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WrestleMania has turned to social media to keep the public’s interest for a match it announced a year in advance. World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE) announced the main event for WrestleMania over a year in advance, turning the event into an international media spectacle. The big match will feature the biggest names in wrestling history like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena.
SVP of Digital Operations for WWE Jason Hoch relaunched WWE.com with social media at its core. According to Hoch, they have built the entire site to be socially enabled. Users will be able to follow their favorite stars on multiple social networks and interact with them. WrestleMania and related hashtages dominated Twitter throughout the event. However, Hoch stated that the key element to social media is closely monitoring the appropriateness of that level of interaction.
Social media has made wrestlers more valuable in the eyes of the WWE. Professional wrestler Zack Ryder was a key individual that pushed social onto the WWE radar, which elevated the corporate importance of social media and his career in the process. Ryder was not always the biggest star in the WWE, but by embracing social media, he was able to engage with his fans and increase his star power.
The engagement strategy is working beautifully for WWE. The wrestlers actively tweet, retweet, and engage fans. The stars’ accounts combined have over 60 million Twitter followers and 20 million Facebook likes. In 2011, they received over 1 billion views on their channel on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube. The actual WrestleMania event broke attendance and gate records with over 78,000 fans.
WWE, in partnership with Echo, is able to access the technology that translates the thousands of tweets and likes they receive per second into information that can integrate into their live broadcasts. Basically, WWE is able to execute a social media strategy that ties into web, broadcasts, and live events. It looks like wrestling is taking social media by storm.
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