Family Circle Cup taking social media to the courts this year

By Stacy

DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- If you've noticed the Family Circle Cup -- or maybe #FCC2014 --this year, whether on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Vine, it may have been for the first time.

"This year we introduced an ad campaign centered around our hashtags and our social media platforms," marketing director Arielle Alpino wrote in an email. "It's all basically new. We've been on the platforms, but never integrated into our marketing campaign."

The tournament's marketing team started early. It picked three hashtags: #Unmatched, #MakeARacket and #WellServed to promote sweepstakes before the event.

Pre-marketing is a strategy that another social media maven called an "absolute must."

"That's the biggest mistake people make with an event, is not doing marketing year round, especially leading up to it," said Ashley Caldwell, CEO of social marketing firm Modern Connection.

The #FCC2014 team has also stayed busy during the event.

"Our marketing team has multiple people assigned just to our social media to ensure that we're responding to fans in record time, posting scores and sharing onsite activities as well as behind-the-scenes photos and videos with players," said Alpino, who works for Obviouslee Marketing.

Between 10 and 11 p.m. Thursday, the Family Circle Cup Twitter account tweeted seven times. The tweets included hashtags like #Unmatched, Vines and photos: all simple tactics that enrich social media outreach in today's world.

Caldwell said the technique was successful.

"A lifestyle hashtag that doesn't mention the brand's name in the hashtag because they want people talking about the subject matter at hand and in passing finding out about their brand," Caldwell said.

Family Circle Cup officials said they are also interacting with fans by encouraging them to display hashtags to support their favorite players during matches. This year, FCC also has staff dedicated to social media all day every day, Alpino said.

Tweet the Family Circle Cup @FamilyCircleCup or using hashtag #FCC2014. You can also access FCC social media at the following sites:

- Facebook:

- Flickr:

- Youtube:

- Instagram:

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