The power of social media is not to be underestimated when it comes to your brands’ image. Social media has made its presence known in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Take a look at these great examples of how some brands have flourished or flopped during this Olympic season.
- #Sochiproblems goes viral – Odds are this viral hashtag has appeared on your twitter feed sometime in the past week. As thousands of athletes, journalists, and spectators descended on Sochi this week they discovered that the Russian city was not quite as prepared for their arrival as they anticipated. They turned to twitter to express their disapproval. The twittersphere exploded with pictures of broken hotel room door handles, dirty tap water, odd toilet set ups and missing hotel lobbies. The twitter handle @Sochiproblems already has more followers than the official @Sochi2014 account. Unfortunately for Russia, much of the world’s attention has shifted from the spirit of Olympic competition to the shortcomings of Sochi. What do you think most people will remember about the 2014 Winter Olympics? The US taking Gold in men’s snowboarding or Olympians trapped in their bathrooms?
- Golden Opportunity for Audi – When the fifth Olympic ring failed to form during the opening ceremonies thousands of people around the world tweeted about the mishap (leading to a t-shirt being created in its honor). Audi capitalized on the error in style when an unofficial ad appeared on the Internet. The ad appeared on Reddit that read, “When four rings is all you need” with a picture of the infamous failed Olympic symbol missing its final ring, next to the similar Audi symbol. The ad quickly traveled to the front page of Reddit. Much of the Internet agrees; Audi struck gold with the quickly created and witty ad.
- AirBnB utilized real-time marketing – When hundreds of journalists tweeted about their bad accommodations, hotel chain AirBnB tweeted back to the journalists, offering them a better hotel experience if they came to stay with them. This advertising strategy was a brilliant marketing move that that harkens back to a similar marketing move made on Twitter by Oreo during the blackout of the 2013 Superbowl game.
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit can be used to quickly build a brands image, or tear it down. By wielding the power of social media you can give your brand greater visibility and a positive image. But not taking control of how your companies’ image is projected can have permanent and damaging effects. The Winter Olympics can teach us how to capitalize on opportunities and use them to our brand’s advantage.
Photo Cred: Paul Nuttall