Commentary

5 Ways To Use Social Media To Capitalize On The Summer Games

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock — or getting distracted by the ongoing onslaught of Trump tweets — there’s a massive event kicking off in South America on Friday. And in case you weren’t aware, there are many, many ways you can get in trouble for talking about it on social media.

Unless you’re an official sponsor, your organization can’t use the event location, pictures, trademarked terms, hashtags, logos, or even retweet the official Twitter accounts. In fact, just linking to the Web site could net you a lawsuit if you embed the wrong metadata.

That said, there are many, many ways you are able to leverage this event from a marketing perspective without breaking any rules. You just have to be creative.

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So let’s play some charades and look at five ways you can use social media to capitalize on the [two words…. rhymes with Creole Limp Fix] without putting your brand at risk.

1. Use social media to (carefully) insert your brand in the conversation. Just because you can’t use the trademarks doesn’t mean you can’t reference the sports, countries or athletes in the competition. You just have to pick your words and images carefully. Intel could talk about its processing speed during the 100 meter dash. Or GE could share global employee profiles and company stats during the opening ceremonies. Better yet, Zippo could “spark” some conversation during the torch relay.

When in doubt, though, keep it generic or, better yet, don’t post at all. After all, one mis-tweet is not worth a pronounced legal battle.

2. Sync social ads to big moments. In 2012, Google reported that one in three people followed the [two words… sounds like One Done Ole Wimp Picks] on multiple screens on any given day.

This time around, 85% of TV viewers will be multiscreening (per the Global Web Index), with social networking one of the top three activities.

For brands, major live moments such as final heats and medal ceremonies represent amazing apertures to take over the second screen and deliver your message. Just imagine Bed Bath & Beyond promoting towels at the end of a swimming race. Or perhaps the Trump campaign can advocate for Second Amendment rights every time the starting gun goes off for a track and field event.

3. Use social data to identify trending events and athletes. Not sure which moments are ripe for your brand to jump in on? Use trending topics to identify what’s hot. Ideally, you’d have automated software that can help you identify these things before they appear on the right rail of Facebook or left rail of Twitter. Just be sure to apply a lens of relevance and brand safety before going on a social spree. Athlete banned for drugs? Pass. (Unless you’re promoting diuretics.) Athlete praised for sportsmanship? Pile on. (Unless you pride your brand on being edgy.) Athlete blames faulty equipment? Perhaps. (If you’re Sports Authority and have nothing left to lose.)

4. Use social data to measure the impact of your marketing. For brands that are lucky — and wealthy — enough to be official games sponsors or TV advertisers, social media can be a great barometer for the value of your investment beyond the GRP and CPM. By looking at your social engagements in the two-minute period before and after your brand appears, you can determine your social lift impact. In June, our data showed that Cheetos generated the highest lift — 117% — on U.S. broadcast networks, while Amazon — 84% — was tops on cable.

5. Use social data to plan for 2020. It’s never too early to start planning for the next summer games, and social media is a great tool to understand which aspects of the event are a good fit for your brand. Social media can tell you which events and athletes your brand has a strong shared audience with.

For example, American Girl has a 1207 social affinity index with Team [country Trump wants to rule + sport that takes place in water and is not polo or rowing] which means people who engage with the brand on social media are 12 times more likely to engage with the official team pages and handles. Meanwhile, Smuckers has a 470 social affinity index with Team [same country + sport that includes balance beam]. This data can help inform your business case for ponying up to become an official sponsor — or choosing to remain on the sidelines tweeting skittishly — during [location rhymes with folk, yo] 2020.

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