Who Are People Talking About On Facebook During The Olympics?

By Justin Lafferty 

The Summer Olympic Games in London have proven to easily be the most social Olympics to date. Recently released statistics from Facebook and from Wildfire Interactive show just what people are posting about — everything from American gymnast Gabrielle Douglas to Procter & Gamble, an official Olympic sponsor.

Wildfire notes that Facebook users have grown ninefold since the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, when there were just 100 million users on the social network. For the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Facebook boasted 400 million users.

Wildfire also discovered that Olympics fans are more engaged than those of other major international events. Olympics fans are liking athletes’ posts six times as much as Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) fans and twice as much as Tour de France fans. They are also commenting on athletes’ posts nine times more than UEFA fans and three times as much as Tour De France fans.

The Olympics have meant big-time engagement gains for athletes who were not as well-known going into the Games as Usain Bolt, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Phelps. Wildfire reports that the Facebook page of American gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, a 16-year-old gold medalist, has grown from a little more than 14,000 likes to roughly 540,000 — a 3,662 percent increase. Other pages that have rapidly grown in popularity: German gymnast Marcel Nguyen (2,271 percent increase), French swimmer Yannick Agnel (1,287 percent increase), French swimmer Camille Muffat (808 percent increase), and French handball player Daniel Narcisse (744 percent increase).

Fan pages for Olympic athletes have grown 29 percent overall in a matter of 12 days.

But Facebook users aren’t just posting about their favorite countries and athletes — they’re also posting about brands. Facebook reached out to AllFacebook with some statistics about some companies that have seen major jumps in engagement during the Games, in terms of people talking about this.

A Facebook spokesperson explained PTAT to AllFacebook:

We have new data that show huge spikes in PTAT on the Olympic sponsors’ pages and additional pages related to the Games. PTAT is the number of unique people who have created a story about your page, measured within one week. These stories include liking your page, posting to your page’s wall, liking, commenting on or sharing one of your page’s posts, answering a question you posted, RVSPing to one of your events, mentioning your page, photo-tagging your page, checking in at your place, or recommending your place.

This is great for brands because, as you may know, increased PTAT links to increased reach, which directly correlates to brands receiving great awareness.

Here are some of the brands that have made leaps and bounds in PTAT during the Olympics:

  • Procter & Gamble, a major official sponsor of the Olympics with its “Thank You, Mom” campaign, has seen its PTAT increase 3,215 percent.
  • Citi, with its “Every Step of the Way” campaign, has increased its PTAT 670 percent. The page has also grown from 716 likes to 10,514 during the Games.
  • The official Olympics page has spiked its PTAT 806 percent.
  • NBC, the official TV network of the Olympics, has seen its PTAT grow 402 percent.
  • Other pages such as Adidas, BBC, and Coca-Cola have also seen gains on their pages.

Readers: How often are you checking out a popular Olympian’s page now?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.