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How the Australian Open grew its fan base by 300k in 2 weeks

The Australian Open has been one of tennis’ most important international Grand Slam tournament, since 1905. Taking place in January each year, the Australian Open is the traditional kick-off to tennis’ premier tournament season. This year Tennis Australia, the organisation behind the tournament wanted to increase awareness around the tournament and increase ticket sales.

Background
Tennis Australia created a comprehensive social media campaign to increase fan engagement across each of their social media profiles leading up to and during the tournament.

It created targeted social media campaigns on Twitter (#ausopen) and Instagram (#AOselfie) to spark fan engagement. To further build audience delight, attending fans were encouraged to print and post their #AOselfie Instagrams at the event’s photo booth, Social Shack.

“Social media at the Australian Open has been instrumental in keeping our fans engaged and our sponsors happy. It ultimately provides a platform to increase interest in our sport,” said Kim Trengove, digital and publishing manager at Tennis Australia.

Execution
Tennis Australia’s team leveraged Hootsuite to help them proactively manage their content and provide real-time interaction with their fan base.

Throughout the tournament, the team used Hootsuite to publish and track their real-time event coverage across social networks. For fixed content, such as upcoming match times and tour dates, the team used Hootsuite’s scheduling feature to upload and schedule their content in advance.

The team also utilised Hootsuite’s streams feature to monitor mentions of their campaign hashtags and respond in real time to fan questions, across each of their social media channels, from a single dashboard.

“Hootsuite streams allowed us to closely monitor all relevant Australian Open conversations and respond to fans when required. It also allowed us to tap into other conversations where fans may not have known we existed,” said Joel Smith, social media manager at Tennis Australia.

Result
The sporting event successfully grew its social media fan base by 300K while also reaching record-breaking ticket sales.

Throughout the campaign, the Australian Open website attracted 14.3 million unique visitors. Their Twitter campaign #ausopen generated 495K Tweets. Over 13,000 Instagram #AOselfies were printed and posted in its Social Shack photo booth.

“It was a pleasure working with 2015 Australian Open to serve the perfect social media game. Hootsuite was able to partner with the Australian Open social media team to engage and grow its fan base in Australia and internationally, and harness them to help the event achieve record-breaking triumph,” said Yvonne Tey, Marketing Director of Hootsuite APAC.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.
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