- Intel's social media posts centered around its drone technology earned the highest Facebook and Twitter engagement during the Winter Olympics among global sponsors, followed by posts shared by Alibaba Group, according to data from social media and analytics firm Shareablee provided to Marketing Dive. Omega Watches had the strongest engagement on Instagram, the group found.
- Total Facebook actions taken during the Winter Olympics from Feb. 7 to 22 was nearly 2x the engagement during the six months leading up to the games, Shareablee said. Instagram engagement with official Team USA sponsors was 4x higher during the games than in the six months leading up to the event, and Twitter engagement was 16x higher during the games.
- Posts about U.S. snowboarder Shaun White's gold medal win consistently earned the most social engagement overall, with one exception: a photo from Ralph Lauren, which outfitted Team USA, that was posted on Instagram during the opening ceremony.
The Shareablee data offer a strong case as to why marketers should leverage social media to drive engagement during destination viewing events. Viewership of live-TV sports has declined over the past several years, leading many brands to extend their ad buys beyond a 30-second spot in recognition that commercials alone may not be enough to reach consumers. This was evident during the Super Bowl, where several in-game advertisers offered social media and digital tie-ins before, during and after the game. However, Shareablee's findings also show that winning the gold on social might require an element of novelty or freshness, such as Intel putting a heavy focus on drone technology, or the mere presence of Alibaba, the Chinese technology giant that was running its first Olympics-centered campaign ever.
Most Americans still get excited about Team USA, especially around moments like gold medal wins and athletes' stories of trials and triumphs. This presents an opportunity for brands to capitalize on social media and digital channels, where audiences are more often "second screening" during linear TV content. Eighty percent of fans said they use a computer or smartphone to search for player stats and scores or to message other fans while watching live sports, according to recent findings from Google on YouTube sports consumption habits. Thirty percent of those surveyed reported live streaming sports on their smartphones or tablets.
TV ratings continue to decline for the Olympics, and some of the top-spending advertisers from past games like General Motors, Proctor & Gamble and AT&T have cut back their budgets with the channel this year. NBC, which broadcasts the games, has continued to expand its digital offerings, including by partnering with BrightLine on interactive video ads and expanding on its partnership with Snapchat, a popular app among cord-cutting younger consumers.