How brands grew on Facebook during the London 2012 Olympics [infographic]

BA: decorates planes in Olympic designs for celebratory flypastThroughout the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, there has been plenty of attention on how the events have fuelled social media activity.

On Facebook, despite big differences in strategies, most of the sponsors and partners have dedicated the majority of their posts to content relating to the games.

Those that have managed to generate the most engagement (when looking at number of interactions relative to number of fans) have been team sponsor pages such as ‘BP Team USA’ and ‘Team EDF’, those with a particular angle on the games such as ‘Thank You, Mom by P&G’ or otherwise pages such as ‘Cadbury UK’ that have given over their pages to the games and and used to generate engaging content and interactions with their fans rather than relying on simply mentioning the athletes and events.

The actual impact that the games have had on the size of fan bases of sponsors and partners is inevitably variable. In many cases it has been those brands that drove engagement (BP, P&G, Cadbury’s) that have also seen strong growth in the size of their fan bases (see chart below).

And whilst some seem to have seen a jump in growth during the actual games (e.g. Acer) – for others such as British Airways and Samsung – any boost from the games has been on top of a longer trend.

As well as driving engagement, many of the sponsors will have been driving fan acquisition using paid campaigns and looking to benefit from brand awareness through other channels during the games.

In terms of relative growth in fans, Visa, grew by more than 150%, from 1 million fans in mid June to 2.5 million since the end of June. All this despite posting no content on their Fan page! Coca-cola meanwhile, amassed more than 7 million new fans since June to hit 50 million fans – despite relatively low engagement with their content related to the games (click to enlarge image).

Daniel Gilbert, head of insights at Alchemy Social.