Social Media

How Twitter is leveraging cricket events to drive engagement

Debangana Ghosh Mumbai | Updated on October 14, 2021

69 per cent of Twitterati in India classified themselves as cricket fans and 30 per cent described themselves as a huge fan

 

With the latest edition of #CricketTwitter campaign, the social media giant is all set to increase engagement and start conversations leveraging the country’s largest sporting event. Started in September, the company launched dedicated emojis, promoted vernacular hashtags and released exclusive content such as video Q&As, premium content from publisher partners, multiple Twitter Spaces across many languages (Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi etc) giving fans an opportunity to get more behind the scenes info.

According to Twitter, 69 per cent of all people on Twitter in India classified themselves as cricket fans and 30 per cent people described themselves as a huge fan. There has been a 23 per cent increase in conversations around cricket leagues in 2020 when compared to 2019.

Around 51 per cent of cricket fans on Twitter read posts about matches, players, news reports; 25 per cent plan to engage with Tweets during the match and 31 per cent of fans plan to watch videos and 25 want to follow the teams on the service.

Over 75 million conversations on Twitter took place around cricket between July 2020 - July 2021. Top hashtags to trend include #whistlepodu, #ipl2020, #yellove, #ipl2021 and #csk. Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina are some of the top athletes to get engagement.

Preetha Athrey, Head - Marketing, Twitter India told BusinessLine, “We have seen that fans love sporting events. Last two years were quite tough but we saw the surge in conversations happening around August-September. A memorable episode of fan support happened just before the lockdown when ISL Finals happened, we had collaborated with ISL and Star Sports. Since the fans weren’t able to be present at the stadium, we had asked them to send their tweets and we created Tweet confetti by printing those messages on confetti and rained them over the players. We celebrated sports and the love for sports.”

Not just cricket and football, Olympics too came out well in terms of engagement for Twitter. Neeraj Chopra’s Tweet was the most liked Tweet in India, and Avani Lekhara and Bhavina Patel were some of the most mentioned athletes during the Paralympic games.

Athrey added, “People on Twitter lean into multiple sporting events, be it Football, Tennis, NBA, NFL, Formula 1, Badminton, wrestling to Cricket and the one of the biggest sporting events this year Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics which delivered over 82.3 billion impressions globally during the games.”

Brand partnerships galore

Twitter has partnered with publishers like Star Sports, Sony Picture Networks India, to bring exclusive video content for fans on the service. Through Twitter’s Amplify Sponsorships, brands can align with this premium content to reach a larger audience which is leaned into the moment and actively seeking content to engage with. These are largely positive conversions and in a sense help

In terms of brands leveraging sporting events, Twitter has seen brands starting from CRED to Swiggy to AMFI to Apple that is sponsoring a content series on Cricket with one of its partners Cricbuzz participating.

“We partnered with OPPO last year for a unique initiative The Smashing Six again leaning into those special moments related to a cricket match. Not just Cricket like I mentioned earlier, brands nowadays are looking to tap into multiple sporting moments. We saw Thumbs Up, MPL, Inox to name a few who created special campaigns around the Olympics,” Athrey said.

DEBANGANA GHOSH

Published on October 14, 2021

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