It’s that time of the year again when Barker, Castle and co. descend on the sun/rain drenched lawns of SW19. Only this year, they’ll front up the BBC’s most extensive Wimbledon coverage ever.
Gone are the days when viewers are force-fed selected live tennis matches, instead it’s now possible to stream, commentate, discuss and share information on any match that is taking place at the world’s most prestigious Grand Slam.
Whether it’s Federer’s suave new outfit, Murray’s current mood swing, or Serena’s latest ‘scream-a-thon’, there will be 10 streams a day across a four-screen platform of PCs, tablets, mobiles and connected TVs, to allow for real-time commentary, discussion and sharing from players, fans, and celebrities alike. It won’t matter if you’re on the train, toilet, or sailing the seven seas; chances are you will be able to keep up to speed with every slice, shank and grunt as and when they happen.
Social media interaction is surging year on year, and television channels are giving their viewers a voice by setting Twitter handles to follow and hashtags to comment on. For Wimbledon 2013, @Wimbledon is the official Twitter account along with @BBCSport, and #Wimbledon is the official hashtag.
So, why drive content through social media channels, all readily available across a four-screen platform?
During the sporty summer of 2012, there were 150 million tweets during the Olympics, an average of 267,200 tweets per minute during the Euro 2012 Final, and 13.7 million tweets during the Super Bowl (source: Sports Networker). By any account these figures are insanely high, which suggests people want a voice and have a burning desire for others to hear their point of view. Watching sport is no longer enough. You only have to scan the crowd on Centre Court to see spectators glued to their phones, seemingly more enthralled in the ‘Twittersphere’ rather than the source of the action itself.
Essentially consumers are getting greedy, wanting to be fed fresh content day and night, wherever they are in the world and about whichever topic they choose. Businesses and companies have to find ingenious ways to fulfil this hunger and to take advantage of the potentially huge, untapped audience that is sitting behind every smartphone, tablet and laptop.
Here are the basics of social media:
1. It’s free to set up an account
2. A large audience can be reached
3. There’s the opportunity to build brand loyalty - a well executed social media strategy can help entertain and engage consumers
4. It acts as an information channel - companies can concisely provide a steady stream of information to their social following
5. Offers real time insight - when attending events or exhibitions, hashtags can be set up so followers can have up to the minute information into the latest keynote speech or heroes and villains on the day
6. It provides numerous SEO benefits- there will be an increase of inbound links to your company website
7. It can act as a real traffic driver - It encourages measurable links to your website articles or landing pages
Whilst we’re in Wimbledon fortnight, why not keep up to date to see the levels of interaction by checking #Wimbledon. You’ll soon begin to realise there is an audience attentively waiting for the next brand or company to follow, to start communicating and engaging with.
There are currently:
- 1.5bn social networking users globally
- 80 per cent of total online users interact with social networks regularly
- 90 per cent of companies using social technologies report business benefit
(Source: The Social Economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies, McKinsey Global Institute, 2012).