While you spend your nights in front of the TV watching Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte go head-to-head in the pool while the Olympic gymnastics team reclaim gold, why not take time during the day to snap your team out of the summer doldrums with your own Social Media Olympics.

Hosting your own Social Media Olympics is an opportunity to experiment,Image use friendly competition to change the incentive structure for producing great content, and reinvigorate your online engagement plan. If you do it right, your team will appreciate the ability to have fun, get creative, and create value for your organization at the same time.

Just as some events in the Olympics are score objectively (swimming, rowing, basketball) and others are judged by people (gymnastics, diving, boxing), the events in your Social Media Olympic can include a mix of judged events and those that can be quantified by hard metrics.

Social Media Olympic Event Line Up

Here are 21 event ideas for your Social Media Olympic Games.

Social Media Content Production Relay

1) Video

Have individuals or teams create a short online video that your target market will find helpful or insightful. The video with the most views after a set period of time stands atop the podium.

2) How-To or List Blog Post

Everyone creates one educational blog post to be posted over the next few weeks. Scoring: Views are worth one point and inbound links are worth 40 (while important, sharing doesn’t count in the score tally because it is tied to views).

3) Case Study

Pair up and have each duo produce a fresh customer case studies using the most appropriate media. The title of champion goes to the case study that is viewed by the most leads before they convert on a bottom-of-the-funnel offer.

4) Infographic

This event is all about data. Break into groups or go solo. Then, find data that would be valuable to your target audience. Layout the data visually and then create your infographic. The image that delivers the most inbound links takes the top honor.

5) Interview

The individuals who compete in this event will conduct a short 3 question interview with an industry thought leader or company executive. The text, and possibly video, will be posted to the company blog. The event will be scored similar to the How-To/List Blog Post event above (see event #2).

6) Curated Content

Each day assign one person to curate content and share it with your social networks. Measure your organizations social reach at the beginning and the end of each day. The competitors who is able to grow your reach the most wins.

7) Visual Marketing

Create visual images promoting your cause which people can share on Pinerest, Facebook, and Google+. The image that is shared most widely gets the gold.

Re-Imagination Floor Routine

8) Team Blog Optimization

All competitions submit one change to a company blog’s layout, SEO, or calls-to-action. It is difficult to measure which modifications had the greatest impact, so this is a team event. This means that it is your organization competing against its past performance in getting found and converting blog visitors to leads.

9) Social Media Profiles

Each group or individual “social media athlete” is assigned to optimize one of your social media profiles to increase social media reach and website visitors – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinerest, etc.  Make sure to track links from your social network profiles to your website. A visit to your website is worth two points, a new connection is worth three, and a new lead conversion is worth ten points. Whichever profile generates the most points over a set period of time wins the gold.

10) Existing Content

Find existing content that is not getting found for target keywords on search engines, converting leads, or being shared on social networks. Optimize that content give it a second lease on life. Use the same scoring scheme as the other blog post events (see event #2).

Public Social Network Listening Steeplechase

11) Social Discussions

Identify 20-30 keywords where your organization can contribute to the conversation. Divide up those keywords among the competitors. Have each “social media athlete” monitor public social networks, online groups and forums like Quora and LinkedIn groups, and relevant blogs for opportunities to provide value to the conversation.

The winner is determined by combining the total number of interactions/comments (1 point) with the total number of positive responses to your comments (3 points). Tip: Each comment in a conversation counts for 1 point, so if you can start an insightful discussion, you’ll head for the finish line ahead of the pack.

Idea Spreading Hammer Throw

12) Headline Contest

Take some of the new content created in the events above and have olympians each create five headlines and blurbs for each content item. Share those headline and blurbs across your public social networks. To get the score, divide the number of views each headline gets by the total size of that a specific social network (e.g. your total followers or connections). The headline with the highest percentage wins.

Relationship Building Tournament

13) Identify 25, 50, or 100 people with whom you would like to build a relationship. These could be prospects, thought-leaders, or potential partners. Divide up the list among the competitors. Then, use the following tools to start the process of developing a relationship through social networks by making thoughtful comments.

  • LinkedIn
  • Blogs
  • Google+
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Scoring is based on the number of positive responses you get to your comment or question. If someone other than your target responds to your comment, you get 1 point. If the object of your relationship-building efforts responds to your comment, you get 4 points and you also get a 5 point bonus if they follow you back.

Private Online Community Platform Diving

14) Invitation

Split a list of customers that are not active in your online customer community and personally invite them to get involved by highlighting useful resources, discussions, and groups. The person who initiates the most registrations or return logins is the winner.

15) File Drive

In this event, you’ll host a file drive in your online customer community’s file library. Each competitor or group is responsible for getting customers, employees, and partners to add helpful documents, videos, and others resources a specific category in the library. At the end of the week, the category in your online community’s file library with the most new resources takes the trophy.

16) Teasers

Each competitor is assigned specific groups or discussion in your online customer community. They will then create a series of teasers for public social networks that drive people to the private online community. The person who drives the most web traffic to your private customer community is awarded the gold medal.

17) Blog Posts for Customers

Have each “social media athlete” create and publish a customer-oriented post for one of the blogs in your in your organization’s online customer community. The post that generated the most discussion wins.

Metrics Medal Rounds

These events are team events where your entire organization will compete against past results. After you have determined if you beat you previous performance, examine which channels, tactics, and content gave you the most bang for your buck. Don’t forget to track these metrics over time after your Social Media Olympics have ended. The beauty of social, search, and content is that the benefits of your work live on long after the work is complete.

18) Reach

At the end of your Social Media Olympics, did you increase your social reach more than a comparable period?

19) Engagement

Keeping in mind that each organization measures how they engage prospects and customers differently, were you able to increase online engagement during the course of the game?

20) Leads

Did the number of leads generated through social media and organic search increase over a comparable period? Was the quality of the leads better or worse than average?

21) Search Rankings

Are you in the top 10 or 20 results for new target keywords? Did the number of web site visitors that found you through organic search increase during your Social Media Olympics?

Design Your Own Social Media Olympic Village

Your event roster and scoring system may be different depending on your products, market, and social channels. You can hold it over a day, week, or month depending on the scale of your social networking operation.

Keep in mind that communication is critical. Hold an opening ceremony where you explain the entire program, then schedule short meetings or send daily Social Media Olympics newsletters to update your team on the status of competition and provide instructions and timing of the next events.

Most importantly, have fun with this. The Social Media Olympics are a great opportunity to build enthusiasm and awareness across your organization for your social strategy and the results that you deliver.