London 2012 Olympic Games Social Media Strategy

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Objective: Create a social media strategy that would engage the nation around the clock for the London 2012 Olympic Games and create a long-lasting community of engaged and enthused fans that allows for the continued growth of the Team GB brand.

Marked as the first truly Socialympic Games, London 2012 was the first Olympics told in 140 characters. The power was now with the fans to consume the Olympics the way they wanted to. This presented a strong opportunity for Team GB to engage the nation.

Hired as the Digital Marketing Manager of Team GB heading into the London 2012 Olympic Games, one of my key initiatives was to design and execute the social media and content strategy.

The role of social media was yet to be defined upon arrival and a clear purpose needed to be created; expand the reach of the Team GB brand beyond traditional comms and create an evergreen strategy that grows our audiences across owned and earned channels. This would allow us to control how we engage with fans and make Team GB relevant 365 days a year, not once every two years when the games are on.

There were really three core elements to the strategy:

Content Framework – the creation of a framework allowed for a clear strategy around content creation and publishing. From ‘Always On’ news content of athletes competing around the world and preparing for the games, to lifestyle content to bring to life the values of the Team GB brand and the human side of our athletes to hero content working with ambassadors, sporting heroes and relevant celebrities to create contextually relevant big content pieces to maximize exposure.

Role of Platforms – it was imperative to have a clear strategy for each platform and their role. Combining historic and ongoing learnings from our own channels with insight from the platform providers to understand how to best use their products, we were able to create a platform strategy that would lead to substation audience growth and engagement across the board.

Partnerships – With resources and budgets sparse, the final key to our success was partnerships and collaborations, from previous sporting heroes and British celebrity icons to media platforms and technology companies, we were very fortunate that not only did the British public come in mass to support the team, but through relentless effort and strategic partnership agreements we were able to maximize the opportunity with everyone from the Spice Girls to Facebook Live.

Now the strategy was set, we needed some heart and that came in the form of Storytelling. It was important for us to know who we are and what we mean to our audiences. Our brand storytelling takes fans closer to the action, delivering into the heart of our brand essence. Having a brand narrative and story to tell throughout the year ensures that we have an ongoing engaged audience. The Team GB brand essence of “everyday people achieving extraordinary things” made Team GB so relatable and admired, allowing our fans feel an deep affinity to our athletes and want to get to know them on a deeper level.

Results

  • Over 620% increase of Team GB followers during the Olympics Games
  • Over 35 million people engaged with #TeamGB and #OurGreatestTeam
  • #TeamGB averaged 1.8 million views per day, peaking at over 2.8 million
  • #OurGreatestTeam averaged 542,000 views per day, peaking at over 750,000
  • Over 60,000,000 people reached during the games on Facebook alone.