The July 1 finale of the 2012 Euro-Cup established a new record in tweets for a single sporting event (16.5 million tweets), but that may pale in comparison to what we see when the London Olympic Games begin on July 27.
In the four years since the Beijing Games, Facebook has gone from about 100 million active users to about 900 million, and Twitter from 6 million to about 150 million, reports the New York Times. For London, Facebook has created its first-ever branded event page to drive users to the individual pages of athletes, teams and sports, and the International Olympic Committee has its own Facebook brand page.
London Olympics sponsors are following suit. To track the sponsors' social media activity, London-based agency Sociagility has created a London 2012 Social Scoreboard, according to the Times. The board shows "who’s winning the status and potential gold medals" and ranks sponsors based on performance across different social networks and pits them against each other to see who comes out on top, according to Sociagility's Web site.
Procter & Gamble sits atop the list, followed by Cadbury. P&G, fueled by its "Thank You, Mom" campaign and "Raising an Olympian" video series, has has piqued the interest of millions of Web users by focusing on Olympic athletes' mothers as much as they do the competitors themselves. A series of videos has earned over 19 million views on its custom-built YouTube page.
On Twitter, P&G has created a dedicated @ThankYouMom handle (its stream is imbedded on the YouTube page) that links to the video series as well as retweets from athletes thanking their mothers. The @ProcterGamble also retweets comments using the #ThankYouMom hashtag. A separate Facebook page was created for the campaign, on which P&G offers coupons and posts photos and videos highlighting the Olympians' moms; the Facebook page also offers some general feel-good posts about everyday moms. P&G's strategy proves that unique storytelling through video serves as the perfect building block for a social media campaign across multiple channels.
For brands that are spending million of dollars to sponsor the games, integrating social media into their campaigns—whether by branded hashtags or driving visitors to their Facebook pages—will be just one of the dozens of high-stakes competitions taking place during the games.
Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg