With the games of the 32nd Olympics to begin in Tokyo, after a year of delay due to the pandemic, and due to permanent uncertainty with the Japanese COVID situation, Twitter is today outlined how it seeks to help customers engage in discussions about events, which also includes how brands can get involved in surrounding trends for their marketing efforts.
First, as has become common for major events, Twitter adds custom hashtag emojis (or ‘hashflags‘as some know them), both for the event itself and for individual participating countries:
As per Twitter:
“Fans around the world can use the official emoji thumbnails from the Olympics on Twitter during the games. The emojis will be unlocked when you tweet #Olympics and related hashtags in more than 30 languages. Twitter will also have emojis for each country competing, unlocked when you tweet the hashtags of three-character countries. Finally, fans can cheer for the Olympic refugee team during the Games by tweeting #EOR to unlock team emojis. “
Twitter has also added custom hashflags for American gymnast Simone Biles, as it builds on its legacy from the Olympics.
It seems likely that other athletes will get similar hashtags during the games.
Twitter has also added a new Olympics Explore tab to the desktop for the duration of the event, as well as new Olympic themes to follow in order to keep up to date.
Twitter will also display custom game event pages, which will feature the most popular tweets from trusted accounts.
“You’ll be able to follow actions and reactions as they happen for marquee events and top games. We’ll also have custom event pages dedicated to different countries. There will be top tweets here that capture that country’s experience.”
And in a new add-on for this year, Twitter has launched its #ExpertEngine An experience that will provide users with a way to learn more about the Olympic events.
When you send a tweet, you will receive a response with facts and animated clips related to that event.
UK skateboarder Sky Brown is set to replace swimmer Margery Hinton as the youngest summer Olympian in the country. At just 12, Brown is younger than Hinton, who was 13 years and 43 days old when she competed at the 1928 Amsterdam Games. pic.twitter.com/dkAFqg6Jk5
– Olympic Games (@Olympic Games) July 21, 2021
This could be a useful option if you want to learn more about events – or if you just want to bring together your friend or partner who suddenly thinks he knows everything there is to know about modern pentathlon and its athletes.
Twitter also notes that the most popular Olympic sports to date, in terms of total tweets, are the following:
Although the most popular individual athletes are:
- Rikako Ikee (COM)@rikakoikee) – Swimming, Japan
- Simone Biles (COM)@Simone_Biles) – Gymnastics, USA
- Naomi Osaka (COM)@naomiosaka) – Tennis, Japan
- Kei Nishikori (COM)@keinishikori) – Tennis, Japan
- Kohei Uchimura (COM)Reply to @The_G_Rock) – Gymnastics, Japan
This is likely to change during the event, as there are always heroes and emerging stories between the lines. But if you’ve been looking for where the conversation with the Olympics is focused, these are good hints at this stage.
Which is what brands looking for connectivity probably like the most – and on this side, Twitter shared some instructions for marketers to help with their planning.
Twitter’s key considerations for branded links are:
- Correct your tone and themes – They are there You can choose from 33 different sports, so don’t limit yourself to the most popular events
- Get to know the time zones – According to Twitter, 28% of people plan to use their favorite social platform to watch the most interesting parts in the morning
- Make the most of digital – Without the IDP crowd, more fans than ever will seek online engagement, which is a great potential opportunity
- Plan unexpectedly – As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, things can change quickly, so if you have outlined a strategy, keep in mind that it could blow it out of the water, just like that
- Define your goals – Consider not only your basic social engagement goals, but the real brand benefits you want to gather from your related campaigns
These are some solid notes, and if you’re planning a related tweet strategy, it’s worth listing these elements and making sure you’re best prepared.
Because no one knows what will happen over the next few weeks. Even now, with the deteriorating situation with COVID in Japan, it still seems that the Olympics could be canceled altogether, while in the past the Games have so dominated the surrounding media cycle, that there is also a good chance it will be much harder achieve that your brand’s messages are heard at all during the event.
Could be. This time it feels different because of the changes in COVID, and it will be weird to watch world records being broken without a literal audience response. Maybe it will mean that the Games are less influential and disruptive in the general media sense – or maybe people will be more and more eager to unite around the Games because of the pandemic, and it will be bigger than ever.
It’s impossible to say, but you can definitely expect to hear a lot more sports debates, and that may need to be considered in your planning.