Socialympics – Was It All Worth It?

Ian Hancock Social Media

During the last two weeks of the Olympics the news has been dominated not by the athletes but what unfolded in the realm of Twitter. London 2012 has been defined as the first social media Olympics, with sites like Twitter and Facebook playing a fundamental role in many breaking stories. Whether it was the scandal with Tom Daly’s “troll” or a gold medal for Jessica Ennis, Twitter has been a source of news for other broadcasters and printed press. Direct quotes were taken from Twitter as a valid source to explain what was happening in the games.

The first social media story broke just before the games when Voula Papachristou was excluded from the games for a “racist tweet”. Lord Coe also expressed his concern that social media activity was having a negative effect on athletic success. The biggest “trending story” to hit the national headlines was that of Tom Daly’s “troll” who criticised his synchronised diving performance and said that he let his deceased father down.

Twitter’s roaming negative effect during the Olympics has also made it’s way to members of parliament. Tory minister Aiden Burley rocked the boat after tweeting that the Olympic ceremony was “leftie multicultural crap” which later caused David Cameron to comment that it was an idiotic thing to say. These damaging examples show why it is advisable athletes shouldn’t pay too much attention to what’s happening on line as this can affect real life performance. Another variable that athletes shouldn’t have to consider.

A day into the games and Mark Adams the head of communications at the International Olympic Committee asked tweeters to limit their usage of the site as the broadcasting of a cycling road race failed due to a throttled GPS signal.

Social media usage during the 2012 Olympics has re-defined the sphere of communication and became a place where serious issues are played out and where well established broadcasters are getting involved. There appears to be a gradual shift away from the “friendly” and in fact “social” aspect of the networking sites as broadcasters are now streaming their news feeds directly into the social media sites.

The Olympics has also seen many social media marketing services soar as companies are pouring money into social media, yet is it really a good investment? Many marketers have focused their campaigns on patriotism and excitement. However once it’s all over brands are going to be looking at what’s next for their campaigns. This means for a social media agency they may need to start preparing now and need to learn fast.

However many marketing directors are waiting for the Olympic periods to be over before launching any major campaign on the social networking site. With all the hype and peaks surrounding the Olympics many companies messages have been drowned out and soon dipped. Instead a social media agency is better to wait and see what campaigns have worked effectively and adjust campaigns accordingly.

Being an Olympic sponsor has given them opportunity to boost profiles but there has been great backlash as they have opened themselves up to negative criticism also which social media has been privy to. A social media agency needs to be aware that this may be a touchy subject for brands and need to adapt their social media pitch to reflect this. Twitter only really becomes valuable when genuine relationships are forged all the time and not just at major events. Twitter’s benefits can be valuable but need to be consistent and not peak in line with public events.

To find out how Miromedia’s social media marketing services can boost your business all year round, call one of our friendly team or speak to us via Twitter – @miromedia.