The Olympic rings hang from the Tower Bridge in London. (Photo/London 2012)
Published July 17, 2012
The 2012 Olympics are just a few days away, and we are already seeing a ton of coverage getting ready for the games to begin. Touted as the “first social games” we are hearing a lot about social media and how it will impact the way the world experiences the Olympics.
The last summer games were four years ago, and in Internet years that is huge. Social media has advanced, bringing new mediums, new products on Facebook and a whole new group of users. In just four years, we have seen an increase on the Internet from 1.5 billion users to 2.3 billion.
Lindsey Barrett of Rawle Murdy
As with any engagement, there has to be a comprehensive goal and strategy. Is there a need to increase fans and followers or just increase engagement with an existing community? This is the time to do it. Hash tags will be running rampant all over Twitter, which claims more than 500 million users with more than 400 million tweets daily. Both large and small brands can jump into worldwide trending topics by commenting on breaking news and cheering for athletes.
Facebook offers sponsored stories, Facebook ads and contest apps to bring the audience back to a specific page or website. Highlights of the day’s games can be posted to a brand’s YouTube page just to share the best moments. And these are just the opportunities on networks that existed four years ago. Instagram, Pinterest, Google + and Foursquare offer a wealth of opportunities.
Social media continues to grow — not only in users, but in new channels and technologies. It’s a missed opportunity to not engage with fans of the brand, and the 2012 Olympics in London bring about a whole new social world of possibilities.
Lindsey Barrett develops strategic public relations campaigns, manages grassroots and community outreach, and handles media relations at Rawle Murdy, a Charleston-based marketing, advertising and public relations firm.