The Summer Games in London will be the most tweeted, liked, pinned, and tagged in history. Fans will offer a never before seen insider’s view of what many are calling the social media Summer Games or the “socialympics.” Hash Tags, pins, “like” symbols, and @ signs will be as prevalent as national flags, and medal ceremonies. Athletes may very well spend more time on Twitter and Facebook than the playing field.
Mobile phones have become smarter, laptops lighter and tablet devices a must-have for technology lovers. This means that social-savvy fans will be consistently online. During the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Facebook was just a baby, at only 100 million users. When the 2012 Games kick off in London this summer, Facebook will boast more than 845 million members. Twitter had 6 million users in 2008; today the network is more than 20 times larger, at 140 million users.
Here is a timeline of Olympic coverage:
1890s: Print – With the start of the modern Olympics in 1896, people followed the games through newspapers.
1936: Radio – The Berlin games were the first to receive extensive radio coverage: 2,500 broadcasts in 28 different languages.
1964: Television – The Tokyo Olympics set a milestone with the first live satellite broadcast. In total, 40 countries tuned in.
1996: Internet – For the first time, the Olympics has dedicated web page complete with news, photos, results and ticket sales.
2012: Social Media – The Olympic Athletes’ Hub debuts, allowing fans and athletes to interact directly online. http://hub.olympic.org . The top 5 followed athletes goes as follows; LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Dwayne Wade.
Social Media may have a lot of restrictions and rules this year on what you can and cannot do when mentioning, tweeting, talking about the Summer Games, as in;
You mustn’t: (according to socialmediatoday.com)
– run a marketing campaign to get your brand associated with the Olympics;
– encourage Olympics themed-responses from your community;
– run a competition for Olympics tickets;
– give specific expressions of support (e.g. “Go Team GB in London 2012!”) or excitement/enthusiasm suggesting a connection with the brand (e.g. “everyone here at Brand X so excited about the Olympics!”)
– mention a specific product or service in connection with the Games (e.g. “London 2012 athletes should drink Brand X for energy”)
– sponsor London 2012 broadcasts or reports