How Wimbledon uses social media listening to enhance user experience

By July 4, 2014 No Comments

Well that’s it then. He’s out. Andy Murray’s reign at Wimbledon came to an abrupt end this week as he was swiftly dispatched by some Bulgarian bloke on Centre Court. Gutted! Well OK, ‘some Bulgarian bloke’ might be an unfair assessment of Grigor Dimitrov, but I’m still bitter and will need time to come to terms with this difficult loss.

Right, now I’ve had time to come to terms with this difficult loss, I’ll admit that Grigor’s a very skilled tennis player and his serve could put holes in a tank. I send him my sincerest well wishes for the rest of the tournament. Kind of.

Anyway, on with the blog post. Staying with Wimbledon, I was impressed by the tournament organiser’s clever use of a newly-designed social listening tool. The Social Media Command Centre, hosted on IBM cloud technology SoftLayer, was introduced this year by the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s editorial team as a way to monitor fan interest and tailor content according to trending topics of conversation.

A key plank of any successful content marketing strategy is using social media platforms as tools to engage with – not broadcast to – their customers, which is no mean feat in the world of live sport where the speed of real-time interaction rivals that of a Dimitrov forehand.

Before either of the men’s semi-finals has gotten underway, events in SW19 generated more than 5 million tweets alone. Just as the umpires at Wimbledon need Hawk Eye to help them make the right calls, the tournament’s social media team needs the latest digital technology to keep track of the constant stream of online interaction.

By listening to what topics are being discussed between members of your potential audience, you’re better placed to deliver the content people are interested in and will want to repost. And this is where The Social Command Centre can be used as a tool for your market research, content strategy and social media strategy all in one.

In the case of the All England Tennis Club, its aim was not just to offer fans “the next best thing to being here” through live texts, stats, scores, video and audio updates. It also set out to listen and respond in real time to fans’ sentiments towards the Wimbledon brand.

Why? So the tournament organiser’s social media team could adjust its content marketing strategy and provide users with fresh content they’re likely to share, and consequently encourage more people to interact with Wimbledon’s digital channels.

So this nifty bit of technology keeps tennis fans around the world up to date with all latest goings on, letting those people at home get a feel for the atmosphere experienced down at courtside. Even when Murray’s getting slaughtered. So that’s fun. (Damn you, Dimitrov!)

On a positive sporting note, it’s good to see Southerly’s tip for World Cup glory is still in the mix. C’mon Belgium!

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