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Cena-vs.-RockImagine, if you will, a company that wants to reach four million targeted consumers in a key demographic – all of whom would likely buy something from that company if they were only exposed to its latest product or service.

Without social media and the various digital platforms readily available today, such an endeavor would likely be far too expensive for many companies – particularly small businesses – to afford.

Just ask the marketing geniuses at World Wrestling Entertainment about the invaluable power of social media.

Today, the legendary pro wrestling establishment and eCommerce powerhouse in its own right can reach four million targeted consumers instantly and at no cost. You see, two of the WWE’s biggest stars – and biggest online merchandise moves – have a combined Twitter following of well over four million people.

And thanks to the hype that’s been generated in recent months across the social media landscape, the WWE could see the biggest pay-per-view buy rate in American history on April 1st, when film star Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) battles John Cena at WrestleMania 28.

On the surface,” independent business analyst Mike Randazzo tells Daily Deal Media, “you wouldn’t think of a pro wrestling company as a case study in successful eCommerce. But the WWE is practically a textbook example of how social media can be used to sell people, products, and online merchandise.

Today, John Cena has a whopping 1,720,368 followers on Twitter. His WrestleMania 28 opponent, The Rock, still tops him with 2,343,979 followers. But whenever the WWE has something to sell or an event to push, tweets from these two titans of the pro wrestling world can generate enormous sums of money almost immediately.

The rise of social media has made it easier than ever before for companies and organizations to obtain national and global recognition as well as a better idea of their customer base,” says Matt Polsky of Journalistics. “However, the ease in which these sites spread information has also changed the way in which many companies manage their online reputation.”

Social Media: America’s New Favorite Pastime?

Baseball has been known for generations as America’s favorite pastime. But social media may be strong-arming that title away from the sport.

Not surprisingly, Major League Baseball has recently gotten on board the social media bandwagon. And it’s believed that one of the primary reasons for MLB’s sudden interest in social media is the online reputation management that Polsky speaks of.

On March 16th, 2012, Major League Baseball finally outlined an official social media policy by which professional players must abide.

While having a Social Media policy is important to protecting the interests of everyone involved in promoting the game, we hope that you will not view this policy as a blanket deterrent to engaging in social media,” the MLB says. The organization “recognizes the importance of social media as an important way for players to communicate directly with fans. We encourage you to connect with fans through Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms.”

Beyond no-brainer guidelines that encourage players to behave in accordance with social norms and the societal expectations placed upon athlete role models, MLB is undoubtedly seeking social media’s help to keep baseball responsive and respectful toward fans, while perpetually marketing the game, its players, and its merchandise to the masses.

Although few recognize this striking reality, major sports organizations and sports franchises have all become big players in eCommerce,” Randazzo observes. “They’re all making millions through online sales – sales that, in part, would not have been possible without the dexterous use of social networks. If you don’t believe it, everyone from the WWE to MLB have bags of cash to convince you otherwise.

Source: NBC Sports

Michael Essany

Michael Essany is a veteran marketing executive, bestselling author, and mobile technology blogger who has served as Vice President of Indiana Grain Company since 2008. A former E! Entertainment Television host and producer, Essany resides with his wife and daughter just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Michael is Daily Deal Media contributor specializing in Social Media, eCommerce (and mCommerce) and Mobile Marketing/Advertising. Connect: @Michael_Essany
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