Wimbledon smashes a winning return on social media.
Social media accounts revolving around sporting events, or anything to do with sport for that matter, is tricky business. Sport drives up a huge amount of debate and traffic online more than pretty much anything besides politics and a member of One Direction having a nap.
Every 12 months, Wimbledon outdoes itself across all of its ever growing platforms on social media and this year was no different.
It covers live tweets of all the huge matches, has access to every single competitor in the tournament and even has video clips of in-match shots as they happen. There aren’t many sports that can provide that kind of coverage so quickly on their own branded online platforms.
The excellent relationship that the tournament holds with the rights holders BBC is a huge benefit. Having previously rejected huge money offers from Sky to stay with the BBC allows them to continue to work in conjunction with them, with social media one of the biggest beneficiaries of this in recent years.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club even rejected advances from BT to televise the smaller matches outside of the larger courts. This gives space for much more exclusive content across the Wimbledon social media platforms and reaches out to real hardcore tennis fans as well.
Twitter has seen the real power of Wimbledon’s social media strategy. As well as introducing exclusive new emojis for the duration of the tournament when anyone tweets #Wimbledon, they have utilised Twitter’s new Auto Amplify video tool that allows advertisers to sell pre-roll advertisements alongside the videos uploaded.
There is constant interaction with players old and new as well, which sets up a huge potential reach for both users for whatever tweet is sent out. Having this kind of interaction with tennis superstars gives the platform a huge amount of leverage within the online sporting world. Fans of Roger Federer for example will see the player interacting with the account and automatically think ‘if it’s good enough for the best tennis player of the past 15 years, it’s good enough for me!’
But it’s not just on Twitter where the Wimbledon social media team excel. Vine and Periscope have been utilised to show everything from player messages to excellent time lapping shots of Henman Hill throughout the day. They hired short film director Gwri Pennar to take charge of these exquisite artistic shots throughout the tournament. The results really did show.
Over on Instagram, the social media team strived to post up not only high quality content but varied content as well. With such huge engagements across nearly all their posts, it has proved to be yet another hugely successful platform for them.
The Wimbledon accounts know what their users want and it knows how to produce that content in a way that truly optimises engagement. During the 2014 final, 34% of posts from the Wimbledon Twitter account were accompanied with with either a video or a picture. Compare this with the French Open account that had a 25% video/picture attachment, then just 15% on the US Open account and 14% on the Australian Open.
These results have been proved as well, with Wimbledon having more followers across all accounts than all of the other grand slams. The tournament prides itself on being the biggest tennis competition in the world and has always been known for its attention to detail and quality.
Portraying that image on social media is crucial and they have wasted no efforts in making sure it is an excellent part of the whole Wimbledon experience. Whilst some see the idea of social media as a side bar, Wimbledon have embraced advancements in online social interaction and is now as much a part of the tournament as the television coverage.
Novak Djokavic and Serena Williams were the winners on court this year. Online though, it’s Wimbledon that continues to dominate the fierce and overcrowded world of sport on social media.