The Wimbledon Social Media Championship – Women’s

02 July 2018
By The Say Team
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Every summer Wimbledon becomes a hot bed of activity as tennis-fans from around the globe come to watch what is (in our opinion) the world’s premier tennis tournament. Here at Say, we love all the excitement that this event brings (even if it does become slightly harder to get a seat on the Tube and the queue for our morning coffee gets even longer!), but what we love the most is following the twists and turns of the tournament on social media. As you may have noticed last year, we monitored and analysed the hopes of tennis fans as the tournament was taking place, but this year we’re going one step further by launching our ‘Say Wimbledon Social Media Championship Award’. We will track how many mentions the players that have been most tipped to win are getting on social media platforms and at the end of the tournament we will provide an (honourary) award to the winner.

We’re running this for both the Men and Women’s tournament, using our very own Listening Station media monitoring system to provide the data, which we have then used to create a visualisation that we will update as Wimbledon progresses… so make sure to bookmark this page!

Visualisation made using Flourish

28th June:  Just a brief opening update for the women’s Wimbledon Social Media Championship for all you social media loving tennis fans as we’re approaching the end of the day in the UK. We’ve started tracking from the 21st of June to provide a bit of a run up and you can see that Serena Williams has for the most part reigned supreme in part due to questions and comments arising over the recent birth of her child, albeit with a brief beginning in which Muguruza dominated in terms of mentions (although ironically this was due to her loss to Barbora Strycova at a pre-Wimbledon tennis tournament).

29th June: On the day of the Wimbledon draw Muguruza shot into second place, with projections of match outcomes and the fact that she is the defending champion driving a strong increase in mentions on Twitter. This doesn’t mean that she was close to moving into first place; many posts mentioning Muguruza also mentioned Serena Williams (perhaps unsurprising given the titanic scale of her fame). Kvitova’s remarkable comeback after being the victim of a knife attack last year has also boosted her rankings in this Social Media Championship, although whether this buzz lasts remains to be seen.

2nd July: Today’s the day that Wimbledon begins in earnest!  It’s been an eventful weekend (although Serena Williams has maintained her dominance) with Sloane Stephens shooting up the rankings ahead of her Monday match with Czech star Donna Vekić. However, she has lost that match, so her mentions will probably drop over the next few days as this first tournament upset is dissected. Vekić will replace her in this championship tomorrow.

3rd July: Serena continued her dominance into day two, remaining still number one after yesterday’s win over the Netherland’s Arantxa Rus, while Kvitová lost in one of the big first round upsets of the tournament so far, propelling her from 6th to 2nd in our rankings. Having the opposite effect, Stephens fans showed their disappointment with her loss through silence as she fell further in the rankings (this will be the last day we include her – stay tuned for her replacement). As the first day of the second round begins there is likely to be some significant changes amongst the ranks over the next day as people continue to fall out of the competition.

9th July: Over the weekend and into the second week of Wimbledon there’s been a fairly pronounced shift in the ranks! Muguruza knocked Williams off of top spot on the 5th of July following her defeat at the hands of Van Uytvanck in the Round of 64. As you might expect, this boosted her in the social media rankings for precisely one day before she began her plummet to the bottom of the chart. Equally, Halep also managed to defeat Serena for a whole day after her defeat in her Round of 31 match against Hsieh on the 7th. Interestingly, despite her solid performance in the physical world Kerber is relatively low down the rankings, although we expect that to change if she survives today’s final round before the quarter finals. Finally, Cibulkova has been on the rise over the tournament so far, so it will certainly be interesting to see how her play today affects her performance on this ranking.

11th July: It would fair to say that both the 9th and the 10th turned out to be busy (and highly disappointing for some) days. The only two players left in the tournament on this chart are Kerber and Williams, so it’s encouraging to see Kerber’s performance in the real world finally reflected on our digital scoreboard. All other tennis players ranked here have experienced a significant real term drop – Cibulkova is in fourth here, but with only 115 mentions which goes to show how quickly people can fall out of the online conversation once their time in the tournament is over. We’ll be back tomorrow to see how the remaining four players are faring.

Final Update (16th July): Wimbledon has ended and, despite Kerber’s victory in the physical tournament, the main story of the Women’s Social Media Championship is the unending dominance of Serena Williams. Those who have been following this blog throughout the tournament may remember Serena being unseated from the top rank by Muguruza before the Wimbledon began, but since then she has never really been at risk of being unseated from the top position.

This dominance means that Serena Williams is our 2018 Wimbledon Women’s Social Media Champion. Whilst Kerber may have defeated Williams in the physical world, she had no chance of defeating her on social media. There are a couple of reasons for this, the simplest being that Serena Williams’s online presence dwarfs that of any other woman currently playing tennis.

This is partly because of her effectiveness as a tennis player and the length of her career, but a large part of her social media success is the effort she has put into her online presence and into interacting with her followers. Whilst Serena isn’t the most frequent poster on Twitter (her posting rate works out as approximately one post per day), she makes extensive use of both professional imagery and more candid glimpses into her life and has held extensive Q&A sessions with her 10.6 million followers. Her Twitter profile is very much worth a look, and a follow, because of this and offers a great example of how to manage a vast community of fans and followers using a wide range of content.

All that remains is for us to thank all of you who have read this blog, and followed the online tournament through it. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together.

If you’d like to find out more about the Listening Station, and our social media monitoring services, feel free to get in contact with us by emailing hello@saycomms.co.uk.

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