Over the past few weeks we’ve seen numerous blogs, statistics and infographics summarising the Olympics, not just in terms of how athletes and teams performed in the medals table, but also relating to social buzz and online activity. Considering that during the Beijing 2008 Games, Facebook had just 100m active users and only 100m Tweets were sent per quarter, while in 2012 Facebook has over 900m users and 340m Tweets are sent each day, it’s clear why social media took centre stage during the London 2012 Olympics. Here are some great sources and statistics we’ve found which demonstrate just how powerful online and social media was during the Games.
BBC Blog – The Digital Olympics
Official broadcaster of the London 2012 Olympics, the BBC offered 24 online streams of the Games, allowing viewers to watch pretty much any event live, on demand, from desktop and mobile devices. This capability could only be dreamt about during Beijing 2008. Given the extensive coverage, it’s not surprising that by the final day of the games almost 35 million people viewed the Games online. But on which devices were people watching? Although usage of all four screens (TV, mobile, tablet and connected TV) increased during the Games, one of the most notable statistics is that 12 million people watched on mobile devices, accounting for 33% of all usage.
I think the question on everyone’s mind now is, can Channel 4 continue this momentum during the Paralympics?
London 2012 Olympic Games Digital Report
This slideshow breaks down online traffic facts and statistics from official digital channels of the London 2012 Olympic Games. It begins by exploring how the internet, social media and mobile use have evolved since it was announced in 2005 that London would host the 2012 Olympics. When you look at these figures, it’s evident why social and digital media had such a huge part to play. Key findings from this slideshow include:
- 60% of visits to the London 2012 website were from mobile devices
- 40% of all online Britons visited the website; a massive number highlighting just how much support locals had for the Games, and suggesting the website had a great user experience, telling supporters everything they wanted to know
- 48 “official” Twitter accounts were made, ranging from live feeds, mascot accounts, and even cameras with personality, appealing to every interest
The Emotional Journey of Team GB
A great project from Emoto tracked real-time Twitter sentiment throughout the Olympics. Their blog looks back on Twitter sentiment throughout the games, noting sentiment towards Team GB was generally positive, and emotions were more intense in the UK compared to the world – maybe that’s what comes from the pressure of being the host nation.
Twitter’s response to the Olympics
Twitter itself commented on the social success of the Olympics, reporting that 150 million Olympic-related tweets were sent over the 16 day period. Perhaps more notable than this is Twitter’s report that records were broken during the games. Ironically, however, Twitter highlights the winning social moment of the entire Games period was not sports-related at all; it was actually conversation about the Spice Girls’ comeback during the closing ceremony, which witnessed a massive 116,000 tweets-per-minute, breaking the record set by Usain Bolt days earlier.
Which brands won the Olympics on social media?
It wasn’t just athletes, teams and various sports events competing for gold in the “Socialympics”. The sponsors, of course, played a huge role in the Games both online and offline. But which sponsor won Gold? This infographic takes different Olympic sports (or, performance metrics) and highlights which sponsor received gold, silver and bronze. Key findings include:
- Coca-Cola won gold medals for follower numbers and growth. However, their percentage growth is extremely low compared to winners, Visa (83.5%). Arguably this emphasises how strong Coca-Cola’s social activity was prior to the Olympics, as well as showing how the Olympics helped other, less “social” sponsors establish a social media presence
- Despite posting almost 11,000 times, the highest of any sponsor, Coca-Cola were failing to engage followers. In fact, the most engaging sponsor was Omega, who posted just 37 times. This accentuates the importance of targeting, and proves that in social media, less can be more
- Panasonic, on average, took almost 2 days to respond to tweets. Can behaviour like this really be classed as “social”?
There are a range of other statistics and blog posts analysing social and online data and exploring successes of various athletes, teams and brands online, but to go through them all would probably take until the next Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. If those highlighted above tell us anything it’s that social and digital media brought spectators, athletes and brands together in ways never seen before. Moreover, the high usage of mobile devices highlights the increasing importance of building mobile into marketing strategies. It will be interesting to see how statistics compare during the Paralymic Games, and indeed, how they grow and evolve in time for Rio 2016.
Have you found any other interesting statistics about social media and online engagement during the London 2012 Olympic Games?