According to Wall Street Journal, the London Olympic Games were described as “the world’s first social-media Olympics.”
Twitter’s official figures on Olympic Twitter records reveals that, Jamaican gold medalist Usain Bolt ranks the top when he dominated in men’s sprint, with 80,000 tweets per minute for his 200m sprint final and 74,000+ for his 100m. Local tennis player Andy Murray ranks the third when he won gold in the men’s tennis singles, with 57,000+ tweets per minute.
In addition, Usain Bolt was also the most discussed athlete of the Games, with more than 1 million Tweets in total.
However, according toHerald Sun, the single-most tweeted subject went to Spice Girls, with more than 116,000 tweets per minute in the closing ceremony.
According to CNN, Facebook‘s figure was slightly different, but Bolt and Phelps still dominate as the first and second most-talked athletes.
Athletes themselves are likely to be the biggest winners. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter help athletes promote their social media profiles to their fans across the globe.
“Social media has been an incredibly positive experience,” Jane Cowmeadow, agent for British heptathalon gold-medal winner Jessica Ennis, told Wall Street Journal. “Jessica had incredible support. It gives fans a lot closer insight into the people they are following.”
However, social media may also distract athletes from their Games. “You are open to everyone saying anything about you. We recommended to Jessica [Ennis] that she shut her Twitter account down during the games because she didn’t need distractions.” Tom Daley, an English diver, said.
“British diver and bronze-medal winner Tom Daley and Ms. Ennis increased their Facebook fanbase up to 800 percent during the games,” Nick Thain, CEO of Sports New Media, a company that helps sports stars manage their social-media pages on Facebook, told Wall Street Journal. Both of the athletes are Sports New Media’s clients.
According to Mr. Thain, building up fans gives athletes a higher chance of brand potential and engaged users.
According to Alex Huot, IOC Head of Social Media, London 2012 paves the way for future popularity of Social media in sports. The IOC used many kinds of existing social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+ and even China’s Sina Weibo, with messages sent in Russian, Chinese, Portuguese as well as English and French.