International events like the Winter Olympics are the perfect marketing opportunity for international brands. Millions of people worldwide are closely following the biggest sports event in the world and they love the Olympic vibe. Brands that succeed at surfing on this wave of positivity benefit from a huge exposure and reputation boost. Now that the Olympics are over, we took the time to track the success of the Olympic sponsors‘ marketing campaigns. In the infographic below you will immediately see how Visa scored with their Olympic social campaigns

Visa reigns the Twittersphere, McDonalds Gets Most Negative Buzz

Visa invested a lot of time and effort into posting the right content on Twitter during their Winter Olympics’ sponsorship and it paid off. With almost 80,000 posts about their brand in relation to the Olympics, they come in first for top buzzing sponsors. A good example of their successful approach was their video celebrating US athlete Sarah Hendrickson and the Olympic debut of women ski jumping. McDonalds, who takes fourth place, had a fair amount of buzz, but over 50% of all posts had a negative sentiment. Turns out people aren’t too fond of a fast food brand sponsoring the Olympics, as clearly many people do not associate the brand with sports and healthy living. The hijacking of their#cheerstosochi hashtag by the LGBT activists didn’t really help to boost sentiment either. Coca-Cola also shut down a feature allowing people to put messages on cans to cheer the Olympics athletes after LGBT activists hijacked the campaign, urging people to use the cans to highlight Russia’s anti-gay brutality. 

Unlike with the Super Bowl, the majority of posts around the Olympic sponsors were sent from the web and not from mobile devices. While the Super Bowl is a one-night event most people watch at home from the couch, the Winter Olympics span 18 days. Chances are many people follow it throughout the day as well from their computers at work.

Visa Queen on Twitter, Omega King on Facebook

But what content works well? Which posts were shared an liked most often? There are two unmistakable winners here: Visa ruled Twitter and Omega was king on Facebook. For Twitter, Visa has 14 posts in the top 15 (McDonalds conquered the 11th position) and for Facebook the Omega posts occupy the entire top 15!

So obviously the fans like what Visa and Omega are doing, but do these brands respect that and actively engage with their audience? Visa definitely cares for their fans with over 5,000 replies, but Omega lags painfully behind and ends in the final position with only 2 replies. As for the geographical location of all this engagement, it shouldn’t be a surprise the most active audience comes from the US, with the UK and Canada completing the top 3. The fact that Visa had such a large share of voice and at the same time really interacted with their audience, is not a coincidence. This is the key to successful marketing. You should always be open to conversations, even if they involve negative feedback.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi were definitely not an easy ride for the Olympic sponsors but they pulled through and several of them triumphed with successful social campaigns.

This post originally appeared on the Engagor blog.

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