We have been counting down to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games for months now, and we can hardly contain our excitement that the Opening Ceremony is finally tonight! We love the competition and the spirit surrounding the games. There are so many stories to follow and “good guys” to root for.
We’ve been thinking a lot about how the 2012 Olympics will likely be different than previous summer games, mostly because of the onslaught of social media in the past four years. It looks like we weren’t the only ones to have this thought, as a quick Google search for “social media and the Olympics” revealed several articles like this one from Yahoo Sports.
Will social media be a good thing or a bad thing for the Olympics? That depends on who you talk to. But, one thing is for sure: social media platforms have turned into breaking news outlets. For the majority of young people, they hear about news stories first through Twitter or Facebook, and when they want to see something replayed, they go to YouTube.
The sharing of stories and breaking news that will be going on via social media and pertaining to the Olympics will be unlike anything the games have ever seen before. And, social media will likely help the Olympics to reach a younger demographic, not necessarily one that wasn’t interested in the games before, but just one who is now completely plugged-in.
For the first time, fans will have an intimate connection to athletes who choose to provide commentary on their experience through social media. This new type of connection can surely be a good thing, if used appropriately by both athletes and fans. But, already a few instances have been cited where competitors were disrespectful or inappropriate, and because they voiced their opinions through social media sites, they are now being punished.
We believe that social media and the Olympics should be treated very much like social media and business. You have to be smart, respectful, up-to-date and interesting to be relevant. If you are, people will flock to you, share what you have to say, and in the end, make you a social media gold-medalist. If you don’t think before you post, tweet, share, etc. you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Here’s hoping that social media serves as a positive lens into the 2012 summer games; providing fans with up-to-the-minute updates and interesting insights.
Let the games begin, and go Team U.S.A.!