Loved Team GB’s social media updates? Here’s how they did it

Team GB on FacebookAs the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games come to a close, we can look back with delight at Team GB’s success in the medal tables. I know I’m not alone in finding that my enjoyment of the event has been increased still further by the frequent, reliable and inclusive updates from Team GB across their social media channels.

I spoke to Joe Morgan, Digital Manager to Team GB to find out how they coordinated the social media activity for such a fast-paced, complex event.

And how they made sure they squeezed as many comments, likes and shares as possible from every single update.

How much time did you spend planning the social media activity?

Since day one it’s been an ever-evolving plan, based on what worked and what didn’t, what our fans were asking for and the hot topics.

The strategy was actually very simple: give the fans great content and keep them engaged through the journey of London 2012, we wanted them to feel a part of Team GB, which is the basis of our campaign, Our Greatest Team.

This has been the true first social Olympics and in previous Games, the Olympics have been a curated experience with broadcasters and the mass media in control of what the viewers at home see.

Now the power is with the fans to consume the Olympics the way they want and that is why we wanted all of our fans to be a part of the Olympic experience, through our social channels.Team GB on Google+

Which platforms did you focus on and why?

I focused on the main three: Facebook, Twitter and Google+( right).

I did contemplate looking at the likes of Instagram and Pinterest but with such a small team, I had to focus and channel my activity with the big three.

How did you coordinate it all, with so many events taking place in so many venues? 

The social media team worked from 8am til 12 midnight every day, with each 4 members of the team doing an 8-hour shift based on the days sporting events.

Every day a schedule would be pulled together looking at where Team GB are competing, then based on the team member’s shift, they would be assigned to sports andevents to cover – so nothing was missed.

On top of that, I had briefed other members of the organsation who would be either in venue or at events, who were able to collect photos on their phone, or flash quotes from athletes which would be sent through to me – I would then act as social media editor and push out any of that content.

The whole event was so fast paced, with so much information and content to share – did you have any checks in place to make sure everything is accurate and typo free?

I did a day long work shop with my social media team to full brief them on the full strategy, tone of voice, crisis management procedure, even planning future hashtags like #aMOzingg (two g’s for two golds) and #GoldenHoy – every day we managed to get around 4 or 5 hashtags trending which was fantastic to see.

How did you measure results and monitor sentiment?

The results for me were based on engagement levels, we started the ‘Our Greatest Team’ campaign to engage with the 60 million people of GB and NI and I am proud to say that did that on Facebook alone (62,000,000 people reached in the first two weeks with our content).

I did have an agency working during the games using a variety of tools and reviewed daily reports showing me hot topics, sentiment levels, engagement numbers, hot content etc – this allowed me to review and adapt the strategy through the games, based on what was working well and what we could do differently.

Team GB on Twitter


We first spoke after my original post, Why @TeamGB gets a gold medal for social media, which was about the way you write for social media. Any tips and tricks to share?

I always say you should try to lead or leave with a question (or an action) social media is a conversation after all, and just keep it simple.

Give the fans what they want and don’t be afraid to ask them to do things for you. For example we shared a photo of Gemma Gibbons and her broken thumb on Facebook and ask our fans to show THER thumbs to wish her a speedy recovery, which they gladly did.

Would also say be consistent, we made sure we covered all events and all sports, we made sure we reported on HT/FT scores, race positions, medal winners and even those that didn’t win.

Follow @MrJoeMorgan on Twitter.