London 2012 Olympics Is the First Real-Time Games

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Whether London 2012 is the first “social” Games has sparked much debate in news media and on the social web. While compelling arguments have been made for both sides, emineo media London-Olympics-2012-Logosocial media’s role in the Olympics isn’t the most exciting conversation about this year’s competition.

It’s about timing.

The London 2012 Olympics are undoubtedly the first real-time Games. It differs from any other Olympic event in how fans and viewers can experience all competitions while they’re taking place.

Though Friday’s Opening Ceremonies weren’t broadcast live in the United States, all 32 sporting events will be live streamed for the first time ever.

This year’s event is a culmination of media consumption trends that have bubbled up in recent years, including increased mobile viewership and social TV experiences. Here’s a look at how each real-time trend will play out in the 2012 Olympics.

Expanded TV Coverage

NBC is hosting 3,500 hours of live coverage using nine TV channels, including six networks, two specialty channels and a 3D channel. This is a huge increase from the 2,200 live hours provided from Beijing in 2008. It’s an even bigger leap from the mere 400 hours shown from Vancouver in 2010, where everything but curling and hockey events were held for prime time viewing.

“There are a certain number of fans who want the immediacy of watching it live,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, told PaidContent. “Since most of it will have to be authenticated or verified, it brings value to our cable and satellite partners.”

The Beijing Olympics were NBC’s first big effort to experiment with live streaming. At the time, there were concerns about the quality of technology and the potential to “cannibalize the audience,” said Chris McCloskey, a spokesman for NBC Sports. Now the network is more confident in the technology, he added. It’s also boosted its online watching repertoire, most notably with the record-breaking 2012 Super Bowl live stream.

“There’s more of a culture for [watching online] now too,” McCloskey said. “People have become more accustomed to consuming this way.”

Mobile Is Ubiquitous

An expected 211 million Americans will tune into the Games this year, and viewing on mobile devices will undoubtedly be widespread.

Close to 107 million people today own smartphones as compared to about 19 million in 2008. Tablets were scarce during the Beijing nor Vancouver Olympics, and now they’re owned by nearly 55 million people worldwide.

While the NBC Live Extra app is integral to increasing real-time mobile traffic around the Olympics, a number of apps created by Olympics committees will provide updates and information. Other media organizations, including Sports Illustrated, Reuters and BBC have also released Olympics apps for viewers to access timely updates.

Social networking apps are hopping on the Games bandwagon as well. Location-based app Banjo released a new feature to aggregate tweets, updates and photos publicly shared on social networks by Olympic athletes and attendees. Sports social network PlayUp launched a new version of its app that allows Olympics fans worldwide to follow scores and connect with fellow users in real time.

Michael De Monte, CEO of live blogging platform ScribbleLive, attributes the success of Olympics live coverage to mobile users. “It’s a live event that a huge population of the world is interested in,” he said. “You have such a huge community of people who are participating, watching, and they’re empowered with smartphones.”

A Truly Social Olympics

Social networks have become the new hubs of real-time self-expression and media consumption, both of which are core to the Games.

Not only has NBC partnered with Twitter and Facebook to engage viewers around Olympics content, but sports fans are updating statuses and sharing media across the globe. Preliminary events earlier this week already inspired a variety of social updates from fans watching in London and at home.

De Monte said he’s seen a huge increase in the demand for real-time tools in the past four years, when the Beijing Olympics were under way and his company was just getting started. More than 57 websites worldwide will use the ScribbleLive platform to aggregate social updates and spark conversations among fans as events are happening.

The increase in real-time viewing of — and dialogue about — London 2012 events aligns this year’s Games more than ever with the Olympics mission: global togetherness in sport.

Are you watching Olympic events in real-time this year? How is it enhancing the Games experience? Tell us in the comments below.

Source Mashable

Olympics tweeted, Storified, Facebooked

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The London 2012 Olympics will be live-tweetedEmineo Media Olympics-2012 americans2

They will be Storified.

They will be Facebooked, Instagrammed and Pinned.

They will feature Foursquare check-ins, apps and YouTube videos.

They will be discussed on Weibo, Tencent, Orkut and numerous social media platforms you might not even have known existed.

The IOC and everyone affiliated with the Games will be engaging fans online like never before. In the lead-up to the Olympics, it seems there is nearly as much focus on whom will be tweeting as there is on whom will be competing.

“We are at a dawn of a new age of sharing and connecting, and London 2012 will ignite the first conversational Olympic Games (between athletes and fans) thanks to social media platforms and technology,” International Olympic Committee head of social media Alex Huot said in an email interview.

