Social Media Bodyslam

Growing up in Appalachia, I was naturally a big wrestling fan.  My weekends were filled with matches of Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan and the Road Warriors (aka Legion of Doom).  Even in college, my roommates and I would watch WWF’s (now WWE’s) Monday Night Raw and laugh at the antics of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Shoot, I’ll even swing by a bar and watch a Wrestlemania pay-per-view every once in a while.

So when I saw that Monday Night Raw was celebrating its 1,000 episode, I tuned in to the historic event.  While watching the show, I was amazed to see how professional wrestling has embraced social media.

But was it too much?

  • Twitter: Though out the night, little graphics would run across the screen that read, “#TheRock trending worldwide”
  • Tout: The ring announcers would keep referring to tout, while encouraging fans to “tout about RAW.”  During the show, clips were shown of fans “touting” what they thought of the show.  To be honest, I had never heard of tout until that Monday night.
  • Social Media Ambassador: Charlie Sheen was given the title of “Social Media Ambassador,” which essential meant that Charlie popped in from time to time via Skype

By no means is this the first time the WWE has relied on internet interaction for publicity and ratings.  In fact it can be debated that the company helped pioneer online social interaction.

In 2004, the WWE introduced Taboo Tuesday, an event where fans could vote on stipulations for every match.  Fans could vote via text messaging and online polls.  Since then, the organization has invested time and money into boosting their brand online.

But back to the original point, is the WWE’s current tactics over the top?  It depends on who you ask.

Even though I may find it over bearing, it doesn’t matter what I think.

The company’s current customer focus is children and teens; not early thirty somethings. By utilizing social media in their televised live events, the WWE is creating a bond with their target market by using a communication tool they use on a regular basis.  Through testing the waters and branching out to various social media tools, the WWE will be able to find out what works best and capitalize on their “trial & error” research.

Who knows, it may only be a matter of time before Brother Love has his own podcast.

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About Jeremy M. Price
For twelve years, I had the pleasure of working in community banking. Starting in customer service, I worked my way up to a senior level marketing and human resources director. It was great leading teams that improved strategic initiatives including, but not limited to brand awareness, digital communication, employee development and product development. This experience has now led to an exciting role with CRS Data. As the Product Marketing Analyst, I am currently reviewing the company's banker suite product. This product is able to help community banks reach their fullest potential in real estate lending. I am extremely fortunate to share time with my son while enjoying life in East Tennessee. The two of us enjoy the views of the Smokey Mountains, eating good food and having fun. During my free time, I enjoy running races, traveling and listening to great live music.

4 Responses to Social Media Bodyslam

  1. I was never a big WWF fan, but my maternal grandfather sure loved it. His favorite wrestler was Baron Von Raschke – http://www.baronvonraschke.com Nobody could escape the ClawMaster.

  2. jenataoson says:

    I think they’ll use any strategy to boost fan base. Isn’t this the same company that tried to create their own football branch? Guessing that was a fail. Great post Mr.Priceless!

    • Thanks for the feedback. In addition to the XFL (the failed football league), the organization also created the short lived World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF).
      Though these two ventures did not pan out, the company has apparently learned from those examples and have focused more on growing the WWE brand.

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