Going for gold in the Socialympics
While the athletes have gone home and the Olympic flame has moved on from London, there are still a few medals to award in the quest for international glory. Of the eleven world-wide sponsors who competed for social media dominance, we’ve come up with the biggest winners and losers in the “socialmpics”.
Gold: As predicted, Coca-Cola was the whole package, finishing first on the heels of strong performances in all social media events. In terms of sheer numbers and absolute gains it outpaced all other competitors, adding nearly 1.5 million new Facebook fans over the course of the Games, more than all other sponsors combined. At the same time, its video views on YouTube rallied behind colorful, musically themed commercials, growing by more than 6 million to top out at 93.6 million views.
Silver: While it trailed Coca-Cola in all social media categories throughout the Olympics, Samsung’s impressive come-from-behind performance was good enough to land it second place. The race to the finish was a thrill-ride on YouTube where, despite its 93.12 million video views putting it just barely behind Coca-Cola, Samsung out-gained its rival by almost 2 million views.
The mobile communications giant’s incredible showing on the video site highlights the importance YouTube has played throughout the Games, as it was here that most social media gains were made.
Bronze: In the spirit of sportsmanship, the Bronze goes to not just one, but two scrappy competitors, Visa and P&G. Visa’s Facebook fan presence enjoyed steady growth throughout the Games, adding nearly 354,000 new fans over the two weeks. Where it really shined, however, was on YouTube, as its 34 million views at the start of the games, already high, shot up by 42.5% to reach 48.6 million. Indeed, its growth on YouTube propelled an overall social followers gain of some 15 million, more than any other sponsor. P&G, for its part, proved it could compete with the big dogs as its Thank You, Mom campaign spurred a YouTube growth spurt of over 11 million video views, finishing at 40.14 million.
Biggest Let-Down: McDonald’s started out promising, with over 21 million Facebook fans and more than 14 million YouTube video views at the start of the Games. Its total social media presence, however, only increased by 1.8 million, due to stagnant growth across the social media board. In the end, it may have had trouble shedding the paradoxical image of a fast-food chain sponsoring the greatest testament to health on fitness and on the planet.
Here is a final tally of total social media following as of August 15
While the 2012 Games may be best remembered for the heroics of Michael Phelps or the brief (thankfully) reuniting of the Spice Girls, it seems that the greatest legacy may be that of world-wide sponsors sparring on social media. Bring on Sochi 2014.