A review of International Cricket Council’s (ICC) use of social media during the T20 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Festivity. No, I am not talking about the festival season in India. It is the World T20 that I intended to convey from that. As cricket is a religion in India it is safe to say that the World T20 is no less than a festival for the lovers of the game like me.
But it is not really cricket that I am going to be talking about here. I am here to review the social media presence of International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body of cricket. Now, this World T20, just like the London Olympics, is being termed as the most ‘social’ of all international cricket events so far. True. With the ever-increasing adoption of social media every future sporting event will be the most social. That means there will always be a larger set of audience to cater to every time.
So how well is the ICC using social media for the World T20?
The Facebook page of the ICC is as good as any other brand page. It is complete with quality and relevant cover images and tabs. The content being posted is appealing. In short, it has got everything that a cricket fan would desire.
Flock to Unlock
The ICC within the ‘Flock to Unlock’ tab is running a contest in association with its official partner Emirates. Earlier, you needed to like the page before you could participate in the contest but as of now there is no restriction. That’s not all. You also get access to some exclusive videos and pictures. It is a simple contest wherein you are required to answer an easy question in a given time period. The winners are going to be picked at random and will be eligible to win any “one of the prizes set out in the competition rules.” [see terms & conditions]
But what prizes are they offering? Well, that leads us to the second aspect of the ‘Flock to Unlock’. Recently, we had a treasure hunt campaign by an Indian brand in which the location of the prize was given in the zoomed out Google map of the particular city in which the contest was being held and as more and more people tweeted with the given hashtag the app kept on zooming in on the exact location.
The ‘Flock to Unlock’ app incorporates the same principle. As the number of tweets with the hashtag #wt20 keeps on rising the closer you get to unlocking the prizes on offer and exclusive content.
The official ICC account embraces the brand page design which Twitter launched late last year. On the whole, it does a satisfactory job, from giving match updates of both the men’s and women’s games to engaging with tweeters, retweeting interesting tweets from both the players & fans on Twitter and also doing a giveaway here and there.
If you are someone who is away from the television set and can’t catch the action live you can follow the official score updates account. It tweets the scores from both the men’s and women’s games with sufficient details after every over and during the over in case a wicket falls or a milestone is reached.
Last but not the least, there is a dedicated page for the official World T20 hashtag, #wt20 which has given fans on Twitter a cool way to be updated on the happenings on and off the field. It is similar to the one which we had for the London Olympics and the NASCAR with the pictures from tweets appearing on the header and tweets being streamed live below.
Apart from these two platforms the official World T20 website has a separate category titled ‘social’ which includes tabs aimed at engaging the fans through Twitter. Also, it is here that you come to know about how the prizes for ‘Flock to Unlock’ contest are unlocked.
1. I liked the content strategy of their Facebook page. There are no irrelevant posts and every post is accompanied with a picture with call-to-action as well though it seems unnecessary at times.
2. The best part about the Facebook page is the ‘behind-the-scenes’ album featuring unseen images from the dressing room to the commentary box and elsewhere.
3. The ‘Flock To Unlock’ tab which includes the contest and exclusive content is well-designed and simple to navigate. The terms and conditions of the contest are given in sufficient detail too. The exclusive pictures and videos are a fan’s delight.
4. It is good to see the ICC treating the women’s game with the same fervour and it is reflected in their social media efforts. Be it score updates or incorporating tweets from the women players in the special hashtag page the ICC has left no stone unturned in giving the women’s game its due.
1. Though the contest is a simple one there is lack of clarity on the Facebook tab as to what the prizes are on offer and how they are unlocked. It is only when you check out on the official T20 website that you come to know about the entire process.
2. Sticking with the ‘Flock to Unlock’ app there happens to be a glitch in it. When someone who has participated in the contest before you logs in from a different account in the same browser is greeted with a ‘Thank you for participating’ screen when he opens the tab. And all this happens without even liking the page.
3. Talking about the special hashtag page it seems not all tweets appearing in the live stream are about World T20. I came across some which did not contain the official hashtag and some even talked about cricket, the insect! It looks like this new feature from Twitter is not all that accurate at present. But I am hopeful it will be improved with time.
Overall, despite these misses the ICC has done a commendable job at being social considering the fact that it is known for making silly cricketing decisions at times. So it is a thumbs up from my side.
Do let me know what you think about the ICC’s World T20 social media presence and how you liked the ‘Flock to Unlock’ app while I worry about the Indian team’s prospects.