Team Great Britain’s fan page has grown rapidly from less than 100,000 fans on the eve of the games to almost three quarters of a million fans (705,000) in little over a week. Meanwhile, the longer established US Olympic Team page has grown only two per cent from 2.2 million since the games began.
Whilst a handful of athletes such as Tom Daley (600K+ fans), Jessica Ennis (330K+ fans) and Andy Murray (700K+ fans) have their own highly engaged fan bases, many other GB athletes don’t have any or a sizeable fan base – and so Team GB has picked up much of the conversation space.
The most popular UK posts are those that report on medal wins – especially the gold medals. Team GB’s poster girl Jessica Ennis’ heptathlon gold tops the UK charts with close to a quarter of a million Likes on the team page. Posts on Ennis’ own page also got close to 200,000 Likes following her win. After Ennis it was Mo Farah’s win in the 10,000 metres, shock wins for Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the rowing and Greg Rutherford in the long jump that really captured GB fans’ attention.
By comparison, posts about those missing out on medals drove much less activity. Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield’s disappointment in the diving earned Team GB only 16,000 Likes. By contrast, Tom Daley’s apology to his fans on his own page pulled in a flurry of support with over 14,000 comments from his fans and over 125,000 Likes, considerably more than on either Team GB or Team USA fan pages.
Winning is definitely driving fans to Like on these Facebook team pages. Social media is allowing people to really be part of the Games and share in the overall excitement, and it will be interesting to see how brands tap into athletes’ new found popularity.
The table below shows the top 30 most popular posts (based on likes and comments) on the official TeamGB and US Olympic Team Facebook pages.