Murray an ace on social media

Chris PolechonskiSenior Research Executive Digital, Media and Technology
July 08, 2013, 4:21 PM GMT+0

Yesterday was an historic moment for British tennis, as Andy Murray beat Novak Djovokic to become the first male Briton to win the Wimbledon since 1936.

Using SoMA, YouGov’s social media analysis tool, we can see just how much of an impact Andy Murray’s victory had on both Twitter and Facebook. We can also compare the level of social media activity to other major events that sent shockwaves through the social media sphere.

Taking a starting point of 16 June, the day Murray won Wimbledon warm-up Queen’s Club Championships, Andy Murray was heard by 40% of the UK Twitter population and 7.8% of the Facebook population, which are quite substantial figures in themselves. Compare this to when Murray won his Wimbledon title, however, and the difference is staggering on 7 July 85.4% and 75.7% of the UK Twitter and Facebook populations, respectively, had heard about Andy Murray.

It is interesting to note on Twitter that, although there had been decline in activity in the week following the Queen’s Club Championships, from 23 June, the day prior to Wimbledon beginning (and when the documentary about Murray was first aired), Twitter activity surrounding Murray remained fairly high. On 24 June, the day the tournament began, 47.6% had heard about Murray. This figure really jumped on the days of his quarter-final (73.2% reach on 3 July) and semi-final (74.5% reach on 5 July), before reaching 85.4% on finals day.

On Facebook, activity surrounding Andy Murray remained somewhat lower than its Twitter counterpart throughout most of the lead up to Wimbledon and its early stages, though the higher number of Facebook members needs to be taken into account (approximately 30 million, compared to 10 million on Twitter). Again, it was on the days of his quarter-final (31% reach on 3 July) and semi-final (35.7% reach on 5 July) that Facebook activity about Murray really picked up, with this number hitting 75.7% on the day of his victory.

This figure of 75.7% reach for Andy Murray on Facebook is the highest ever recorded by SoMA, overshadowing the 60.7% of the Facebook population who had heard about Margaret Thatcher on the day of her death and the 58.3% who had heard about Sir Alex Ferguson on the day of his retirement. Also, Murray’s Twitter reach figure of 85.4% was only 0.1% less than that recorded when Thatcher died (85.5% on 8 April) and was somewhat higher than the announcement of Ferguson’s retirement (58.3% on 8 May).

Therefore, we can see the extent to which people took to social media to celebrate Andy Murray’s success. The fact that Twitter activity was sustained throughout the tournament before reaching the same level as Margaret Thatcher’s death on finals day, as well as reaching a record level on Facebook, shows how Andy Murray’s victory Wimbledon became an event of national significance.

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