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How the Olympics are Winning the Social Media Game

17/01/2014
Michigan Creative

It may seem like every company, brand, or event has a social media presence.  However, many of these profiles seem to exist purely out of obligation and are updated sporadically at best.  On the other hand, some organizations seem to really grasp the purpose of social media and the various platforms. The social media strategy implemented by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is one great example of a company that really gets it. They understand how to use social media to build their brand and build excitement for the Winter Games this February

Below, broken down by platform, are the reasons the IOC is winning the social media game.

 

Facebook

Starting off with the most popular social media platform, The Olympic Games page boasts 4.9 million likes and focuses on giving users a deeper look at the events leading up the Olympic Games.  I particularly enjoy the behind the scenes interviews with the athletes.  Facebook is designed for users to like, comment and share content and that is exactly what The Olympic Games page wants you to do.  From getting to vote for your favorite team to stunning photos that remind us why we love the Olympics, the page makes it feel like the games have already started.  Finally, unlike ever before, fans from all over the world can interact with each other through Facebook.

Twitter
Twitter is all about the headlines and up to minute information and that’s exactly what the Olympics include in their tweets.  From which athletes have qualified for the Olympics to what city the Olympic torch is currently in, Twitter will keep you updated throughout the day. Just search for @Olympics and join the other 2.28+ million followers.  Also, if you are counting the days to the Winter Games, check out @sochi2014 for a fun and visual countdown.  And for those that will be tweeting about the games don’t forget to include #sochi2014.

Instagram
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? The people behind the Olympics Instagram seem to agree. Original pictures along with those aggregated from the other Olympic social media accounts all come together in one place.  My favorite pictures are the Olympics then and now, highlighting how certain winter sports have evolved since the early part of the 20th century.  Through Instagram fans are able to relive some of the great moments in Olympic history.

YouTube
Their YouTube channel tagline sums up why the Olympics knows what they are doing, “New Videos Every Day”!  The page is neatly organized with a specific theme for each day of the week.  For example, on Wednesday’s video are posted under the theme Faster Higher Stronger.  The theme contains a series of videos where Olympic athletes explain their sport and the training involved. Don’t take my word for it, check out their YouTube page for yourself and I promise you will make it a daily stop during your internet routine.

Google+
Rounding up the list of social media accounts utilized by the IOC (at least available in the U.S.) is Google+.  I am slightly ashamed that it had been months since I logged into Google+ when I visited the Olympics profile but once again I was inspired. I may even start using Google+ more frequently. My screen was covered in articles, videos, pictures, and engagement from users all over the world. A great feature is that a hash tag is added to each post.  When you click on a hashtag related posts are loaded on the same screen, right into the mix of all the other posts. I encourage you to log on to Google+ and check it out for yourself, especially if you haven’t logged into your account for a while.

Across social media platforms, the interactivity and steady stream of content makes everybody feel like they are part of the experience; even someone sitting at a desk in Michigan J. Check back after the Olympic Games for a round-up of how journalists, the IOC, athletes, and attendees used social media to document the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Which organization do you think does a great job with social media? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Until next time,
Katie

Brought to you by Michigan Creative

Photo provided by The Olympics Instagram feed