January 22, 2013 - Comments Off on They know everything about you: how real-time social media insight could feed the Utopia marketing strategy

They know everything about you: how real-time social media insight could feed the Utopia marketing strategy

As Utopia hit our television screens at 10pm last Tuesday night (15/01), literally thousands of viewers turned to Twitter to ask each other exactly what was going on – and exactly who is and where is Jessica Hyde?!

But it wasn’t just the twists and often shocking turns of the show that had us hooked: here at Bloom we were already excited and intrigued by the unique build-up that the show was having on social media. From 2pm on the day of the show until 2am the following morning, we put Whisper – our unique in-house earned media planning tool – to use, monitoring the equally interesting twists and turns of the Twitter conversations that surrounded the show.

Who was perceived to be influencing the conversation?

On the morning of the first episode, @C4Utopia sent out creepy ‘They Know Everything about You’ videos to unsuspecting Twitter accounts. The videos claimed that ‘they’ knew intimate details of their recipients’ lives. The recipients of the videos were mainly journalists and broadcasters – ‘traditional’ influencers who (it was hoped) would spark conversation online and column inches offline. We were intrigued by this strategy and set Whisper to work to track the impact of these videos across Twitter.

We monitored 10 Twitter profiles who received the videos. Together, these recipients responded to the video by tweeting #utopia a total of 32 times. Their tweets were then re-tweeted 590 times.

So how influential were these recipients?

At around 2:30pm on Tuesday @GabrielTate1  the TV Editor at Time Out – tweeted: “Caramba. This’ll teach me to share intimate details of my personal life #Utopia http://t.co/ejbC75dr via @youtube” in response to the video that@C4Utopia had sent him, which claimed that ‘they’ knew about his New Year’s shenanigans. This was re-tweeted 3times within half an hour, making him influential for a brief time.

Editor in chief of Heat Magazine, @luciecave, tweeted about her shocked response to her @C4Utopia video and ‘their’ knowledge of her ‘star shaped lamp’. This was re-tweeted 21 times throughout the period that we were listening. As we can see from the graph below, this meant that @luciecave remained consistently influential throughout the entire period, but her level of influence was never very high.

The Daily Mirror’s deputy TV editor, @MirrorJeffers, tweeted 6 times using the hashtag #utopia. These were re-tweeted 60 times. His tweet “Must say I’ve not seen many British films at cinema shot as well as this. Visually superb #Utopia”, sent just after 10:50pm, was re-tweeted 44 times alone. This made him extremely influential in the conversation at this time, but this time only, as the show was already coming to a close.

The most influential of these video recipients was presenter and broadcaster, @rickedwards1He sent 3 tweets as the show was being aired which were re-tweeted a whopping 388 times, dwarfing all other recipients in the influence graph.

Although @rickedwards1’s influence score was very high, again, this was only towards the end of the show and he was the only one of the recipients to have such an impact.

Whilst @C4Utopia’s video strategy was relatively successful in building a buzz around the show online, Whisper’s findings leave us with a few questions. How does the influence of the video recipients compare to the influence of all other tweeters involved in the conversation during the time we were monitoring? And was there anything else that@C4Utopia could have done in real-time to spark conversation amongst the general Twitter sphere for a longer period of time?

What else was being said and who else was influential?

During the time-frame that Whisper was running, the following happened amongst the general Twitter population:

2,972 of tweeters asked a question about the show. 301 wanted to know about Jessica Hyde1,276  mentionedspoons, 395 were ‘confused’ and 490 of us just wanted to know what was going on!

The top 5 influencers over all time-frames and all tweeters were as follows:


Twitter Handle

Followers Count
















Interestingly, of this list only @rickedwards1 had been sent a build-up video.

 @C4Utopia managed to achieve the 3rd most influential position in the conversation with just 1,233 followers. This stat reveals what Whisper does best: showing true influence around a specific conversation and not simply providing a score that reflects their followers count.

@C4Utopia’s 34 tweets were re-tweeted 102 times, whilst @rickedwards1’s 4 tweets were re-tweeted 396times in total. This shows that whilst it’s not all about the number of followers, it’s not all about who is shouting the most either.

Star of the show, @NathanSJarrett, who tweeted a massive 42 times – more frequently than any other tweeter – was only 18th most influential@rickedwards1’s tweets were the most influential because they managed to engage more in the conversation and had a greater influence on what others were saying.

What could @C4Utopia have done with this insight?

By being able to watch the conversation evolve in real-time and keep track of how influence changes over time,@C4Utopia could have extended their initial video build-up strategy by targeting individuals during the programme with personalised content that would encourage greater sharing – and therefore create extended conversation and buzz.

Top celebrities who were found consistently influential, such as James Cordon, Sharon Horgan and Jack Whitehall, could be targeted. ‘Real people’ could be targeted too, such as @martin_mug – a tweeter who proved consistently influential throughout the duration of the show and was a brilliant example of a tweeter who was able to extend the conversation into different networks.

Here at Bloom, we’re currently running similar real-time influencer monitoring and content creation strategies for some of our clients. Channel 4’s Utopia transmedia marketing strategy has rightly gained a lot of media traction, and it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves!

Have you been watching Utopia? What do you think about the transmedia strategy? And do you think that real-time influence tracking will have a part to play in TV and entertainment marketing in the future?