The Olympics may be over for another four years but the impact that social media has had on the business world throughout the two weeks and two days of addictive television will ripple on for a very long time to come.
These superb Olympic Games will be remembered for their majesty (specifically the scene between HRH and 007, certainly a television first), for their positive communal impact on our financially weary nation, and for being the most impressive platform for proving the importance of social media in our working and everyday lives.
They have been coined the ‘socio-Olympics’ because of the sheer social involvement at a personal level that audience and athletes, organisers and business have had. Social media has played a massive part in the enjoyment, engagement, and profitability of the London 2012 Games, surely, therefore, this is a template for all future televised extravaganzas of a similar nature.
Whether it’s an athlete tweeting about their golden joy just hours after you’ve watched them race then engaging with their fan-base through Facebook, or carefully planned social media strategies by official sponsors and other enterprising enterprises through the effective use of hashtags and cross-platform social media monitoring to understand audience preference and demand, these Olympics have been a social media success story.
Social TV is the link between an audience’s televisual experience and their social media involvement in what they are watching. Tweeting, updating statuses, uploading videos or seeing what others in their social circle are saying and doing about what they are watching on TV at the same time, ‘two screen viewing’, is at the heart of the concept of social TV. The socialising of someone’s televisual experience means adding a whole new dimension to their enjoyment, and of course it offers businesses new sales, marketing and brand awareness opportunities through a more personal channel to potential customers. The consumer data that can be collected as a result of this, as well as the marketing potential it offers and the opportunities to spread brand awareness are massive and can be very efficiently turned into profitable endeavours.
Such has been the social involvement in these Olympic Games that TV companies across the globe should be looking into ways in which they can capitalise on this medium and this direct interaction with an audience, drawing social media and television closer together.
The true power behind the profitability of corporate social media involvement is the relaxed environment in which company and community meet; this is something these Olympics have shown us with crystal clarity. Sell to someone you don’t know and you come across many established and well-known barriers; talk to someone about something they are interested in and you are engaging with an audience, something social-savvy organisations do very effectively indeed.
Forget 3D TV and Smart TV, it’s time to take things a step further with social media immersive TV.
Maz Nadjm is @Mazi on Twitter.