WWE laying the Social Smackdown
I write this from my sofa as I wait for the 2014 Royal Rumble. Yes, I’m a wrestling fan! Love it or hate it, it’s pure entertainment & the company are leaders, like, miles ahead of anyone in terms of dominating the world of social media.
In September 2013 WWE announced it had reached the 200 million milestone of social media followers over all their accounts. The Superstars handle their own Twitter accounts, but they are constantly watched to ensure everything is in line with what will be happening storyline wise. The story is key to the show & storyline extend across into the social universe to keep the action going all week, rather than just on Mondays & Fridays (and Sundays for PPVs!).
What I admire is the use of social during the shows, which then allows the engagement and conversation to continue when television transmission ends. From hashtags in the top corner of the screen (they’ve recently started to use a different hashtag for each match to try and dominate the trends even more!) to the superstars coming out to the ring & having their twitter handle on the screen, it all makes a difference. Superstars tweet during the show, the WWE universe can shape the direction of the show by getting involved with polls on the app & on Twitter.
As each superstar is a brand within their own right (John Cena sells more t-shirts than we can possibly imagine!) it makes sense to have so many individual accounts. There are over 100 different accounts maintained by WWE on Facebook alone. As everything is instant in social, this obviously goes hand in hand with the scripted WWE. If it’s audience loves a certain superstar, the writers can work that & ultimately develop something that people want to watch, whilst also doing things that will get the audience talking.
Around 1500 pieces of unique content are created each week which are all optimised for the social universe. As it’s a television show at it’s core, YouTube is ideal & over 150,000 subscribers can’t be wrong! WWE also has a perfect 99 influence rating on Klout.
Pre-show matches are streamed not only on the WWE website, but also across the social networks they are part of – including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterst, YouTube, Instagram & Pheed. This is ideal for getting it’s audience ready for the Pay Per View, and also giving them a little taster so they’ll hopefully buy the show! The WWE, is, afterall, a business looking to make money.
I will be involved with Twitter conversation during the Royal Rumble tonight & I know for sure that #RoyalRumble will be the top trend worldwide, with superstar names, surprise Rumble participants & winners of the other matches all popping up in the trends too. Whilst all of this isn’t ideal for smaller business, we can learn a lot from the WWE & admire the direction they’re taking the business in social.