London 2012: Which teams are leading on Twitter?
With London 2012 just around the corner there has been much talk in the UK about how social media will be used during the Olympic Games. By the media, by London 2012 itself and by the volunteers and athletes. There are many restrictions for each of these groups about what they can and can’t say, whether they can share photos and what they can reveal. But the Olympics should offer a great opportunity for people to connect and share with each other, through social media, on sports, athletes and topics they are interested in.
I would also expect to be seeing the national teams for each country to be using Twitter to engage its own audiences, reporting back on what is happening in London, showcasing their athletes and engaging and promoting fans across the web. So as an alternative to the usual medal tables, I thought I’d compare how the official countries are performing on Twitter and rank the top three.
At the time of writing, TeamGB is in Gold medal position, with Australia taking Silver and Canada in Bronze. But the overall message is that few teams are really making use of social media as much as they could or should. Some are using Facebook or Twitter but many are not. This is a real missed opportunity to excite and engage their local audiences in sport, the athletes and in promoting and supporting their teams.
Those that are doing it best are providing a balance of news and updates with promoting fan engagement. Find fans of the team and sports online, talking to them, engaging them and sharing with them their passions. TeamGB, for example, gets a balance between broadcasting photos, videos and other content with engaging fans and partners across the UK to increase the volume of discussion and the excitement about the team and its performance at London 2012. It also provides a great way to introduce people to new sports and athletes they might not previously have been aware of.
Social media is a great way to engage people on shared passions and interests. For many brands this can be difficult to do and needs strategic thinking and creativity to get right. For the teams competing in London 2012, finding this commonality should be easy. Social media should be the main way they are engaging their fans and their teams and supporting their athletes to victory.