The First Social Gold Medallists
While we’re still looking at the figures for “Super Saturday’ gold medal bonanza we have been looking at Gold Rush Wednesday”; “Wiggold”; and “Golden Girls” were just some of the headlines that adorned Thursday’s papers as Team GB, led by Helen Glover, Heather Stanning and Bradley Wiggins, secured its first gold medals of the Olympic Games. However, in the wake of this being the first “Social Olympics”, who were the big winners of the last couple of days on social media, both in Team GB and beyond?
Naturally, Bradley Wiggins was one of the big winners of Wednesday (and, of course, the year), but not just in the men’s time trial. This week alone, he has seen his Facebook fan Likes increase by 38 percent to over 50,000 likes, whilst his Twitter followers have soared by 43 percent to more than 425,000 (at 5pm on Thursday).
It’s even more impressive when you consider that he was already in the public eye following his historic victory at the Tour De France. His social media following is only likely to continue rocketing, as a result of the fact he is odds-on for both Sports Personality of The Year and a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List.
The other major story on Wednesday was our golden female coxless pair – Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. The pair was largely unknown outside of rowing circles before the Olympics, but that has clearly all changed now. Inseparable in the boat, the two are actually split on social media. Helen Glover steers away from it. However, Heather Stanning has secured an impressive 59 percent increase in Facebook Likes in the last couple of days, although the total figure is only 302 likes.
Another of the headline-grabbers of the week was Michael Phelps, and the fact he has become perhaps the ‘greatest Olympian of all time’ (in some commentator’s eyes) after securing his 19th Olympic medal. His achievements were applauded on Facebook with a further 150,000 fans being added to his already-huge 5.6 million-strong fanbase. However, Phelps didn’t have it all his own way in the pool, after being surprisingly denied gold in the 200 meters butterfly by Chad Le Clos. The expression “everyone loves an underdog” certainly rang true across social media, as Le Clos saw his fanbase on Facebook grow by over 300 percent in just two days.
Away from the summit of the podium, other British athletes saw further social success:
• * Following the silver medal in the team Equestrian event (and a medal given to her by her mum), Zara Philips experienced a 10 percent increase in Facebook fans within a day, to almost 10,000 fans
• * Gymnast Hannah Whelan saw a 20 percent increase in fans within a 24 hour period
• *Despite missing out on a medal and becoming the first female diver to win an Olympic medal since 1960 (along with her partner Sarah Barrow), Tonia Crouch still saw her Facebook fans increase by 39 percent to 1,517 fans
• *Our most decorated gymnast, Beth Tweddle, also saw her fans grow to almost 25,400, a three percent increase in one day
• *And finally… Although Euan Burton, a medal hope in the judo, didn’t have the most successful day in his competition, he did see his Facebook fans grow by 450 percent, to 11 likes
Here’s hoping for more success both physically and online in the days to come!
Victoria Ransom is the CEO of Wildfire Interactive