Why @TeamGB gets a gold medal for social media

Team GB Facebook: Bradley WigginsWe’re only a few days into London 2012 and we keep coming over all impressed by TeamGB‘s social media activity.

There are lots of good tips to pick up here which you can apply to your own business even if you don’t have a big budget to play with.

What this model does require however, is round-the-clock effort and quality content to boot.

So while this kind of 24/7 engagement might be too much to sustain over long periods of time, if you’re looking to come up with a social media strategy for short-term events such as conferences, award shows, festivals or stage shows, the way that Team GB is covering the Olympics should give you plenty of ideas.

So what are they doing which is so impressive?

Team GB: show us your thumbs

Asking for retweets and Facebook likes

On social media, if you want people to do something, just ask. You might be surprised at the positive response you get.

On Facebook, Team GB are really skilled at just asking people to like, comment or  share their content, but they do it such a warm and enthusiastic way you hardly notice.

Like in this example (right) – they don’t just say ‘please click like’ they say ‘Show us your thumbs!’

Friendly, subtle and effective.

Asking questions for (seemingly) no reward

“Tom Daley joined us in Team GB House last night & signed his name on the Our Greatest Team wall. Who is looking forward to seeing him compete in the individual diving?”

This sort of Facebook post encourages a feeling of inclusivity, drawing on the collective sense of excitement and anticipation that has swept the country.

So when Team GB do ask us directly to respond to one of their posts we’re more likely to do so, because we trust their motives and see them as altruistic rather than desperate and needy. It also got 21K likes and over 600 comments – so they still felt the benefit.

Team GB on Twitter

Letting followers play a part

By asking followers to vote for the Facebook cover photo of the day  or asking them to send in their own photos via Twitter (right), Team GB is doing three things:

  • making people feel part of feelgood social channels celebrating our Olympic hopefuls
  • making it fun to be involved
  • encouraging more likes, comments, shares and retweets, thus raising awareness of their own channels and building the community.

Offering fast and accurate information
Team GB does all it can to show that it’s a trusted source of information. On Twitter for example, @TeamGB is first with the news and is very good at giving you extra details, like who’s competing today, who are our medal hopes and how the match or race is going.

Not everyone is able to follow the action live on the TV, radio, or by streaming, but following this Twitter account gives you all the information you need – and whips everyone into a frenzy at the same time.

Team GB on TwitterPosting frequently
Some research says that on Facebook you should post every other day to get a maximum level of likes. More than that and you’re bombarding people and they will start responding less often.

However, if you’re a news outlet of some kind, people are happy for you to post frequently and expect you to deliver the big stories when they happen.

Just make sure once you start you see it through!

Making the most of multimedia
As you would expect, the quality of images coming out of Team GB is superb. You get athletes in action, on the podium looking delighted at their success…or after the race looking devastated to have missed out on a medal.

It’s extended to a Team GB YouTube channel too, featuring interviews and behind the scenes footage to really draw you in. This is all shared on the main website and accompanying channels.

Working across all platforms
TeamGB on Google+Team GB are also active on Google+, sharing their image and video content to the 44K people who have them in their circles.

The #OurGreatestTeam slogan is really prominent here, and posted frequently in their posts across all their social platforms, giving a feeling of consistency to the whole effort.

It’s interesting to note that the levels of engagement on Google+ are pretty low compared to the other big networks – just a handful of responses for each post unless it’s about a Gold medal winner. This suggests that Google+ still hasn’t caught the imagination yet. Wonder where we’ll be by Rio 2016?

Also on the podium

As well as Team GB’s social media activity, here are some other places you can find Olympic inspiration:

Update September 2012

After writing this post, Team GB’s digital manager Joe Morgan got in touch to see if we wanted any quotes or more information. So I’ve written our conversation up as a post for Media Week’s Wall Blog: Loved Team GB’s social media updates? Here’s how they did it.

You can also follow Joe on Twitter: @MrJoemorgan

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2 thoughts on “Why @TeamGB gets a gold medal for social media

  1. Pingback: Loved Team GB's social media updates? Here's how they did it | The Wall Blog

  2. Pingback: I am alive... and I have won social media olympic gold at London 2012 | 101 Things to do before I am 30

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