How your business can connect with the Games on Twitter

By Niamh Keenan
Trends and insights

The run up to the 2020 Games in Tokyo has had its fair share of hurdles. COVID-19 concerns have added a never felt before sense of caution and it’s made brands uneasy. 

The events of the past year will bring big changes to the Games, but one constant has remained throughout: Twitter is where everyone goes to connect and talk about what’s happening in sports. In fact, according to a 2019 Twitter study, Twitter was the #1 platform where people expect to first hear about new stories from the Games in Tokyo.1

So how can your business align with the pinnacle of sport and the best of the best in a relevant, impactful, and fun way?

Get your tone and topics right

Keeping the tone right will be crucial. People on Twitter want brands to be informative, supportive, and caring. Fans on Twitter are interested in multiple games too so don’t limit yourself to one sport.Similarly, more people on Twitter are specifically interested in the women’s sports than people not on Twitter +27%.3

The traditional top hitters are swimming, athletics, football, and gymnastics — but don’t limit yourself. There are 33 different sports to choose from with five brand new events this year, and so much jaw droppingly good talent like skateboarder Heimana Reynolds who’s featured in @vitaminwater’s Tweets.

Get familiar with time zones

Dealing with #Tokyo2020 time difference requires planning. Consider the content you’re publishing vs. the time zones your audiences are in so you can reach them when you know they’re most interested.

28% of people worldwide are planning to use their preferred social platform to watch highlights in the morning — with Twitter being the platform of choice for most people. Use this to help you plan your strategy.4

Pro tip: Stay active throughout the tournament too — event heats and preliminary rounds can be just as exciting as the medal-winning rounds themselves. 

Make the most of digital-first 

With no spectators in the stands, Twitter is the roar of the crowd this year. This is a huge opportunity, so seize it before, during, and after events! 

Get involved with regular updates and information about the Games, from live reactive Tweets to athlete stories and pre-Games content like @Macys to get people excited for the main event.

Plan for the unexpected

Look back on your campaigns during COVID-19 and plan for any problems that could arise unexpectedly. 

Ask yourself, or your agency partner, are the creatives and campaign ideas future-proofed if something goes wrong? Do you have alternatives in place? Is your copy inclusive and sensitive to the host country? 

Define your goals

Twitter is the number one social platform for brand interaction5 and the Games in Tokyo is a perfect opportunity to engage with new and existing followers. To make sure you get the results you want ask yourself what you want to gain from your #Tokyo2020 campaign.

Think about who your target audience is? What’s important to them? What sports are they interested in? How does your brand align?

This will help you generate the brand buzz and results you want. Take Dove for example. They know equality for women is important for their customers and reflect this in their Tweets.

Feel good factor and support

Nothing prompts a Tweetstorm quite like an unexpected win, an underdog story, or a sports story that makes a social statement. Even before the games begin, like the outpouring of support for suspended athlete Sha’Carri Richardson. 

Keep an eye out for athletes’ backstories, exhilarating competition outcomes, and moments of cultural unity, but never jump on a topic without thinking about if it actually makes sense for your brand to get involved in the conversation.

Make the most of new Twitter features

To help fans feel closer to the athletes and boost their sense of national pride, we’re launching related topics for each team (eg. Team Japan, Team England, Team New Zealand, etc.). 

This will give Twitter users the option to follow accounts of athletes and commentators with a single tap. Twitter Takeovers and Partnerships are also available to really boost your brand and connect with the people on Twitter getting involved from afar on their screens. (There were 79.2 million impressions for conversations about the Tokyo Games from June - July alone!6)

If you need some extra help connecting, get in touch with us. Our teams are superstars in their own right and have a variety of tools, features, and insights that can help your business stay up to date with and make the most of the #Tokyo2020 Games.

Connect with a Twitter support specialist 

Source: Tokyo 2020 Twitter Insights study conducted by Sparkler and commissioned by Twitter, Nov. 2019, Global, “Where would you first expect to hear about this story?” {Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube}, Preferred users of each platform: n=2356 Twitter users, 9279 Facebook users, 4050 Instagram users, 562 Snapchat users, 5368 YouTube users

Source: Tokyo 2020 Twitter Insights study conducted by Sparkler and commissioned by Twitter, Nov. 2019, Global,“Now, thinking specifically about the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, which of the following sports  are you interested in hearing about/seeing?”, n=17520 monthly Twitter users, 6340 non-Twitter users, 13835 nationally representative sample.

3 Source: Tokyo 2020 Twitter Insights study conducted by Sparkler and commissioned by Twitter, Nov. 2019, Global, “And which event types for [insert sport] are you most interested in?” {Women’s} , n=17520 monthly Twitter users, n=6340 non-Twitter user

4  Source: Tokyo 2020 Twitter Insights study conducted by Sparkler and commissioned by Twitter, Nov. 2019, Global, “If some of the key events for [insert sport] took place when you would normally be asleep, which of the following ways would you try to keep up with the event?” {Watch highlights on preferred social platform}, n=13835 nationally representative sample, n=2356 Twitter users, 9279 Facebook users, 4050 Instagram users, 562 Snapchat user

5 Source: Bovitz, Conversation as a Superpower Study, commissioned by Twitter, 2021, US

6 Source: Twitter Internal Data - Semantic Core/KGO, UK Olympic conversation - Jun 5-Jul 4, 2021

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