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What Your Company Can Learn From the Socialympics

Posted By ML Admin, July 05, 2012 at 12:46 PM, in Category: Transformative Technologies

With just 22 days left before the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, the excitement surrounding the event is building faster than the Olympic flame can be passed. Perhaps that’s because you can watch the torch relay live from the Games’ London 2012 website, follow the action on Twitter @London2012TorchRelay, and converse with the nearly 53,000 followers of the  Olympic Torch Relay Facebook page.

This is the year of the social media Olympics, dubbed the 2012 Socialympics. Just four years ago, during the games in Beijing, there was little social media interaction. But since then, social media platforms have become the preferred way to share information, and businesses are figuring out how to benefit.

Of course, using social media to promote a brand is on every marketer’s “To Do” list these days. But figuring out how to leverage social media for a strategic advantage—that’s the tough part.

For any manufacturer struggling to see the social media opportunity, I would suggest taking a close look at Proctor & Gamble’s latest marketing campaign. This CPG company went way beyond just displaying the Olympic logo on its webpage to show it is a proud partner of the event. P&G actually created a killer campaign to honor the athletes and their moms. You’ve probably seen the commercial: Mom is getting her little gymnast up at dawn to practice, making her breakfast, shuttling her to tournaments, watching and waiting patiently. Then she’s cheering and crying as her baby competes in the Olympics. The commercial is cut more like a short film, using real-life athletes and their moms from all around the world. The “Thank You, Mum” campaign went viral on YouTube and created a massive following on Facebook and Twitter.

Recently, as part of the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s Manufacturing IT Decision Compass working group, I have been able to speak with executives about the use of social media in their organizations. While many companies are leveraging social media as a way to share information internally, there is still some resistance as it relates to protecting intellectual property and brand reputation. Of course, there must be rules surrounding how organizations use social media. Even sponsors of the Olympics receive social media guidelines outlining what marketers may and may not say in a tweet, for example. Athletes and spectators face restrictions, too.

You may find it helpful to create guidelines for your employees. There are online databases containing hundreds of companies’ social media policies, which may be a good resource as you write up your own rules. But opting out of social media due to fear is not a sound decision.

Launching an enormous social media campaign that includes tens of thousands of individuals from all over the world is an Olympic-size feat in its own right. But for companies like P&G that are successfully using social media to their competitive advantage—well, they get the gold in the Socialympics.

Written by ML Admin

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