Another session from Social Media Week London, this one social media, Wimbledon and their partnership with IBM.
Alex Willis (Wimbledon)
In 2011 the Wimbledon team set out a 3 year plan to improve their digital experience. At the time they had started to engage on social, with 300k FB fans and 150k Twitter followers. They had 2 websites (one for all year round and one for the championships), and used radio and video; they had an app same as site. But their channels were not connected.
Their 3 year plan was about:
- Extending reach
- Ensuring everything on brand
- Extend channels and apps
Their position is “to be the next best thing to being there”
- Some numbers: 1.7m downloads of mobile app, 400k on iPad. These both provide a personalised experience. They have a ‘live at Wimbledon TV channel online/apps/YouTube. They had 1.3m streams – 58% of this on the .com. 17.1m visit website; 4.5m social audience. The .com is 80% of the digital audience – on desktop. (Wimbledon audience very different to CPG trends for example – so at work?, content needs the real estate?)
- The have developed a clear tone of voice: Tradition, heritage, prestige, pinnacle, English. A slightly bumbly English gentleman. They look to be relevant, useful, unique.
- During the Championships, they have 1 person per platform, to make sure they make the best of the each platform and to ensure the different roles are clear. (this is temp only, rest of year it is just Alex)
- They have far higher outbound activity and earned conversations than the other grand slams. They have extra freedom as they are not limited by commercial constraints, they don’t promote sponsors and they can stay true to the brand.
- They have started to focus on content partners for the different platforms. They worked with Grabyo for video; with specific player interviews and Q&A. Partnering with players who then shared on own accounts; they did some quirky stuff with them as well in videos. . They ran different promotions per platform, eg a Queue Selfie on Twitter, #MyWimbledon on Google+, Live video channel on YouTube. They had a Facebook photobooth in the players lounge, but it did not get any traction. They tried a Murray Digigraph, tweet and get a response from Murray.
- They have experimented a lot with Video headlines on YouTube, they can be a lot more informal then their same video on their own site. They also did a content partnership with YouTubers and got Tom Daley involved in a partnership.
New in 2014 was Hill vs World. Which was an in-ground activation, something they are trying to do more. They asked questions on the screen and compared answers with those not there.
- They have tested out foreign language, so 3 Chinese feeds on Weibo, geotargeted Japanese content on Facebook
- They have had very good growth – without paid media. FB1.6m to 2.4m; Instagram 100k to 200k; Twitter 700k to 1.18m; G+ to 1.2m. YT 15m views in the 2 wks, a 61% growth. Facebook ORGANIC reach of 12.7m on 6th July.
Chris Thomas (IBM)
Their requirements were frequent data updates (every 5 mins); the ability to identify trends and themes; be part of the conversation; demo the power of social media to their clients; provide easy to use visualisations; fully automated; offend nobody (so heavy filtering and management). Their social media hub at Wimbledon was in public view and was used for client entertainment.
Tech wise they provided Watson Content analytics, which is NL analysis. The IBM emerging tech services provided apps; the IBM research/Customer Experience labs identified influencers. It was all hosted in the Soft Layer (cloud). It was all presented through a very, very nice dashboard.
The dashboard allowed you to dig, slice and dice in may ways. Volume of conversations, trending topics, sentiment. Eg on 3 July sentiment dipped negatively, all because Sharapova commented about Tendulka. (#Wimbledon mentioned stayed positive). They could did down to show what was being said, they could then amend and change topics to keep focus on the tennis.
They measured influencers across the day/topics and this allowed them to understand the conversations and connect with it. They measure (and this seemed to be on Twitter only):
- Engagement – responses
- Activty – number of posts
- Authority – who RT etc
- Timeliness – how quick were responses
- Followers – numbers
In summary, their key learnings were to integrate the digital and social strategies, you need a consistent brand experience and you need to organise yourself to listen and act. You need to have the right people in place who understand the digital world.
Some responses to audience questions
- An audience question was about the bottom line and Wimbledon are in the slightly unusual position that it does not matter for them, there is no objective to make money from the digital. But it does open up opportunities as they are using the metrics to identify new territories to focus on based on interest, allows them to focus.
- They have started a process to engage with the other grand slams to co-ordinate some activity across the year.
For IBM it is a showcase for new business to show what they can do with partners
- Wimbledon continuously look to innovate (and are planning next year). They tried a Fantasy format this year.
- They are starting to use their historic archives to keep engagement going all year.