Social media gives brands a platform to engage, inform and entertain followers, fans and customers. To do this, brands need to deliver the right content, in the correct tone, and via the right channel.
For brands, sponsoring major events like the Olympics and the World Cup can bring benefits that are hard to ignore. Adidas attributed a boost in sales to its sponsorship of London 2012. Coca-Cola created more than 120 pieces of content as part of its London 2012 sponsorship activity.
Sponsorship gives brands a chance to enter new markets, while promoting the brand on a global scale. Yet when they sign up to sponsor international events, they don’t just get the benefits. They get the politics, too.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics saw sponsors targeted for their association with the event, with protesters putting pressure on them over China’s human rights record. When people took to the streets in Rio over the Brazilian Governments preparations for the 2014 World Cup, the media turned to the sponsors for their response.
Now, at the start of Sochi 2014, some sponsors are finding it impossible to escape political questions over human rights and the government’s controversial law banning so-called gay ‘propaganda’. These are brands that simply signed up to sponsor one of the biggest events in the world, and presumably support the ethics of the Olympics movement (including ‘Principle 6’ of the Olympic Charter which opposes all discrimination).
How, then,... Read more
Those of us who work in social media are always talking about how brands need to be proactive, to have conversations with their social media fans and followers. It’s lovely to see that some brands are taking this a step further, and talking to each other.
Nothing beats standing in a sold-out arena. Whether it’s watching your favourite baseball player hit a home run or singing along with thousands of other fans to Beyoncé’s latest hit, live events can be an exhilarating experience. Now social media has opened them up to a larger audience and fans from around the world can follow an event and feel like they are really participating.
Share the live experience
Social media can help bring the television audience closer to the event, and to each other, making them a greater part of the experience. In 2012 American Idol achieved this by creating a community website for its fans called Idol Nation, which acted as a kind of social media hub, gave a place for fans to come and talk to each other about the show, and highlighted popular community members.
It also launched a Twitter campaign, Flock to Unlock, which encouraged viewers to tweet to unlock exclusive content from sponsors and behind-the-scenes footage from the show. American Idol was so successful at augmenting viewer experience, that the finale reached a peak of almost 24,000 tweets per minute.
Later in the year, the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards became one of the most social events ever.... Read more
Coverage at election time can lead to accusations of bias. If you're a media owner using use-generated content, how can you strike the right balance?