Right away the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) comes to mind since I follow them on Twitter. The COC does an excellent job of engaging Canadians by using a wide variety of social media tools. Just a quick glance on their website reveal links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram. Their website is well laid out and has an obvious focus on Canadian athletes, their stories, photos, competitions, successes and failures. Virtually everything is sharable and relies mainly on images and videos rather than text to get their message across.
With the Sochi Olympics just around the corner the COC is ramping up interest by rolling out their #WeAreWinter campaign which has an official partnership with Twitter. Since the COC has almost 70,000 followers on their Twitter account, it was and obvious choice. “This campaign is built around emotional videos celebrating the heroic determination of Canada’s Winter Olympic athletes and winter itself—or at least winter’s inextricable place in the Canadian psyche.” The videos included in this social media campaign are dark, tough, edgy and are aimed at appealing to Canadians and their national pride. If this is just the beginning, I look forward to what’s in store for our athletes.
Another organization that has a social media approach that’s growing at very fast pace is the Canadian Curling Association (CCA). Even though the CCA are working on a smaller scale, they have a focused approach on gaining awareness of their sport with the aim of recruitment and retention. A quick overview of their site reveals links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and an RSS feed. The website is easy to navigate, has videos, polls, stats, blogs, and a news feed that are all updated regularly.
Their latest social media campaign had the CCA partnered with Tim Horton’s for Roar of the Rings which are the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials. With the clever title and the addition of Will Farrell as Ron Burgundy to attract more attention, participants and spectators were encouraged to tweet and share photos via Flickr. With over 12,000 views on Flickr, 3,000 likes on Facebook and 10,000 followers on Twitter, the CCA is a great example of how an organization can gain interest for what they do (in this case curling) and the events that they hold.
Which organization needs improvement?
Sport Matters Group (SMG) is a non-profit organization that seeks to have open, non-biased communication with the sport community. They have a focus on collaboration, sharing and participation for sport organizations, leaders and the public to voice their ideas or concerns regarding sport and sport policies. A quick overview of their website reveals links to Facebook, Twitter and an RSS feed. This site is clean, easy to read and is updated on a regular basis; for an organization that has limited resources they do a decent job of getting their information out to the public but there is a lack of consistency in the platforms they use.
Their Twitter account is used quite frequently and regularly engages their followers but their Facebook page hasn’t had any new postings since April 2013. Since I work with SMG on a regular basis, I know that they attend many social, sporting, and networking events. Attending these events is an easy way to generate content for their social media platforms; photos, quotes and videos from these events can help increase awareness of their organization which will increase their likes, followers, etc.
My advice to SMG would be to start small and to work with what they have. Every year they host Lobby Day where they meet with various MP’s, ministers, senators, and senior policy advisors to increase awareness of what they do. Having a clear social media plan for the lead up to this event could futher help participation, awareness and ultimately the success of their organizations’ ability to get their message out to the key people they are trying to reach.
Having a good social media plan doesn’t always mean an organization should be on every social media platform they can sign up to. Since SMG already has accounts with Facebook and Twitter they should start with a plan to optimize those tools to their best advantage. If opportunities arise in the future for expansion into other media platforms, they could update their media strategy to accomodate them as well. Since the organization is so small, there is a chance that they may only be able to allocate time and resources to those two social media websites but as long as they use them consistently and well, they should see a positive difference.