The Games have gone beyond global. They’re viral. Social media is not only dominating the discussion when it comes to the 2012 Olympics — social media is shaping the conversation. Fans can connect with athletes. Sponsors can connect with consumers. Broadcast partners can connect with viewers. The IOC can connect with the world.

“Social media enables fans and athletes to ‘meet,’ to ‘talk,’ to discuss and to ultimately share the Olympic values — which aim to improve lives through sport,” Huot explained.

Social media is also helping turn the Olympics, which have traditionally been a quadrennial (or biennial, if you take into account the Winter Games) event, into a 24/7/365 endeavor.

“[Social media] can help sustain the conversation and engage people before and after the Games, not only during,” Huot said.

Social media success doesn’t come without a few bumps. There has been a minor uproar over the social media guidelines the IOC issued to athletes and others affiliated with the Games earlier this year. A pair of Australian swimmers will be heading home immediately after competing as punishment for posting controversial photos on Facebook. A Greek triple jumper was dropped from her country’s team earlier this week for comments she made on Twitter. A #savethesurprise Twitter campaign was launched after video of opening ceremony rehearsals was leaked on YouTube. And the Games have yet to officially begin.

Once the Olympics get underway Friday night, be prepared for the biggest sports meets social spectacle in history.

Source ESPN

 

Social Media Strategies and Business

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A great deal has been written on the topic of social media in business. There are numerous opinions and experiences. Some say that social media is intended for personal emineo media smart_phone_social_mediause; there are organizations that do not allow employees access to social media platforms. Others say social media is the future; that train has already left the station.

Typically, the discussion revolves around the efficacy and utility of social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. This isn’t the best starting point for the discussion.

First, let’s distinguish between a social business strategy and social media. Here are definitions suggested by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC in a study they released this spring:

Social media is the external-facing component that gives and receives customer input.

Social business is where core internal operations, such as customer service, data analytics and product development could use social data

I believe social business is more encompassing. It must include strategies that go way beyond just connecting data and insights. As important as that is, what I am suggesting is, for many, a change in culture. It is tapping into the talent across the organization by reaching across functional silos and fostering an atmosphere that is truly customer centric, collaborative and engaging.

Author Patrick Lencioni believes this business strategy has the potential to be a competitive advantage.

Using Social Media for Business

I can still remember when computers were being deployed in business. There was a great deal of discussion about their efficacy. Many believed that computers could do almost anything. I distinctly remember analysts pointing out that entering a chaotic, unorganized process into a computer would only automate chaos and disorganization.

The same is true for social media. If an organization does not have a healthy culture or a strategy, then simply choosing a social media platform will only draw attention to the organization’s dysfunction. Social media should not be used as another marketing or customer service tactic.

How to use Social Media for Business

Corporate culture matters.

Effective social business requires leadership and discipline. Organizations have to learn to walk the social talk. There is a growing segment of social shoppers.  These are connected consumers with high expectations that the brands they use will be present in the social space where they are, engaged with them, providing information and resources, listening to their voice.

In exchange social shoppers will share their experiences with their social networks.

Social Media for Small Business

Social media offers some significant advantages for small businesses. Often a smaller business is able to address culture issues faster simply because they have fewer functional silos; however, internal communication and coordination can still be very challenging. Businesses of all sizes have to embrace and understand the value of a differentiating customer experience.

Changing consumer shopping behaviors and new search algorithms offer an advantage to businesses that think local and relevant. Increasingly placing an emphasis on creating a relevant, helpful, consistent customer experience will pay off.

Social Business Strategies Drive Social Media Strategies

So how do you develop social business strategies? 

First, start with your customer. Ask questions like:

  • Do you know how they decide to buy and use your product or service?
  • Are you familiar with their questions and challenges?
  • Are they using social media? If so, which platforms?
  • How do they consume content?

Next, think about your employees:

  • Are they aware of company promotions and offers?
  • Do they see the communications delivered to your customers?
  • Do they know how to answer customer questions? If not, do they know where to direct those questions?
  • Do you regularly ask for their input? This is especially true for staff who are in regular contact with customers.
  • Do they use social media?

For leaders:

  • What kind of customer experience does your organization value?
  • Have you mapped all customer touch points?
  • What have you done to foster an atmosphere of collaboration?
  • Have you visited your web site from a smart phone? Have you browsed and looked for information, or tried to purchase?
  • How will social media fit within the context of the overall marketing mix?

Social Media Strategies

Now that you are developing strategies that address corporate culture and will integrate social into the marketing mix, you are ready to work on social media strategies. These strategies will enable you to determine how social media can help in the buying process.

Create a buying process map that will allow you to match appropriate content and contact that will help consumers, find, evaluate, compare, buy, use and share their experiences around your product or service.

What do you think? What are other considerations?

Source Social Media Today