Social media key to RWC success

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The first weekend of RWC 2011 exploded into action with a multi–site fireworks display around the Auckland waterfront and a dazzling ceremony at Eden Park, and at the same time, social media came into its own for the torunament.

On the first Saturday and Sunday, fans around the world were fixated on eight matches that were often dominated by the underdogs. 'GO JAPAN' was trending worldwide on Twitter and over 3, 000 people tagged " rugbyworldcup' in their Facebook posts. The statistics on Twitter over the first weekend were impressive too. Over Friday, Saturday and Sunday;There were over 310, 000 Tweets mentioning RWC 2011 across all the popular hashtags and keywords excluding 'rugby'The official hashtag #RWC2011 was tweeted over 150, 000 timesOver 231, 000 tweets contained the keyword 'rugby'. A normal weekend would see just 9–12, 000 tweetsThe @rugbyworldcup Twitter account gained over 10, 000 new followersCombining all mentions of popular RWC 2011 keywords and hashtags the opening weekend had an estimated Twitter audience of over 35m peopleOver the first seven days of the event, the number of tweets mentioning a variety of RWC 2011 tags and keywords have spiked. The Opening Ceremony had global interest on TwitterAfter the Opening Ceremony RWC 2011 reviewed the last 1, 000 tweets mentioning #RWC2011. Most of the tweets shared were from people in New Zealand or England but throughout South Africa, Australia, Argentina and the United States many people were listening and engaging on Twitter. FlickrThe Opening Ceremony was full of colour and smiling fans. There were hundreds of cars driving around the city waving flags and cheering. YouTubeRWC 2011's YouTube video of the first week was filmed on Saturday 3 September at Sylvia Park Shopping Mall in Auckland. Since then it's been viewed almost a million times. On Twitter 'Flash Haka' was mentioned over 1, 000 times and the video has been mentioned or embedded in hundreds of websites and blogs. Over Friday and Saturday the keyword 'Haka' was mentioned over 16, 000 times on Twitter and featured in over 170 blog posts. Match of the week on TwitterThe Wales vs South Africa match on the first Sunday night reached the biggest audience on Twitter RWC2011 on Facebook gained over 80, 000 new fans over the last seven days but the All Blacks proved their brand is engaging on Facebook with thousands of fans tagging them in posts and photos and commenting and liking their stories. For the first week of the tournament, RWC 2011 awarded the All Blacks fans the Social Media Engagement Trophy. Kiwi fans were the most engaged with their team over the first week. The Opening Ceremony and the New Zealand v Tonga match was the most watched TV show in New Zealand's history.

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