We Live in a Connected World!
A Social Analytics Perspective from the Rio Olympics
By all accounts (from a digital perspective), it appears that the 2016 Rio Olympics were a huge success. Although TV ratings were down from previous years, NBCUniversal said that audience levels promised to advertisers were met. NBCUniversal acquired more than 1.2 billion in advertising sales for its 17 days of coverage across its broadcast network. From a social media standpoint, Facebook saw 1.5 billion interactions for its Rio Olympics coverage, which includes likes, posts, comments and shares related to the Olympics throughout the games. For the two-week span of the games, 277 million people participated in the conversation around the globe on Facebook alone, explicating just how connected the world is during these ceremonial games.
Additionally, Twitter suggested that there were 187 million tweets about the Olympics, which produced 75 billion impressions both on Twitter and around the web. On Instagram, 131 million users made 916 million likes and comments on photos and videos of the games.
Using our social listening analytics and research capabilities at iWeSocial, we examined a 10% sample of mentions between August 1th and 26th. In this sample selection, there were over 98 million mentions about the Rio Olympics from across the web. This included over 84 million posts, establishing a potential impression count of over 1.4 billion.
Our data shows that the male audience was slightly more engaged (mentioning the Rio Olympics over social channels) than females by 10% (55% male to 45% female). However, our data showed very similar engagement activity across age groups. This was led by 25-34 year olds accounting for 19% of the conversation followed by 18-24 year olds with 16%. Those over 65 years old accounted for 8% of total conversation.
Also included in our demographic analysis was ethnicity. Interestingly, we discovered that the Hispanic population drove 19% of the conversation and was over indexed by 2.19% compared to the general Twitter population. Compare this to the Caucasian audience which accounted for 58% of the conversation but under indexed (0.88) compared to the general Twitter population. Indexing allows us to see how much more frequently terms and hashtags are used in a conversation stream or, as in this case, how active specific demographic segments are compared to a controlled audience. In this instance we compared the Olympic Audience to the General Twitter Population.
From a geography standpoint, the United States led all countries with 37% of all mentions followed by Brazil with 10% and then the United Kingdom with 7 %. Within the United States, California accounted for 14% of the conversation, followed by Texas (11%), New York (10%) and then Florida (7%).
Looking at the Conversation
When you look deeper into the conversation several athletes stood out, including Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky and Ryan Lochte. Gender conversation drivers were similar between males compared to females. Both men and women commonly used #USA, #Gold and other topics with similar frequency. Looking at conversation sentiment beyond neutral sentiment, positive conversation was significantly higher than negative sentiment (82.1% positive vs. 17.9%).
Popular content winners!
There were many influential authors contributing to the overall Rio Olympic conversation. Noteworthy influencers involved in the discussion included Ellen DeGeneres, Zac Efron, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga. Another influencer to note was the Prime Minister of India (Narendra Modi), when he congratulated one of India’s athletes through Twitter.
Popular content included:
So What Does This All Mean?
Social media analytics represents a shift in the way market research can be conducted on brands. Social media analytics enables brands to make sense of high volumes of data from across the public web. With this knowledge, organizations can better understand brand performance, brand reputation, engagement, affinities, influencers and so on. The ability to make sense of the sometimes senseless and sporadic patterns social media provides us with at first glance is incredible, especially during a time when the world is so fixated on one thing, such as the Olympic games. We can truly hear what everyone is saying, even if that conversation spans an ocean or a continent.
This data reveals that the modern world is more connected than ever before. An event like the Olympics highlights the massive amount of data that’s generated from consumers, influencers and personalities. For brands – the data is available for the taking. This data can be mined to understand a specific demographic, a target audience or market. Take for example; we know that 35% of the conversation came from 18-34 year olds. With this, a brand can create a campaign or generate a conversation amongst this specific age group to not only involve their brand but drive the conversation. What did Nike do during these games? Adidas? Puma? The United Nations? How did they drive the conversation? What did your brand do to get involved?
With social media analytics, brands can better understand a target market, segment or demographic and create specific campaigns to meet the needs of that audience. For example, if only 9% of the conversation came from 65+, can a brand better understand that demographic to better engage with them in the next Olympics? Furthermore, what drove Hispanics to chime in on Twitter at 2.19 over-index (compared to the general Twitter population)? Was it simply a matter of geography since the games were held in a Hispanic nation and continent? Is there insight a business can learn if they are eager to reach a particular demographic?
Yes! Brands now have access to this massive dataset – the questions is how can they leverage this data to their advantage? Much more, consumers also win because brands can now tailor their products to meet the specific needs of the consumer based on data.
This is the bottom line, we live in a connected world and this offers brands incredible opportunity. We found that those in on the conversation were not afraid to express their opinion during the Rio Olympics. If no one is listening to the raw opinions, then no one knows what can be done to cater to specific demographic or even improve the lives of a generation. The good news is, according to the International Olympic Committee’s own definition, success is measured by media audience engagement- and so we would easily agree that the 2016 Rio Olympics were a huge success!
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If you have questions about any of this, or if you would like to learn more about social media analytics for your business, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 720.880.5492