WWE, aka World Wrestling Entertainment, launched a redesigned website this month, going "boots to asses" on incorporating social media. "We didn't want to build a chat room off to the side--we really wanted this to be a social experience everywhere," said Jason Hoch, senior VP of digital for WWE.
WWE is already a highly social brand, leveraging Twitter campaigns like the #bestintheworld hashtag for discussions of the rivalry between stars John Cena and CM Punk. AdAge pegged WWE Raw as the cable show with the most social buzz last fall. (Talent competition The X-Factor, boosted by Pepsi's social TV initiative, was the broadcast TV show with the most social buzz.)
Back in 2008, WWE introduced its own WWE Universe social network, which it operated for several years.
Now, the strategy is to bring all the interaction together on WWE.com, an iPad-friendly website which aggregates comments from other social networks, with social login connections that let visitors post comments to the website and their social networks simultaneously.
[ Learn more about the complexities of using one social account to log into another. SXSW: Social Login Is Magical But Tricky. ]
"When you go to the page for John Cena, you see everything created about him on all the social networks--Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare--as well as the content created about him by WWE. This is the first, best place to learn about John, it really is," Hoch said. New comments scroll up onto the screen automatically as you watch, as they would on Twitter or Facebook. The aggregation of all that content also allows WWE to offer a customized trending topics display, "like a mini version of Twitter's trending topics, but just on our site, just for WWE," he said.
WWE Trending Topics
"Really, who gives a crap about a new WWE website, except that they've rewritten the entire thing--it's not even just a website anymore," enthused Khris Loux, CEO of Echo, WWE's social software partner.
Echo calls its product a "real-time Web platform," not necessarily just for TV, although its initial customer base is heavily weighted toward media companies. "Our position is that every dot-com should be real-time and social because the visitor expectation is that the Internet is real-time, social, and personal," Loux said.