By Catherine Pierce
Social media technology can change a lot in the four years in between Olympic Games. Technology has increasingly been heading toward UGC. New technologies, such as Snap and Instagram have been making it easier for users to share live content with their friends. Organizations have had to learn to adapt to these technologies and their fan bases. The Olympics used to implement a tactic of control when it came to social media and how the Olympics were perceived. It wasn’t until recently that the Olympics have embraced social media and UGC from both the fans and the athletes. With the use of second screen viewing, the Olympics have a huge potential to generate conversation among fans. However, the Olympics fear that social media will take viewing to the extreme end of the spectrum, where viewers would be more interested in watching fan accounts, rather than the actual games. This leads to the problem, how should the Rio Olympics have maintained interest in the content they’re producing, while still giving fans a chance to participate and contribute.
This can be solved through knowing what are the new technologies, where a majority of the target audiences spends their time and how to use these new technologies effectively. In the United States the two newest and most popular social media apps, especially with gen z and millennials, are Snap and Instagram. The Olympics face a few challenges when deciding what new technologies to utilize since different parts of the world have different trends. In Asia, apps like Periscope or Weibo, a microblogging site, are more effective. However, in the United States Snap and Instagram are the new names of the game.
The 2016 Olympics were the first year that the organization has actively reached out to Instagram and Snap, making deals in order to promote the games. Highlights and videos were published daily on the official Olympic Instagram page. Instagram also partnered with popular Olympic teams, such as the Women’s girls gymnastic team, the final five, by showing exclusive behind the scene footage. Additional videos of them appeared on Instagram’s Search and Explore video channel. Snap used filters, live stories, and discovery channels in America, getting fans to experience and share the excitement of the Olympics among millennials and gen z’ers. To keep up-to-date with trends and new technology. NBC, the only network allowed to broadcast the Olympics in the United States has teamed up with Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed worked as NBC’s Olympic social team and posted new content throughout the games on Snap.
The goal of the Olympics is to reach a wide and diverse audience. They want to generate excitement for the festivities, sports, athletes, and to get the fans to watch the events. However, they have to work on many different mediums and languages to reach their fan base. The best way to incorporate UGC and brand content is through a strong integration and alignment between the Olympics and the fan base. Through clear messages and a thorough understanding of new technologies, the Olympics can use UGC to their advantage. Social media and new technologies are key in reaching these consumers and getting them involved and watching the games. The Olympic Games have to constantly be up-to-date on current technologies, even if the games only appear every four years. They can do this by partnering with the different apps, along with social media and new technology experts in the entertainment industry. By incorporating the new technologies, they can expand their fan-base and have a successful brand.