16 Sep 2015
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New Zealand's already winning the RWC... at least on social media

By Catherine Knowles

As the 2015 Rugby World Cup edges closer, New Zealanders are turning to social media to share their excitement. More so, in fact, than any other country in the world.

This is according to the Adobe Digital Index, which analysed the volume and sentiment of  more than two million social media engagements since July 4, across platforms including blogs, Facebook, G+, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube.

Tamara Gaffney, Adobe Digital Index principal analyst, says New Zealand is ahead when it comes to social media followers, social mentions and world rugby ranking, followed by Australia, England and Argentina.

“Kiwis have taken to social media to support the All Blacks ahead of the Rugby World Cup, due to be held in England and Wales from 18 September.

“New Zealanders have generated the highest volume of social media buzz of any country with a competing team, along with the most positive commentary around their team over the past month,” says Gaffney.

Adobe Digital Index also examined Twitter buzz around key players and found that New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter led the charge.

“Dan Carter has a Twitter following of more than 426,000, followed by South Africa’s Bryan Habana at 304,000 and Welshman Leigh Halfpenny at 262,000,” says Gaffney.

The Rugby World Cup 2015 organisers are also leveraging digital to reach their fan base ahead of the event.

“Social media offers great opportunities for the Rugby World Cup 2015 organisers to attract and engage directly with fans and this year there is an extensive campaign underway,” Gaffney says.

“Apps for Android and iPhones are available and ranking highly in app stores especially in New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, the UK and Australia.

“Rugby World Cup fans can also engage across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and G+. Interestingly, the audio-only social channel, Sound Cloud, has a higher following than Twitter,” she says.

The Rugby World Cup 2015 kicks off this Friday with England taking on Fiji in London.

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