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WWE Chief Brand officer Stephanie McMahon sat down with Business Insider to discuss various topics ranging from growing up in the business, to how social media has changed interaction with fans and the best quality a Superstar can have.
On how much influence fans on social media can have when it comes to the company and storylines:
I think it’s one of the secret sauces to our success if you will is that our fans are a part of our show. They engage, they chant, they cheer, they boo. There’s a problem when they don’t react. So, in essence, every live event is like a focus group. So we are getting that real-time feedback from them, in the arena.
Another reason why I think social media was so successful for WWE is because of that fan engagement, because they are a part of what we do, therefore, even when they are not live in the arena, they have influence through social media. I think that it’s so important. A lot of brands just push messages out on social media, but that’s not what social is about. Social is about engaging, it’s about a conversation, it’s about listening and then responding, it’s an ongoing conversation with our fan base.
So when you consider the fact that our fans influence what happens in a match – a lot of it is improv, so they can dictate the flow if something’s not working, you can make an adjustment on the fly. They dictate what’s being said. They can often chant or you can get a feeling they are not engaged with the content, so you have to find a way to transition around that.
On what the best qualities a Superstar in the WWE can have:
The number one quality is charisma. You have to be able to connect with the audience. That is that magic “it” factor that designates a star from someone who is just never going to be a star.
You can’t teach charisma. You can draw it out of people if it’s there and they haven’t quite figured out how to utilize it yet, but it’s just one of those things, that’s why they call it the “X factor”.
You have to be an athlete and you have to be able to speak well – a lot of what we do is conveying character. While they are not necessarily actors, per se, you are playing a role and you do need to get the audience to invest in you, to want to relate in you, to care to see if you win or lose. That’s the magic model, if you don’t care about the match, you’re not invested in it, why would you watch? You need to care about these performers to want to see them win or lose. So you have to be articulate.
Who her favorite Superstar is, aside from her husband Triple H:
My favorite superstar of all time is my friend Andre the Giant.
I grew up with Andre, he was always my friend and I think he taught me a long time ago, regardless of how people judge you for what you look like, you need to be true to yourself.
My father has this expression that you have to be able to look yourself in the eyes in the mirror, you know, and know that you’re a good person. If that’s true and you feel good about yourself then that’s all that matters no matter what other people’s perceptions are.
You can read the full interview here.
Do you agree or disagree with Stephanie McMahon’s point of views?