An Olympian Effort on Facebook

Vancouver2010Facebook.jpgGraeme Menzies, director of online communications for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games, posted on the Facebook blog about how VANOC is using social media to promote the games, adding some details about the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Page on Facebook.

Menzies posted:

This Thursday, the Olympic flame is being lit in Olympia, Greece. Canada’s Olympic torch relay will be the longest ever held in one country, covering 45,000 kilometers (or nearly 28,000 miles) on a 106-day journey by some 12,000 torchbearers carrying the torch through over 1,000 communities and landmarks across the country.

In the past, traditional media such as newspapers, radio and television would record and tell the story of the relay. Now, citizens are telling the story themselves by sharing their photos, videos and thoughts on their Facebook profiles, their blogs and other social media. This new reality is what led the Vancouver 2010 team to reach out beyond its Website and engage significantly in the social-media space.

In Canada, where Facebook is already extremely popular, we’ve actively encouraged local Olympic torch-relay celebration communities to use Facebook to build local engagement, enthusiasm and momentum. Communities such as Sydney, Nova Scotia and Red Deer, Alberta, are using Facebook to communicate local torch relay news, stories and photos on Facebook Pages.

On a global scale, we worked with volunteers and Facebook in Canada to build the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Page as an effective tool to engage the world. The majority of the fans are international, including significant engagement from countries one wouldn’t normally associate with winter sports, including Indonesia, Venezuela and Columbia.

By bringing Facebook, including Facebook Connect, and other social media into the mix, we are getting closer to the goal of making the Games a meaningful social experience for fans in Canada and all over the world. More than ever before, the Olympic Games are the Games of the global village.