- Social Media Today outlined new tools that Facebook and Twitter are rolling out for the Rio Olympic Games to help users enjoy and celebrate the events and athletes.
- Facebook is offering an “Olympic photo frame” that allows users to show allegiance to a particular country or the games in general, filters to virtually “paint” users’ faces with nations’ colors, and a dedicated Olympic news section to make it easy for users to find information about the games.
- For regular users, Twitter has created emojis and special hashtags for 207 nations’ team flags (using the hashtag will automatically add the emoji to the tweet), and is making it easy for users to find Olympic content on the Moments feature as well as Periscope and Vine.
Expect internet users to flock to social media during the Olympics. Two-thirds of consumers surveyed by Gfk on behalf of Facebook are "likely" to look for news and content about the upcoming Olympic games on Facebook and Instagram. Twitter research found that 82% of its users intend to use the micro-blogging platform to find Olympic information. Other social media platforms, such as Snapchat, Google and YouTube, are also rolling special Olympic-themed features during the games.
But while users will be going to social media to enjoy the weeks-long real-time event, marketers need to be aware of regulations around referencing the Olympics on social media. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has prohibited brands that are not official Olympic sponsors from using a long list of keywords and actions on social media.
The USOC warned marketers: "Do not create social media posts that are Olympic themed, that feature Olympic trademarks, that contain Games imagery or congratulate Olympic performance unless you are an official sponsor as specified in the Social Media Section."
That makes it difficult for brands to take advantage of the Olympics on social media, but not impossible. The Olympics create a real-time marketing opportunity if brands can thread the needle and not run afoul of the USOC's regulations.
For marketers the social media blackout on restricted keywords and actions runs through August 24.