In this analysis of the social media activity around Rio 2016, Meltwater, a media intelligence company compares how brands, athletes, countries and sports have been discussed on social media, and which came out on top.
Meltwater listens to and analyses social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, blogs and Instagram coverage, with this particular Olympics analysis period spanning from August 5 to 21 2016.
Samsung achieved the greatest share of voice out of the top 5 sponsors assessed by Meltwater. This could be because they gave every single athlete a phone to use.
While Coca-Cola and McDonald’s were on par in terms of attracting positive sentiment, McDonald’s attracted twice the amount of negative sentiment that Coca-Cola did.
Coca – Cola
Athletics and swimming stood out as the most popular sports, the social analysis included the events within each such as, track and field events, as well as the different strokes in swimming. It’s interesting to see the popularity of basketball outweighing football, particularly as Brazil the home of the games is known as a football nation. This could be contributed to Australia coming fourth in Basketball.
Although football is considered Brazil’s national sport, and the host country won the gold medal in the sport, fans were largely nonplussed about the game on social media with 45 percent neutral on the topic and 33 percent positive.
Roughly the same amount of people enjoyed watching and supporting the basketball, with 32 percent discussing the game positively, and 16 percent negatively.
Australia’s own Kyle Chalmers who surprised the whole country when he took out gold in the men’s 100 metre freestyle received more recognition than Mo Farah, who is a Great Britain veteran for the games.
It seems hardly anyone complains or critiques Usain Bolt on social media with 50 percent of all global social media conversations around Rio 2016 were positive about the fastest man in the world.
Whereas, Michael Phelps attracted double the negative sentiment than he does positive. This is surprising given his freakish medal tally.
Simone Biles was a clear standout in terms of mentions at Rio this year, due to her gymnastic prowess which attracted the attention of every teenage girl’s favourite star, Zac Efron. President Obama also tweeted his support.
Countries with the most buzz on social
Out of the top performing countries on the medal tally for Rio 2016, the USA had the most supporters on social media, followed by Great Britain, China, Germany and Russia. This is in-line with the order of ranking in the official medal tally, with the exception of Russia who actually scored more medals than Germany, however less people discussed Russia on social media than Germany.
Out of the top five performing countries, Great Britain stole the most hearts on social media, with almost 70 percent of discussion positive. Followed by the USA, which had 43 percent positive sentiment.
Once you delve into the data and look at what the public around the world is saying on social media, you gain insights into who is coming out on top in terms of medal tallies and athlete or team performance versus share of voice and sentiment. So many factors can affect this such as, who is competing, if it’s a popular sport, a country is performing well or a celebrity/influencer posts something.
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