Season Two of Euphoria has proved nothing short of a global phenomenon. It’s become the most tweeted about TV show of all time, and the second most-watched show in the history of HBO.
As in my last post, I’m going to use social listening to understand who is talking about the show in the UK. Most of the press coverage I’ve read has been from middle-aged journos who are exhausted/traumatised from just watching the show. A theme that started at the beginning of the first season – but who are the show’s actual fans and what do they think?
For this project, I’ve analysed the Twitter conversation using #Euphoria originating in the UK from Feb 1st until the season finalé.
I looked at 9.1k original posts, which generated 50k engagements and 23 million impressions.
This is interesting in itself, as it indicates that people are sharing and liking others’ content much more than creating their own. It also tells us that many of the fans are tweeting tens of times per week about the show. In fact, there were only 15.1k unique authors in the entire search, further enforcing the idea that this fandom shows their love through others’ creations.
Who are the Euphora fandom?
The first thing to note is that these fans are rabid. Many of them live-tweeted the show, with one fan tweeting about the show an incredible 702 times during the final month of the show being on air.
The overall audience is more than 70% female and almost 50% of them live in or around London.
This audience has no particular influencer/celebrity affinities, only 27% of them are following Zendaya and 30% Ariane Grande and these are the two most common affinities.
Here instead we are seeing at least 7 disparate groups of people who aren’t particularly connected, all talking about the show in their own way.
For example, the LGBTQA+ audience are primarily male, and they talk more about Rue than any other character, whereas the Glaswegian cluster who were 3 x as likely to be female talked more about Fez.
Other interesting findings included the discovery of a cluster of female wrestling enthusiasts (both females who wrestle themselves and fans of female wrestlers) who over-index on Twitch use. These folks are more interested in talking about Rue and Maddy than anything else.
When are they online?
As we’ve seen before, the strategy of weekly episode drops is one that works particularly well for driving social conversation, as these fans tend to live tweet/next day tweet the show and then not really talk about it until the next episode. This ensures the social longevity of the conversation.
When we see shows releasing all episodes of a season at the same time (the Netflix model) we tend to see a hyper-concentrated mass of posts for 7-10 days after the initial release date, and then the conversation fades away almost entirely.
Which social platforms do they favour?
Looking at the audience as a whole we see that they over-index on using most social platforms, but that Snapchat, Spotify, Reddit and Twitch come top.
It’s interesting that Reddit is here, as I’m seeing it show up more and more in searches you wouldn’t expect it to be dominant, a testament to the ever-growing importance of Reddit as a platform.
Which characters do they like?
You might expect a huge number of the posts to mention Zendaya, considering just how popular she is right now, but only 388 original posts even mention her by name/hashtag. This compares to the almost 1k posts that talk about Rue (the character she portrays) suggests that this audience are far more interested in the characters and their stories than the actors who are playing them.
I analysed mentions of the character names over the last 5 episodes.
The first noteworthy thing is that 74% of the total posts about the show mentioned at least one character. This is a super high percentage of character posts and confirms that it’s the characters and their stories that are at the core of this show for the fans.
Rue was the fan favourite, but Fez was just behind her in terms of volume, with Cassie and Lexi following next.
When I looked specifically at the last episode, Ashtray and Fez each generated 25% of the overall conversation.
What was surprising was the lack of conversation around Nate Jacobs – for a toxic character that fans love to hate, he receives under 9% of character mentions.
Outside of the conversation around the show, I discovered that over 25% of the analysed audience were using “gorgeous gorgeous girls” regularly, and a slightly smaller number were creating content around the feminine urge. Understanding the memes that resonate with your community early on, allows you to create the right kind of content and be accepted by the fandom as you can speak the same language.
What content do they create and share?
This is a selection of the most shared and liked posts. This show is a perfect demonstration of how posts become viral. Someone with 34 followers posts content that resonates with other fans, and within a day it has over 200k likes.
Interestingly we see no official or ‘critic’ based content in the best performing content, because although these publishers have huge platforms, what they’re writing is not resonating with the fandom.
What matters to them?
I wanted to identify the core themes that came up when people talked about Euphoria. I started by looking at the keywords that were most often used by the (older) TV journos. I looked for posts that talked about it being hard to watch, and the abusive nature of the relationships, but there were so few it was negligible.
What did become apparent was that the fans of the show talk about love, and friendship and how much the show moves them (often to tears). And for a show with the tagline ‘feel something’ I would consider that a resounding success.
- There appears to be a real disconnect between the fans’ and the critics’ opinions
- Although critics may dominate the conversation in terms of impressions – their thoughts on the show are often completely misaligned with what the fans say
- The fans exist in their own social world clusters and their only real common talking point is the show
- Up to the minute memes are the perfect way for the fandom to communicate in real time
- HBO understand and facilitate this by ensuring that the most memeable moments of each show are instantly available on their official Giphy channel
- The reason for the success is that the show makes its viewers feel something. This is echoed in the social listening data. (If you’re interested, here’s a great video essay about this point)
- HBO UK share content about their own show, but don’t seem to understand what the fans like about it/how they talk. For example, they tweeted asking people to sum up Fez and Lexi’s relationship – but don’t use any of the popular ship names that fans are using
- Each social platform has a community who talks about Euphoria. Here we’ve looked only at Twitter, but the Instagram Euphoria community is filled with beauty influencers, the TikTok community love the fashion and to point out how unrealistic the whole thing is. This kind of information is invaluable when thinking about how to shape your social strategy
Why do these social listening insights matter?
By really understanding who your potential social audience is, what they like /what they don’t, you can create strategies that work. Your content can live in that magic social space between brand goals and audience interests. You can identify possible pain-points, influencers and detractors, and utilise these in your plan. You can understand when they’re online, who you need to advertise to and who you don’t so your paid social campaigns are more effective.
There are so many things you can learn when you undertake a social listening or audience mapping project. It’s not limited to social strategy, but I wouldn’t create a social strategy without social listening.
As always, if you’re interested in learning more about any online topic, or you want help with creating a social strategy that will resonate with the people you want to reach then please get in touch!