The 2012 Summer Olympics have been an overwhelming success thus far, with a breathtaking opening ceremony, tremendous performances from athletes and the full capitalization of both traditional and social media to truly create a connected audience. There are several marketing strategies for small business that can be gleaned from the Olympic Games and scaled down to fit the needs of your brand and business.
The first and most important lessons are what not to do. The instantaneousness of Twitter – capturing and broadcasting immediate reactions in 140 characters – can lead to foot-in-mouth situations, as has happened with several athletes making controversial remarks. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, it is crucial to make it known to employees that social media is not to be taken lightly. This goes for both personal employee profiles and any company accounts.
Along these lines of delineating what is appropriate, it’s important for businesses to have a plan of action in place for dealing with social media mistakes. While Olympic athletes who committed gaffes were promptly sent home, business owners don’t have to be similarly harsh in their punishments. However, they should act quickly in order to implementing whatever plan they have to repair the situation, either in dealing with the employee, reassuring the customer base, or both.
Finally, on a positive note, businesses should note the success that hashtag strategies have had on the Olympics. A creative and popular hashtag can really spawn more popularity and followers, creating a snowball effect of cross-audience interaction.
“By building in a social component such as a hashtag strategy into any type of branded content, brands are inviting users to start discussions and implying that the brand will also be participating, as well,” Craig Elimeliah, digital director for a multi-channel marketing agency network, told InformationWeek. “This gives consumers the permission to react and speak freely to the brand and about the brand, with the understanding that the brand is both listening and may even respond back.”
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