During the London 2012 Games many companies saw a significant increase in social interactions by launching successful social media campaigns. Tencent attracted 7 million new users during the Olympic Games.
The Chinese company owns some of the largest social networks in China including Tencent Weibo and QQ. Tencent talked with CBR about the outcomes of its social media strategy for the London 2012 Games.
Jeff Han, Marketing General Manager for Tencent
Could you describe the social media activities Tencent executed during the 2012 Olympics? Did this work well with your social media campaign?
A total of 400 million people accessed Olympics coverage online via Tencent technologies. More than 450 Tea House television programmes and video broadcasts about were delivered back on Tencent's Olympics channel daily. These daily broadcasts from London reunited China's athletes with their families in studios in the capital. This worked well with our social media campaign.
Viewers watched broadcasts online via Tencent's Olympics 'Tea House' IPTV channel and used Tencent Weibo (a microblogging platform) to post comments in support of China's athletes and discuss Olympic events as they unfolded. 70 of China's 88 medal-winning athletes also used Tencent Weibo to communicate with family members on Tencent Weibo via mobile devices during the games. International athletes including Usain Bolt, Tom Daley and Novak Djokovic also used Tencent Weibo during the event.
Do you think the London 2012 Games were the "first social Olympics"?
This has indeed been a truly 'Social Olympics'. London 2012 is the first social Olympics because it was the first time social media was widely used by people around the world to experience the Olympics.
Two years ago, we set out on our strategy to surpass our competitors when it came to marketing and online activities that could be conducted on our portal sites. Over the course of London 2012, we have seen that strategy come to fruition, allowing Tencent to stand at the top of the market among national Internet portal sites and in representing international brands to China's online community.
What activities and platforms worked well with your social media campaign?
Social media activities across a variety of platforms worked well, in particular user activity on microblogging sites Tencent Weibo, our online broadcasting on IPTV and Instant Messaging on our portal QQ.com.
Mobile apps also enhanced the user experience of the Olympics. This can be seen with Location Based Service applications such as Tencent's Blow app, which enabled users in China to 'fly' to London for a virtual tour of the city during the Olympics, locate friends and read Weibo posts made from nearby locations.
How do you plan to keep the momentum of social interactions up after the Olympics?
We had a strong user base via our platforms before the Olympics and this will continue to grow. As a result of the success of our London 2012 social media campaign we will now look to plan campaigns for other international events.
What advice would Tencent give to brands wanting to execute successful social media campaigns centred around big events like the Olympics?
No global company looking to reach an international market centred around a big event like the Olympics can afford to ignore social media and mobile platforms. These platforms provide the fabric for online interaction in many countries, including China, which has the highest number of smartphone users. However, to reach consumers effectively, international businesses must learn to navigate the digital landscape.
It is important not to look at platforms in isolation. The most effective campaigns take an integrated approach incorporating platforms such as mobile and this has been successful for brands who want to gain a strong presence and awareness in China. P&G is one international company using social media and mobile to connect to Chinese consumers. Mobile platforms played a big part in how P&G's Olympics family campaign was delivered. P&G sponsored Tencent's Olympics Tea House family programme which focused on bringing China's athletes in contact with their families. These athletes used mobile devices to communicate with families and fans on Tencent Weibo.
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