Le Tour de France is over and Bradley Wiggins and his team Sky took the overall win but who were the winners in the social media arena. In this post, we look at some of the highlights from the riders and teams for the 49th edition of the race. We’ll look at how the official Tour de France fared in a later post.
Riders. For riders, social media is a chance to show a true glimpse of their lives without the sometimes stifling and rigid PR team structure. Not all but most of the 115 riders out of the 198 starters (see twitter list tdf12) were active on twitter, some more successful than others. We found that once again, @hansenadam and @greghenderson1 were fun to follow and they provided a chance to see the silly side of their Lotto-Belisol teammate @andregreipel.
An example was the bet:
And of course, how can we forget @andykloedi who showed that sometimes it would be best to stay quiet when he called the Radioshack-Nissan press release ‘bullshit’.
Teams. Though the strategies employed by the 22 teams to keep their fans updated via social media was different, the goal should be the same. In our opinion, the goal for the teams is to provide both race and behind the scene information pertaining to the team while being entertaining. It is a chance for fans to connect to riders.
We followed, clicked on links, watched videos and read stories from all the teams these past three weeks and we found that we prefer team twitter feeds to provide a snapshot that cannot be seen in media outlets, including pre- and post-stage stories/videos and updates during the race of the riders in the team. Not all teams did the latter.
Three that stood out are FDJ-BigMat, Movistar and Orica-GreenEDGE.
Through social media, FDJ-BigMat provided stage updates, focusing on their own riders and pre- and post-race text quotes and videos – all linked from their twitter @EquipeFDJ and facebook equipecyclistefdj page. All done in French.
The videos not only included their own riders but they also went to other teams to get their opinions, such as this one where they talked to BMC’s Philippe Gilbert and Tejay van Garderen and Pierre Rolland (Europcar):
Movistar, who tweets in Spanish, followed the same model with their stage updates and were very engaged with their fans, though they chose to sometimes respond via DMs. Photos and links to videos were promptly posted.
The Orica-GreenEDGE embraced social media with a daily raffle run in conjunction with their Backstage Pass video hosted by the team DS Matt White. It was a brilliant idea to engage the fan base not at a race. They also ran a contest for fans at the race. However, @Orica_GreenEDGE did not provide updates during the stage.
One team chose to provide a full race feed via their twitter. Though we enjoyed their twitter stream in the past, we found that @opqscyclingteam provided too many race updates – they were doing a live feed of the race itself as opposed to letting us know what was happening for the team in the race. That led to repeating of information that was already provided by the expected media sources and it was just too much.
TweeterSagan. He (or she) came, conquered and then left us wanting more. One of the best parody account duging Le Tour was @Tweetersagan who purported to provide Peter Sagan’s thought. We laughed – out loud – at many of the posts.
At the end of the three weeks, @TweeterSagan not only announced that he was stopping but deleted his account. We still don’t know who was behind the witty feed but hopefully they’ll be back. But through the magic of google, he’s still with us.
Which rider(s) and team(s) were the standouts for you and why?