Twitter Reveals Olympic Tie-In Tools and Offers Brand-Campaign Advice
After a year of delay due to the pandemic and ongoing uncertainty regarding Japan's COVID situation, the 32nd Olympiad is now about to begin in Tokyo and Twitter has detailed how it plans to help users participate in discussion surrounding the event, as well as how brands can use the surrounding trends for tie-in marketing efforts.
To begin, Twitter is releasing unique hashtag emojis (or 'hashflags,' as some refer to them) for both the event and individual participant nations, as has become the usual for significant events.
According to Twitter:
"Fans worldwide can use the official Olympics Twitter emoji throughout the Games. The emoji will unlock when you Tweet #Olympics and related hashtags in more than 30 languages. Twitter will also have emojis for each country competing, unlocked when you Tweet three-character country hashtags. Lastly, fans can cheer on the Refugee Olympic Team during the Games by Tweeting #EOR to unlock their team emoji."
Twitter has also introduced bespoke hashflags for American gymnast Simone Biles, who is hoping to expand on her Olympic legacy.
Other athletes are likely to receive similar hashflags throughout the games.
During the event, Twitter will also introduce a new Olympics Explore tab on desktop, along with new Olympic topics to follow to keep in touch.
Twitter will also host customised games Event Pages, that will display the most popular Tweets from well-known accounts.
"You'll be able to follow the action and reactions as they happen for the marquee events and top games. We will also have custom Event Pages dedicated to different countries. These will be home to top Tweets which capture that country’s experience."
Twitter is also releasing its #ExpertEngine Experience this year, which will allow users to know more about Olympic events.
This could be a useful alternative if you want to know more about the events - or simply one-up your buddy or partner who thinks he or she knows everything there is to know about modern pentathlon and its participants.
According to Twitter, the most prominent Olympic sports in terms of total tweet volume are:
And the individual athletes who are most famous are:
Rikako Ikee (@rikakoikee) - Swimming, Japan
Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) - Gymnastics, USA
Naomi Osaka (@naomiosaka) - Tennis, Japan
Kei Nishikori (@keinishikori) - Tennis, Japan
Kohei Uchimura (@kohei198913) - Gymnastics, Japan
These are likely to alter throughout the event, as new heroes and stories emerge between the lines. However, if you're curious about where the Olympic discussion is currently focused, there are some solid indicators.
Which is presumably what brands looking for tie-in chances are most interested in - and Twitter has offered some ideas for marketers to help with their strategy.
Twitter's primary factors for branded tie-ins are as follows:
Get your tone and topics right - There are 33 different sports to pick from, so don't restrict yourself to the most popular events.
Get familiar with time zones - According to Twitter, 28% of users intend to use their favored social site to watch highlights in the morning.
Make the most of digital-first - With no IRL crowds, more fans will be wanting to engage online than ever before, which represents a huge potential opportunity.
Plan for the unexpected - With the COVID-19 situation still progressing, things can change quickly, so if you've devised a strategy, keep in mind that it could be swept aside in an instant.
Define your goals - Think about not only your fundamental social media engagement objectives, but also the real brand benefits you hope to gain from your tie-in campaign efforts.
These are some excellent points, and if you're planning a related twitter strategy, it's worth considering them and making sure you're well-prepared.
As no one knows what the following several weeks will bring. Even now, as the COVID situation in Japan worsens, it appears that the Olympics may be canceled outright, and because the Games have historically dominated the surrounding media cycle, there's a considerable probability that getting your marketing message heard at all during the event will be considerably more difficult.
Due to the COVID adjustments, it will feel different this time, and it will be unusual to witness world records be smashed with practically no crowd response. Possibly as a result of the pandemic, the Games will be less impactful and disruptive in the broad media sense - or perhaps people will be more eager to gather around the Games, and it will be greater than before.
It's tough to say, but you can certainly anticipate to hear a lot more sports talk, which you should incorporate into your plans.