How Social Media Is Being Deployed At Euro 2016

How Social Media Is Being Deployed At Euro 2016

Social media has been a key part of this year’s Euro 2016 football championships.

Twitter added new features just for the championship, including auto-generated emojis when you use the #EURO2016 and country hashtags such as #WAL while Facebook added a keepy-up game to its Messenger app, accessible by sending the football emoji to a friend.

The Eiffel Tower has taken a particularly dominant role in two major campaigns.

Organisers UEFA and Orange have teamed up in a campaign called #OrangeSponsorsYou in which supporters from each country get the chance to show their passion for their team through social media. The country with the most passionate fans then has its flags colours projected onto the Eiffel Tower, while messages from Facebook and Twitter get projected onto the iconic Parisian landmark as part of the lightshow at the end of every day during the tournament. Passion is measured by the number of hashtags for each team post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The organisers have shown that they understand how easily these things can get highjacked and Orange has a team in place to hand pick appropriate messages and a blacklist of terms which if mentioned will get that post excluded from the tally.

So which country’s fans have proven to be the most passionate throughout the tournament? The chart below reveals the current state of affairs.

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Social media is incredibly popular in Turkey and the country has one of the highest penetrations anywhere partly driven by a young population. Last year, there were 39 million day users of Facebook in the country, compared with 44 million who have access to the internet.

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HomeAway, meanwhile, ran a competition to offer people the chance to spend a night in a specially built apartment within the tower itself as part of a campaign created by agency Saatchi and Saatchi.

The competition asked people to answer the question “What would you do if the HomeAway Eiffel Tower Apartment was all yours for a night?”. The winners were allowed to take up to five other people with them.

Mariano Dima, HomeAway’s chief marketing officer said, “Creating a temporary dream vacation property inside this world-renowned monument reflects our offering of private and comfortable accommodations perfect for making long-lasting vacation memories…We are looking forward to helping prompt tourism to Paris, the most visited city in the world, where travellers have turned vacation rentals from an alternative to a preferred way to stay.”

The apartment was designed by French interior designer Benoit Leleu with elements proposed through crowdsourcing on social media using the hashtag #EiffelTowerAllYours.

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The first people to stay were a French family who stayed on the night of 23 June; three other groups will take over the apartment over the course of the tournament.

According to the Centre for the Law and Economics of Sport (CDES), France is expecting a €1.266 billionboost to its economy from Euro 2016, including visits by 2.5 million visitors (included 1.5 million from abroad). The number of overnight stays, including players, officials, media, suppliers and partners, is estimated at 250,000 by the French government.

UEFA has partnered with France’s tourism development agency Atout France on a “Welcome to” campaign which aims to promote the host cities to isitors and encourage fans to spend more time in them.

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Mark Frary is co-founder of Travel Perspective, a social and digital consultancy working with travel companies and tourism organisations to create successful marketing campaigns He is an author and writer specialising in travel, social media and technology. He writes regularly for The Times and has written for many other publications including the Evening Standard, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Express, Food & Travel, ABTA magazine, the easyJet magazine and Teletext.  Mark also gives expert advice to leisure and business travel companies on their social media and communications strategies and is the co-founder of Social Travel Market, an annual conference on the use of social media in travel at World Travel Market. He is the author of seven books including The Origins of the Universe for Dummies and is currently working on a biography of the ski pioneer Erna Low. Mark lives in Ampthill in Bedfordshire, UK with his wife and three children.

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