Every year since 2008, a storm arrives in India. It lasts for two months, starting in early April and ending in late May. No matter how hard we brace ourselves for this storm, it ends up taking over our lives in almost every way. No matter what we do, where we hide, we cannot escape it.
This storm is known as the Indian Premier League. The sixth edition of this star-studded league is currently underway and everywhere you look, whether you’re driving on the roads, or at home watching TV, you’ll find something to do with the IPL. One place where the IPL has a huge impact is social media. From Facebook to Twitter to Google+, IPL simply takes over. We at BlueAnt Digital have been involved in the promotion of the fantasy cricket game called ‘Cricket Fantasy’ (cricketfantasy.in) mostly through Facebook and Twitter and it’s been quite eventful so far.
What I’ve realized is that there are two types of fans on social networks: the hardcore sports fans who will have something to say about anything cricket and then there’re casual fans who’re in it for the fun and glamour of the affair. In order to cater to both types, we find that there needs to be a balance between facts, controversies and quips. For example, a casual fan’s response to an update asking for opinions may be fuelled by emotion:
Whereas a hardcore fan will use logic and facts at his disposal to respond to the update:
Most importantly, however, you’ve got to capture the moment; act on events as they happen, to get the most out of it. An interesting experience has been live tweeting matches. Everything happens so quickly that it becomes hard to keep pace. It’s even better (worse) if it’s an exciting match. You’re getting boundaries and wickets regularly and all you have is a gap of maybe a minute to tweet about them. Composing has to be done ad hoc and if you want retweets, you better do it well.
To put things in perspective, the Cricket Fantasy twitter account was created about a month ago (https://twitter.com/Cricket_Fantasy), without any promotions whatsoever. Therefore, content has been the only driver to get more followers. Take a recent game into account: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs. Sun Risers Hyderabad on the 9th April, 2013. The match was action-packed with wickets falling followed by a barrage of sixes and fours. And this was only the Hyderabad side of things. As I’m watching the game, out of nowhere, a wicket falls. I have just about time enough to put up a tweet in saying who the new batsman is. But just as this new batsman comes to the crease, he hits a six straight away! So first the new batsman, then his hitting; combining these two aspects can become tricky on the spot, but you get there with practice.
Things gradually settled down as I got into the flow of it all and I was able to enjoy the match at the same time. The experience has been interesting so far, but there’s more to do. Catch all the action at @Cricket_Fantasy.