Twitter Outlines its Olympic Tie-In Tools: As the games of the 32nd Olympics are about to begin in Tokyo, after a year’s delay due to the pandemic and amid continued uncertainty about the COVID situation in Japan, Twitter today outlined how it is going to help users get involved in the event, as well as how brands can use the surrounding trends for their marketing efforts.
First, as has become the norm for major events, Twitter is adding custom hashtag emoji (or “hashflags,” as some call them), both for the event itself and for individual participating countries:
According to Twitter:
“Fans around the world can use the official Olympic emoji on Twitter throughout the Games. Emoji are unlocked by sending a #Olympics tweet and corresponding hashtags in more than 30 languages. Twitter will also feature emoji for each country participating in the competition, which will be unlocked by using three-character country hashtags. Finally, fans will be able to support the Olympic refugee team during the Games by tweeting #EOR to unlock their team’s emoji.”
Twitter also added custom hash flags for American gymnast Simone Biles, who aims to build on her Olympic legacy.
Tweet with greatness#SimoneBiles#Simone pic.twitter.com/M6RKzP3KB6
— Twitter Sports (@TwitterSports) July 21, 2021
It is likely that other athletes will receive similar hash flags throughout the games.
Twitter is also adding a new Olympics Explore tab on the desktop for the duration of the competition, as well as new Olympic themes to follow to stay up-to-date.
Twitter will also maintain custom event pages for the games, which will feature the best tweets from trusted accounts.
“You’ll be able to follow events and reactions to them during major events and games. We will also have our own country-specific event pages. These will feature the best tweets reflecting the experience of that country.”
Twitter is also launching a new addition this year, which it calls the #ExpertEngine Experience, which will allow users to learn more about Olympic events.
Class is in session 📖
Become a REAL #Olympics expert
Tweet #ExpertEngine @Olympics + an Olympic #Sport pic.twitter.com/xyQwXV0ygj
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 21, 2021
When you send a tweet, you’ll get a response with facts and animations related to the event.
Great Britain skateboarder Sky Brown is set to replace swimmer Margery Hinton as the country’s youngest-ever summer Olympian. Aged just 12, Brown is younger than Hinton, who was 13 years and 43 days old when she competed at the Amsterdam Games in 1928. pic.twitter.com/dkAFqg6Jk5
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 21, 2021
This can be a handy option if you want to learn more about the competition – or if you just want to outdo your friend or partner who suddenly decides he knows everything about modern pentathlon and its athletes.
Twitter also notes that the most popular Olympic sports by total number of tweets today are:
The most popular individual athletes are:
- Rikako Iki (@rikakoikee) – swimming, Japan
- Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) – gymnastics, USA
- Naomi Osaka (@naomiosaka) – tennis, Japan
- Kei Nishikori (@keinishikori) – tennis, Japan
- Kohei Uchimura (@kohei198913) – Gymnastics, Japan
This data will likely change as the event progresses, as there are always new characters and stories between the lines. But if you’ve been looking for where the talk about the Olympics is centered, these are good reference points at this point.
This is probably what brands looking for attention-grabbing opportunities are most interested in, and to that end, Twitter has also shared some guidelines for marketers to help them plan.
Twitter offers the following key considerations for brand communications:
- Get the tone and subject matter right – There are 33 sports to choose from, so don’t limit yourself to the most popular events.
- Focus on time zones – According to Twitter, 28% of people plan to use their preferred social platform to watch highlights in the morning.
- Take advantage of digital – Without IRL crowds, more fans than ever will be looking to communicate online, which is a big potential opportunity.
- Plan for the unexpected – Since the COVID-19 situation is still evolving, things can change quickly, so if you outline a strategy, consider that it can be overblown.
- Define your goals – Consider not only the primary goals of social media engagement, but also the real brand benefits you want to get from your attention-grabbing campaigns.
These are some thorough notes, and if you’re planning a strategy of linked tweets, it’s worth considering these elements and making sure you’re prepared in the best way possible.
After all, no one knows what’s going to happen in the next few weeks. Even now, with the COVID situation in Japan worsening, it still seems that the Olympics may be canceled entirely, and in the past, the Games have so heavily dominated the surrounding media cycle that there is a good chance that it will be much harder to get your brand messages heard at all during the event.
Possibly. Things will be different this time around because of the COVID changes, and it will be strange to watch world records being broken with a complete lack of crowd response. Maybe this means that the Games will be less influential and disruptive in a general media sense – or maybe people will want to rally around the Games because of the pandemic, and they will be bigger than ever.
There’s no way to tell, but you can definitely expect to hear a lot more sports discussion, and that may need to be factored into the planning.