Written By: Adam Dince
In third-grade, my next door neighbor Fred, introduced me to the world of professional wrestling. A few nights a week, I’d go over to his house to watch the WWF (now the WWE) and a few other wrestling organizations that were on TV back then. Fred and his dad were true fans of the sport and they converted me in to one as well. Nearly three decades later, I’m still a pro-wrestling fan and wear my colors proudly.
One of the things that keeps me attached to my childhood vice is how well the WWE connects with me through social media. A few years ago, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) went social. They knew there was a massive opportunity to use the second screen experience to increase fan base, engagement, loyalty and revenue. During televised shows: they scroll live Tweets across the bottom of the TV screen, broadcast fan and WWE Superstar Touts and leverage their WWE talent to draw viewership by updating social networks with nail-biting teasers.
Not too long ago, the WWE introduced the WWE App for the iPhone, iPad and Android operating systems. The WWE App allows fans to catch up with their favorite superstars, view photos and videos and provides new ways for fans to interact during televised programming. One of my favorite WWE App features is that it gives its fans an alternative to sitting through TV commercials. To keep their fans engaged and tied to the storylines during the WWE broadcasts, the WWE App features live streaming content during commercial breaks.
The WWE views their fans as more then a number they can tout. They approach social media as more than a 5 day a week, 8 hour a day job. The WWE’s social interactivity is 24/7 and social networking is ingrained in WWE’s DNA from the Chairman of The Board, Vince McMahon, down the chain. And in my opinion, nobody does it better.
And folks, the proof is in the pudding. WWE has over 220 million fans through it’s social media networks, while its App brags a robust 8 million downloads across 220 countries. Source. In addition, on February 24, 2014, the WWE will launch the WWE Network.
For $9.99 a month, the WWE Network will make available over 100,000 hours of its video library content, including all live pay-per-views and televised programming. That’s a fraction of what cable networks charge. To do this, the WWE Network will not be broadcast on Cable TV–it will distributed on desktops/laptops, Playstation 3 & 4, Xbox 360, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Roku, tablets, mobile devices, and more.
In my opinion, there aren’t many brands that get social media like the WWE does. They think outside the box and they’re not afraid to try new things. They don’t follow trends, the WWE sets them. And in closing, I’ll let one of the WWE’s most outspoken Superstars speak his mind.