Social Media Guide to the 2012 Olympics

Olympic Velodrome – 2012 Olympic Park

Welcome to London, the site of the 2012 Olympics! If you haven’t gotten the gist of my excitement yet, well, you haven’t been paying attention. As you have probably been seeing on the news/newspaper/Twitter/the Internet, this Olympics marks itself as the most social yet. Since there is more social media than I can handle (which must mean there is a lot), I will attempt to give the internet world a guide to the most important social networks and what should be available in terms of content.

Twitter – We all know that every sports reporter, news station, and country has been tweeting for weeks about the Olympics. Experts say that there were more tweets about the Olympic Trials in 2012 than the entire Olympic Games in 2008. This is understandable, since Twitter has blown up in recent years. Although I will outline every Twitter account you should follow, – mostly because MY list would be ridiculously long –@NBCOlympics should be on your following list to give you the most basic information about the games. Any user, on Twitter or not, can search in Google (or the Twitter search feature, of course), for your favorite athletes, teams, and country’s Twitter account. For those international communications/media junkies, there is the International Olympics Committee Media Twitter account as well that highlights news stories from the IOC. It has been eerily silent lately, so we shall see if any more information is tweeted when the games begin.

Facebook is also very connected with NBC and the Olympic committee, as I have mentioned in previous posts. They have teamed up with these media giants to provide exclusive content and games. I would recommend ‘liking’ the Olympics page and the NBC Olympics page, because obviously I cannot get enough of NBC! I think what I am most excited about on Facebook is to see everyone’s reactions to the hundreds of events happening throughout the two weeks. A lot of my Facebook friends seem to be excited for swimming, gymnastics, and beach volleyball, although I read somewhere on the internet that cycling seems to be vying for the favorite spot. Although with the U.S. Women’s soccer win over France on Wednesday in the preliminary trials, it seems as if soccer (football) is making a comeback in the hearts of Americans.

Very cool Coca Cola Olympics 2012 Design

Photos/Videos – With the collection of tremendous athletes making their mark on the global stage, there are sure to be fabulous pictures and videos streaming constantly of their greatest achievements and their low points as well. Interesting YouTube channels include Team USA and the official Olympics account, both of which included playlists of pump-up videos, interviews, and great sports moments. There are also fantastic video and photo galleries on the official Olympics website, all of which are sure to be updated daily, if not by the hour, minute, and second.

The Good Old World Wide Web – The public is sure to find MILLIONS of examples of Olympic news and updates on the actual internet. There are online Olympic communities where users can be kept up to date on new information, the best including London2012, the official Olympics website, the Olympic athlete Hub (where users can follow all their favorite athletes on their social media platform of choice), NBC Olympics, and Team USA. Also note the New York Times, which has a dedicated Olympics page that includes schedules, tweets, videos, and a plethora of other internet information.

The best of the rest includes the London 2012 Google+ page and Flickr group. It is unfortunate that the general public does not use Google+ or Flickr that much. I, however, love Google+’s slick usability and Flickr’s Creative Commons search (which give users the ability to use images without copyright infringement). The Olympics Flickr group is an open group to which people can post pictures. It will be interesting to see the public’s view of the games, venues, and the city. For example, all the images in this post are copyright-free photos from users who want me to utilize their photos (not-for-profit, of course) for my own enjoyment! I love the internet!

However, amidst all of these wonderful sources are some rules regarding the posting of Olympic content. Mashable reports the following rules:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has revamped its social media policies. And those strict rules also apply to Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a marketer or social media manager, here’s what you need to know before sharing:

  • Brands cannot associate themselves with the Olympics.
  • You must comply with the Olympic Association Right (OAR) and London Olympic Association Right (LOAR)
  • Provide the facts and take a journalistic approach to avoid violating restrictions.
  • Avoid marketing campaigns framed around the Olympics.

Rules like this should encourage reporters to write from a journalistic standpoint instead of just tweeting/posting whatever is on their mind. This should make way for some great journalism, which I believe needs to make a comeback.

Buckle your seat belts – it will for sure be a bumpy ride! Good luck to every nation today, but go Team USA!

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