Guest post from: Megan Smith, Lead Development & Sales Operations (Predictive Analytics) in IBM. Former member of Lake Superior State University women's NCAA II tennis team, a PTR Certified Instructor and a longstanding member of the USTA
Follow Megan on Twitter at: @MeganASm1027
L'Open Français est là! The French Open is here!
Myself and tennis fans alike count down to these tournaments. Grand Slam tennis is a big deal – intensity is high and fan favorites are expected to bring their A-games.
Whether it be through a YouTube video of the pros having fun with soccer tennis, a how-to on perfecting the slice backhand, or real time updates of an autograph session, today's generation is more engaged than ever through social media; which is both enhancing the fan experience, and changing the way we consume entertainment.
Case in point: Roger Federer joining Twitter was apparently a big deal – it became a headline in itself, earning Federer over 150,000 followers within his first day of tweeting. Come tournament time in the world of professional tennis, social media is a popular outlet both for organizations and athletes to communicate with their worldwide fan base. Analytics are a key ingredient in helping the French Open play out across social channels smoothly. When dealing with massive amounts of posts across multiple platforms, social media analytics allows for the translation of this data into effective insights that result in increased fan connectivity leading to a more enhanced user experience.
As a former college tennis player and current PTR-certified instructor, I have a passion for this game, and I strive to continue growing with the sport of tennis. Social media saves me from falling behind on the multiplying pool of knowledge about my favorite athletes who made the cut at Roland-Garros. Since the advent of social media, not only do I have real-time access to Caroline Wozniacki's (@CaroWozniacki) thoughts on her first round opponent, but I also get to take part in the ongoing, controversial discussion of Sergiy Stakhovsky’s disputed call and the on-court photo he snapped and tweeted with his smartphone.
Beyond falling behind, social media enables me to experience the French Open from the grand stands as well as the baseline. What's more, with real time updates, I can stay in the know while I am miles away from the action.
Simply “following” athletes on Twitter and Instagram gives me a whole new insight to their lives on and off the court, and adds a lively new dimension to sports in general.
I feel like I can get to know Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) on a more peer-to-peer level when he posts photos on Twitter of the new bandanas Nike sent him, and asks me (and the rest of his followers) to help him choose which to wear at the French Open
Two bandanas to choose from for my 1st match tmrw: I'll let YOU decide between 1. White 2. Violet. Reply with the #! – @rogerfederer, May 25, 2013
Likewise, social media in the sports world offers athletes a voice outside of press conferences. When tennis star, Rafael Nadal (@RafaelNadal), became injured and made the decision to pull out of the London Olympics, he took to Twitter to express his frustration and his appreciation for fans' continued support
I'm sorry, I can't compete in the Olympics. This is one of the saddest moments of my career. – @RafaelNadal
Nadal used social media as an outlet by which to provide his supporters with updates on his recovery.
I predict top seeded players Serena and Nadal to walk away with the titles in this year's French Open. However, with many up and coming players, I'll be rooting for some of the rising stars such as Madison Keys, 18 year old from the United States, and Benoit Paire, 24 year old from France who loves the clay court, as they climb up the ranks and become more of a threat in future events. Stay tuned on social media and on IBM's SlamTracker to see how the tournament plays out!
It is no wonder social media analytics is an increasingly imperative tool for measuring audience reach, and consequently growing and keeping a fan base. With the Roland-Garros tennis tournament on now until June 9th, utilizing IBM's social media analytics will provide the French Open insight regarding reach across their social platforms through unique data such as user impression rather than simple click-through rates.
Accessibility is the goal. The understanding that social media analytics provides, helps the tournament to better leverage their resources and offer fans a more personable, engaging experience. In the same manner, customer sentiment analytics administer valuable insights to businesses regarding data on customer preferences that informs important business decision making.
- See how “Data is a Game Changer” in tennis today (video)
- Analyze your ROI from Social Media channels and campaigns
- Read the CDW article on the Use Social Media to Improve your Business