sweeping through our audience. As Season 2 approached, we used this as a final push across all social media platforms and released new, exclusive pictures.

The results:


We saw a huge soar in engagement and our hard work paid off – we won the only Audience Vote award at the BAFTAs! Even after a year without Ross Poldark gracing our screens it was our duty to ensure that his devoted followers were aware of the competition and the series’ developments while gifting them with teasers, trailers and all things Poldark. And we succeeded.


Poldark beat massive TV productions such as Netflix's original series, 'Making a Murderer' and 'The Great British Bake Off' to the crown – this success was no mean feat. Radio Times emphasised just how important social media is to modern TV:


'...The impact social media made to the campaign for each show is unquestionable. The programmes that ran active social media campaigns had a far higher number of votes and it was noted that following tweets and Facebook updates from show accounts, like Poldark's, there was a spike in visitors to our website voting page.'


We continue to support Poldark and its fans daily...check out the season two trailer here.


Happy watching,


Charlotte Oxborough (Social Media Coordinator at Social Media Makes Sense) x


Ask Charlotte for advice on your biggest social media challenges – get in touch by commenting below.