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?

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