Social Media & The Olympics

It’s July, the month the UK has been waiting for since 2005!! The Olympic torch is busy zig-zagging its way across the country. Stonehenge has been lit up like a Christmas tree. And people all over the country are busy with preparations for the Olympic event.

Image from dailymail.co.uk

Since the last Olympic Games, hosted in Beijing in 2008, social media has well and truly taken over our lives. The number of Facebook users has grown from 100 million in 2008, to 900 million users today. And Twitter usage has grown from around 1.3 million in 2008 to 100 million active users today. So it makes sense for London 2012 to be the most social games to date, and to set the precedence for all future games.

One of the big differences in these Olympic games will be in how people access and view events. Audiences in the US will be able to access live-streaming of the events hosted by YouTube and American TV network NBC.

In the UK, the BBC has been trialling mobile live-streaming of the event, meaning that fans could access coverage any time, anywhere, providing they have a smartphone and mobile data plan.

If you want to keep up with the events on social media then you should head over to the Olympic Athletes’ Hub, which is the ultimate destination for keeping track of all your favourite athletes. You can search by the athletes name, team, sport, or discipline. This has been amazingly successful, with 2.9 million likes on Facebook, and nearly 200,000 Twitter followers. This will likely grow as the games kicks off.

It isn’t all about following your favourite events, social media will also be used to aid in organisation and to keep on top of customer service. BT also announced plans to monitor social media conversations to ensure they can quickly respond to technical complaints. As they plan to offer Olympic park-wide Wi-Fi access, this could be useful in identifying weaker areas and ensuring coverage is consistently fast.

The Olympics is also a big event for UK based marketers, as all eyes will be on London for those 16 days. This is the perfect opportunity to engage your audience as the world is united for this unique sporting event.

Check out these creative uses of Social Media to drive fan engagement on Facebook.

Panasonic have built an app that paints your face with your chosen country flag.

And the Coca Cola Move to the Beat Campaign has been bringing together some of the biggest names in music to celebrate the Olympics in style. Bring your beat to the Olympics here.

Now there’s only one thing left to say… GO TEAM GB!!