Jul 25, 2012

Social Media Impacts the 2012 Olympics Games

Last week, Boris Polan began his marathon blog series focused on social media engagement and communication at the 2012 Olympic Games. In the second installment, Boris highlights the social media strategy lessons learned from the Olympic social media approach.


The appeal of Social Media strategy and communication for the 2012 Olympics lies in the ability to instantly communicate any given idea or opinion with a personal network or the whole planet. The 2012 Olympics spectator will, in essence, be a reporter in of themselves. As various events occur and records are broken you can bet that Twitter and Facebook will break the news a lot faster than any of the accredited media giants that have forked over billions of (insert various currency here) for broadcast rights. According to Sebastian Coe, chairman of the 2012 games, "The explosion in the last few years in social media means people aren't just watching the Games; they're sharing the Games. You don't have to be in the venues to make that connection any longer. More people will be watching than ever before, and on more platforms. Social media has exploded since Beijing."

Mr. Coe gets to the beating heart of it all: the word “Social” in the word Social Media. For-profits such as large corporations and small businesses very often mistake Social Media as simply a platform to disseminate marketing and advertising campaigns on as a part of their digital marketing strategy. The sad truth is that this is not the case. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more recent properties such as Pinterest and Instagram create communities that various users join and leave as their interests overlap and change all together over time. Nobody is on Pinterest because an ad for Tide caught their eye. People are most certainly not getting on Facebook to view personalized ads the clever algorithms created by the minions of Lord Zuckerberg direct at us. The goal is to create digital content that is engaging and people will relate to and share with others. Granted it’s not fair with the Olympics because let’s face it, is there any better content than sports? However there are lessons to be learned here for any social media marketer. Making sure a company or brand takes simple steps before deciding to disseminate content online like creating a uniform and engaging message, making sure ads don’t saturate your content and keeping the user interested and the experience interactive can go a long way in ensuring the success of most any Social Media campaign.

Contributed by , marketing coordinator