3 October 2012 | Tanya Goodin

#SMWGOLD this time last week…

…we struck gold at our fantastic Social Media Week panel event – ‘Did London 2012 Win Social Olympics Gold?’ If you weren’t able to join us up in Skyloft in the Millbank Tower and sadly missed out on having the pleasure of holding gold medals, don’t worry – we’ll happily fill you in on all that took place at #SMWGOLD. We can definitely say that we’ve certainly gained exclusive insights into the role social media played during London 2012 thanks to our special guest panellists – TeamGB Olympic gold medallists Pete Reed, Anna Watkins and key representatives from Olympic sponsors British Airways, Cadbury as well as the BBC. Tamar will shortly be publishing two research white-papers: ‘The Tamar Sports Index – Volume 5’ and ‘Social Sectors – Olympics’ so watch this space!

Here are some very impressive key stats that were presented at our #SMWGOLD event:

  •  A gold medal will, on average, increase your Twitter followers by a whopping 97% overnight in comparison to a 32% increase for a silver medal win and a 20% increase for a bronze medal win.
  •  4 years ago, Twitter was on 100 million tweets per quarter, however during London 2012, the 140 character social platform saw 340 million tweets per day globally – what a leap!
  •  The Top 10 Paralympics GB athletes saw an overall Twitter follower growth of a massive 238% whilst the Top 10 Team GB athletes saw an overall Twitter follower growth of 58%.
  •  A grand total of over 109 million users flocked to the London 2012 website during the two weeks of the Olympics, with 60% visiting on a mobile device. The ‘average visit’ to the website lasted 8 minutes and 34 seconds.
  •  London 2012 sponsor Adidas achieved a greater spike (44%) in search traffic during the Games than its rival and non-Olympic sponsor Nike (10%).
  •  Official sponsor McDonalds only saw a 1% uplift in traffic, however, it’s interesting to see how non-sponsor Burger King saw a 33% decline in search traffic.

If you want to know what our #SMWGOLD panellists had to say, read on…

“It (Twitter) has become a little bit of an addiction. It’s a golden opportunity to interact with very openly and freely with people that follow you. You can give back something of your own personality rather than whatever the media wants to portray you as.” – Pete Reed MBE (Olympic Gold Medallist, Team GB) on why he loves Twitter.




“A moment that sticks out was the day after our race. People were asking me if I knew where my golden post box was going to be. I grew up in Staffordshire, but now live in Wokingham, I didn’t know which town they would choose. I switched on Twitter and there were pictures of people painting my post box in Leek! I THAT’S how I found out about my post-box, through Twitter.” – Anna Watkins (Olympic Gold Medallist, Team GB) on her social media highlight.



“If there was one thing that I would do differently, it would be to have a bigger team. My advice to the guys at Rio and Sochi is don’t underestimate the amount of conversations you’re going to have and don’t go light on your resources.” – Joe Morgan (Digital Manager, Team GB) on workload for Team GB’s digital media during the London 2012 Games.




“Our sponsorship wasn’t about us necessarily about driving sales. It was all about supporting our athletes, supporting Team GB, and really rallying support for the Games around the nation. I know it sounds a little bit cheesy but it’s true.” – Nick Jones (Digital Community Relationship Lead, British Airways) on British Airways’ ‘Don’t Fly’ campaign.



“We had massive traffic. We served 111 million video streams, 12 million of them on mobile. It was massive for us.” – Cait O’Riordan (Head of Product for Sport and 2012, BBC) on the BBC’s coverage of the London 2012 Games.




“We did these two (social media) ‘hangouts’ with Rebecca Adlington and Shanaze Reade. I think as part of doing those it was just the sheer starkness of contrast between what you could’ve done at Beijing and now. Here we were sat talking to 8 Cadbury fans, some of them in Australia, with an Olympic athlete who was a month away from competing! That was an amazing thing to be a part of.” – Jerry Daykin (Social Media & Community Manager, Cadbury) on how far social media has come since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.




“The whole ‘shared experience’ of the Olympics was amazing. The ‘Twitter roar’ echoed the roar in the stadium, we all felt we were THERE watching it all together. Twitter can be quite a cynical place to be sometimes but, for a brief period of time, everybody was nice to each other. Wouldn’t it be great if that was the legacy?” – Tanya Goodin (CEO & Founder, Tamar) on her highlight of the London 2012 Games.





For the complete discussion, you can watch the full unedited live-stream below:

If you’re interested in seeing the reports that we presented in more detail before they are made available to the public, please contact Sam Hufton – Sam.Hufton@Tamar.com

Tanya Goodin

Tanya Goodin

Founder of Tamar