Published October 1, 2012
Guest post by Janice Arnoldi, Arnoldi McPherson.
Canadian sports organizations and athletes should keep the social media momentum coming out of the London 2012 Olympics. These Games were truly the "Socialympics". A record setting four billion people worldwide tuned-in to watch the Olympics on TV but an astounding 306 billion items were shared on the internet, including 100 billion posts on Facebook and five billion tweets on Twitter.
Social media isn't reserved for major events. In fact, social media communities are built day-by-day, communicating and engaging with fans and supporters, many of whom are already advocates of your sport. Sport organizations who succeed understand that the public is no longer willing to search out information, they expect it to be delivered to them. People not only want to follow athletes and competitions in real-time, they want to have an experience by participating through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and increasingly, mobile apps.
Our report released today - "Socialympics: How Sports Organizations and Athletes Used Social Media at London 2012 "- looks at how effectively three National Sports Organizations, 13 Canadian and five international athletes used social media during the 2012 Games. The report offers suggestions about what organizations and athetes should be doing to prepare for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Commonwealth Games, the Pan American Games and even Canada Games.
London 2012 brought home the fact that it is impossible to control the use of social media. NSOs should embrace it by developing a plan, having trained staff to implement it, and helping athletes, who are the ambassadors of their sport, learn to use it to their advantage.