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How the Rugby World Cup is Utilising Social Media.

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James Walker

Senior SEO Strategist

As most of you know, the Rugby World Cup started earlier this month to see if the host New Zealand, and projected favourite, can win the Web Ellis Trophy for the second time in the tournament’s history. However, this would only be a second win for New Zealand. South Africa will also be confident to win as they triumphed in France in 2007 with a 15-6 victory over England.

As most of you know, the Rugby World Cup started earlier this month to see if the host New Zealand, and projected favourite, can win the Web Ellis Trophy for the second time in the tournament’s history. However, this would only be a second win for New Zealand. South Africa will also be confident to win as they triumphed in France in 2007 with a 15-6 victory over England.

The final in France in 2007 had a television audience of 4.2 billion people, which was an increase of 800 million compared to the tournament held in Australia in 2003. New Zealand will aim to beat the record of 4.2 billion and will use social media as one of their main strategies for this. Special Facebook, Flickr and Twitter accounts for the prestigious tournament were set up for fans. In addition, daily videos of the tournament will be uploaded to YouTube, which means for those who are not part of the estimated 90,000 people to visit New Zealand to watch some part of the tournament, they won’t miss a thing. New Zealand generated thousands of ticket sales via social media and it is for this reason that they will try to fully utilise social media to make this the biggest tournament in history. The RWC Facebook page has been promoting the tournament since the page was established in September 2009. The page has grown steadily since then and is now ‘liked’ by more than 1.2 million fans. It gives fans the chance to communicate about the tournament, read updates, add photos as well as many other ways supporters can get even more excited about the competition. Twitter will continue to tweet the latest information and news to fans and Flickr will add photos for enthusiasts to view. For viewers in England wishing to watch all of the RWC action, the videos uploaded to YouTube will be invaluable because followers wanting to watch the matches live may have to wait until 2am for the kick off. However, it still remains to be seen how much interaction the individual teams and players will contribute to the social media platforms throughout the contest. Head Coach of the New Zealand All Blacks, Graham Henry, has ordered a total ban on social media for his players to avoid them from being distracted during the World Cup. This came after some of the more senior players had requested it. In contrast, the Welsh side will be able to use social media as long as they take their coaches advice and use it responsibly. Personally I think New Zealand has put a lot of hard work and effort into hosting the World Cup, and I think the viewing figures record will be surpassed if they can keep it up. What are your thoughts? - @jameswalker88