Who Won The Social Media Olympics?

By Justin Lafferty 

Now that the closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympic Games in London have finished, it’s time to look at the winners — not on the track or in the pool, but on Facebook. New statistics recently released by Wildfire detail the most popular athletes and countries on the social network during the Games.

Wildfire examined countries’ global reach, showing the most athlete page likes relative to the country’s number of active Facebook users. Thanks to sprinter Usain Bolt — who won three gold medals in London — Jamaica claimed the gold in that category by a wide margin. The next most popular country was Switzerland, mainly because of the popularity of tennis star Roger Federer. Russian tennis athlete Maria Sharapova helped bring her country to third place in global reach.

The top 10 countries in terms of global reach:

  1. Jamaica
  2. Switzerland
  3. Russia
  4. Netherlands
  5. Spain
  6. Great Britain
  7. Serbia
  8. United States
  9. France
  10. Brazil

Because of Facebook, we now have a metric showing just how popular athletes have become over the course of the Games. Here are the top 5 Olympic athletes, in terms of Facebook fan page growth:

  1. American gymnast Gabrielle Douglas (3,960 percent)
  2. German gymnast Marcel Nguyen (2,476 percent)
  3. French swimmer Camille Muffat (2,320 percent)
  4. French swimmer Yannick Agnel (1,482 percent)
  5. American gymnast McKayla Maroney (996 percent)

Wildfire also measured fan pages in terms of engagement — likes, comments and shares of posts relative to the number of athletes’ fans:

  1. Camille Muffat
  2. French judo athlete Automne Pavia
  3. Yannick Agnel
  4. French slalom canoeist Tony Estanguet
  5. Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi

As Facebook pointed out last week, Procter & Gamble has been one of the biggest Olympic brands on Facebook, due to its “Thank You, Mom,” campaign. Wildfire tracked how well P&G’s pages grew during the Games:

  1. P&G South America (74 percent)
  2. P&G Hungary (35 percent)
  3. P&G Italy (31 percent)
  4. P&G Poland (25 percent)
  5. Thank You, Mom by P&G (14 percent)
  6. P&G (12 percent)
  7. P&G Czech Republic (6 percent)

Growth of major sponsors in terms of “people talking about this”:

  1. Atos (1,217 percent)
  2. P&G (216 percent)
  3. Coca-Cola (126 percent)

Readers: How much did you interact with Olympic athletes or sponsors on Facebook?

Image courtesy of Ververidis Vasilis / Shutterstock.com.