Phil Worms, marketing and corporate communications director at cloud computing company iomart Hosting, looks back on an incredible summer for social media.
iomart Hosting is proud to be sponsoring this year’s Social Buzz Awards which recognise and reward effective social media strategies.
Today is judging day and as members of the panel spend time banging their heads as they debate their favourite online campaigns we thought we’d look back at the Olympian impact that social media has had this year.
It’s been less than three weeks since the Paralympics brought an incredible summer of sport to an end in the UK, yet the impact that social media had in those few extraordinary weeks will live on for a long, long time.
You just have to look at the statistics released by Twitter. The Olympics alone generated 150 million tweets. That’s not just words, that’s media rich content.. photos, video, words.
Usain Bolt was the big winner – not just on the track. Bolt ran the 100 metres in just 9.63 seconds and by the time he reached the finishing line over 2 million items had been shared.
Inside the Olympic Stadium spectators weren’t just taking photos they were holding up smartphones and iPads to catch video of events and share it.
For Team GB the Games were momentous not only in achievement but in the profile created for the team by the use of social media. Athletes’ names trended on Twitter as they shared their thoughts and behind-the-scenes insight like never before.
All of the above was not just created by some random upsurge in public interest. This was fired by organisations, companies and brands preparing for what was heralded as the first truly social media Olympic Games. Some got it right - the BBC running content across multiple platforms, companies like Lloyds TSB supporting the Torch Relay across its customer base – while others, including big brand sponsors like McDonalds and Atos spent the Games defending their brands after negative reaction.
Social media is immediate, it’s global and because it’s about people it’s hard to control it. You can’t get in the mind of every person on Facebook or Twitter and you can’t control their reaction. Even the most well thought out campaign can end up unintentionally as one gigantic #fail. So those campaigns that are successful really do deserve a big slap on the back. They’ve been carefully planned, carefully managed and carefully executed in order to have a positive impact. And that takes great skill.
Clever and effective use of social media is now a given for anyone wanting to achieve a successful marketing or media campaign. Whether it is people, products or policies you’re promoting, the right social media strategy is a vital part of your media mix.
So, we look forward with great interest to see which campaigns got it right and will be selected for the Social Buzz Awards shortlist and hope we can all learn something from them to add to our own campaigns over the coming months.
Once today’s judging is over, the nominations will be revealed via a live blog at thedrum.com at 3pm on 5th October and the results revealed at the awards ceremony on 28th November.
iomart Hosting would like to wish everyone who’s entered the very best of luck.
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