This post was first published by Erica Frank on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.
I admit it: I am slightly addicted to the Olympics. I’m completely obsessed with the back stories behind the athletes – the families that sacrifice everything for their son or daughter to follow their dreams or the athletes who grow up with very little and end up making a name for not only themselves, but their country. I think those anecdotes are a large part of why it’s such an emotionally-charged event. While the passion, competition and glory of this Olympics haven’t changed, one thing certainly has: its digital component.
Although I recently celebrated my fourth Twitter anniversary, I wasn’t nearly as active on the social media platform as I am today. I think a lot of people would say the same, which means the last Summer Olympics in Beijing didn’t have the same flurry of social media activity as the current Olympics has. Not that we needed a reminder, but this four-year gap shows just how pervasive digital media is in our lives today. Still need the proof? Check out some stats from this article:
- The London Olympics had more tweets on its first day than the entire 2008 Beijing Olympics. That’s one day beating out two full weeks. Impressive.
- During the first weekend, the U.S. had 190,000 tweets in support of its athletes, followed by Great Britain with 180,000.
Additionally, as fans, we’re engaging much more with our idols than ever be. Nearly every athlete has a Twitter handle, making it easy to stay up to date on their London happenings.
While the social media aspect hasn’t been a walk in the park, as evidenced by a Twitter outage; the night before the Opening Ceremonies, it certainly has brought a new element to the Olympic Games.
I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another whole week of competition! I’m a total Olympics sucker 🙂