The Olympics Win the Gold in Social Media

By Emily Pirt, Communications Committee Member

Traditionally, the Olympics have been a time for countries to put aside their differences and come together for two weeks to celebrate friendly competition. Although some olympic rings country rivalries would challenge the “friendly” competition assumption, it is nonetheless a time when the world appears to feel the most connected to one another.

This Olympic season was particularly good at connecting viewers around the world due to the International Olympic Committee’s use of social media. Since London hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics, the IOC has stepped up its game on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Even though viewers may be thousands of miles away on their couch, this social media increase has made them feel like they are a part of the games. Not only can fans communicate directly with their favorite athletes, but they also can get up to the minute coverage sent to them directly from Sochi.

There is worldwide dispute as to whether the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games or the 2012 London Summer Games were the first official “Social Media Olympics”. Although both utilized social media to some extent, without a doubt there are more viewers that are connected through social media during these games than ever before.

The IOC has its own verified accounts on all three sites, pulling in an impressive 7.2 million likes on Facebook, 43.9k followers on Twitter, and 339k followers on Instagram. Compared to previous years this is a huge step for the IOA; one that I would say is a step in the right direction.

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