Did you see the final episode of Broadchurch on Monday? The smash-hit ITV murder mystery series came to an end this week after 8 tense instalments, watched by an incredible 9 million viewers.

The murder of Danny Latimer was finally solved (the file is still open on the serial murder of the Dorset accent), and the principle cast are now busy clearing extra shelf space in anticipation of the shower of BAFTAs they are likely to receive at the end of the year.

As well as being lauded for its gripping, slow-burn storyline, Broadchurch has also been widely praised for the gorgeous Dorset scenery used in the show. The real-life setting for the fictional town of Broadchurch was West Bay near Bridport, with its picturesque harbour and towering sandstone cliffs featuring prominently in the show.

Our friends at West Dorset Leisure Holidays were quick to recognise the potential of Broadchurch to create massive interest in West Bay and the Dorset coastline, so throughout the last eight weeks they have tweeting and posting on Facebook about the show and the locations behind it in order to capitalise on ‘Broadchurch fever’, with the aim of increasing bookings at their Dorset holiday parks.

By using the hashtag #broadchurch on Monday nights they were able to get their messages in front of the thousands of people using Twitter to discuss their thoughts on the latest instalment of the show. A great example of putting across the right message at the right time!

The hard work of the WDLH team paid dividends with a spike in traffic coming to their website and even a hyperlinked mention on Yahoo News this week (a wonderful bit of free national PR for a medium-sized business).

It’s a superb example of a business identifying a clearly defined audience and a hook for a social media campaign, and being willing to go beyond the normal 9-5 hours in order to get the optimum platform for their message. They knew people would be on Twitter discussing Broadchurch between 9pm and 10pm on a Monday, and saw this would be a great opportunity to engage and capitalise on the interest in the Dorset locations featured in the show.

A successful social media marketing campaign is like a good murder mystery investigation – it helps to have an idea of who you’re chasing, to have a motive in mind and to be prepared to keep going until you succeed!