Important Social Media Lessons To Take From The Olympics

The 2012 Olympics can teach many businesses a thing or two about social media.

It is no secret that the Olympics is one of the biggest sporting events―or simply one of the biggest events in general―across the entire world. Over the last week, billions of people from every place imaginable have been tuning in every night to watch their country compete for their chance to claim a gold medal and be awarded the title of best athlete in the world.

However, apart from the intense sporting events and games that the Olympics are famous for, there is also no event that is more tailored to social networking and the internet than the 2012 games. In fact, many in the industry have dubbed the London 2012 Olympics as the “social Olympics,” simply because of the large role that social media is playing throughout the events.

In fact, a recent USA Today story shared that there were more tweets about the London 2012 Olympics during a single day in July than there were during the entire 2008 Olympics. This is in large part due to both the national social efforts by sponsors, such as the official NBC Olympics page on Google+ or the official Olympics Twitter page, and also the fact that many athletes are tweeting about their Olympic experiences first-hand.

Because the Olympics have been such a great opportunity to watch the ways in which social media shares information in a live and connected world, it is also a great chance for business owners to take a closer look at the different social media marketing strategies that are being used to promote the games and try and replicate some of the same ideas to help gather interest in their own company. To help you get started, here are just a few lessons that your business should take from this year’s Olympic games:

Begin By Creating An Online Community

Many of the popular social media pages dedicated to the 2012 Olympics, such as the USA Team Facebook page or the New York Times Olympic Live Twitter account, did not just begin their coverage when the Olympics opening ceremony kicked off a week ago. Instead, they began fostering a relationship with their fans and followers well before then by sharing information about the upcoming games or introducing readers to the key players who were competing. By starting to build their online community early, they were able to focus on specific audiences and interest groups first, and could then cross promote with bigger interest groups once the games began, adding specific value when it was needed.

Be Cautious Of What You Tweet

We are only just over a week into the Olympic games and already a number of athletes have found out that hard way that you should always think before you tweet. It is easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment, especially when a person or another business says something negative about your brand, but you should never look at social media as a private conversation. Every single thing you post, both good and bad, has a lasting effect in the Twitterverse and WILL come back to bite you if you are not careful with your words.

Utilize Social Media To Start Conversations

One of the reasons why social media has become such a prominent part of this year’s Olympic games is because of the constant conversations that are happening on sites like Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. By building in a social component to your social media marketing efforts, such as a hashtag strategy or a Facebook contest, you are inviting your followers to start discussions within your brand, and also imply that your company will be participating in the conversation as well. This allows you to connect with your fans on a personal basis, while also getting more users engaged in the discussions happening on your company page.

Have you been following the Olympics through different social media channels? What do you think of the coverage happening so far on sites such as Facebook and Twitter? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!


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