The First Twitter Olympics

ExpoWeb: Major sporting events provide a great opportunity to study social sharing at scale. Consider that Twitter users set a new record of 7,196 tweets per second for this month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup final game.

With 15,000 athletes from more than 200 countries competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games for 4,400 medals, over 3.5 million tickets already sold and 20,000 accredited media onsite, the London 2012 Olympic Games will certainly drive plenty of tweets, likes, posts, comments, photo/video shares, etc. across a wide range of social media platforms.

In this week’s post, I share with you a new social sharing initiative London 2012 announced in a press release yesterday to mark the one year out milestone: a Twitter competition to find out which country has the most online fans.

According to the press release, “London 2012 will also enable fans from all over the world to celebrate one year to go by creating an interactive Twitter stadium and world map. By visiting people will be able see what athletes are saying about London 2012 and will be able to tweet their support for their team using the #1yeartogo 'hashtag'. People will also be able to upload videos and photos, which will appear on the world map alongside video messages from the world’s athletes.”

As of this post, there were already more than 85,000 tweets.

This social marketing program is certainly worth a look for event marketers as there are valuable takeaways here, especially in the area of social engagement. A key one is that London 2012 is not just promoting the global mega event on Twitter by tweeting news updates and other information, they have created a new target-relevant piece of content, i.e., the contest to engage their audience. More specifically, they have designed something simple, fun and interactive—and integrated competition between countries into it which syncs well with the Olympics.

London 2012 has several social media initiatives and has already generated over 153,000 fans on their Facebook Page. Visit the London 2012 Web site to see firsthand what they are doing.


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