How to Win the Gold in Social Listening During the 2018 Winter Olympics

Niraj Sharma |
 02/12/18 |
3 min read

As the 2018 Winter Olympic Games get underway, there are lots of reasons for brands to employ social media monitoring to follow all the action. Maintaining brand health amidst the potential for political, or other, drama is a big one.  Here’s how to remain above the fray.

Don’t look for trouble

With the Games being held in PyeongChang, South Korea, it’s a big deal that North Korea is sending a delegation to “march under one flag” at the opening ceremonies. Relations between the two countries are complicated, to put it mildly.

There’s bound to be a lot of talk of this throughout the Games, but brands should be careful before weighing in. The best approach is to use social listening to understand the emerging topics surrounding the Olympics. Then use social monitoring to be sure nothing you say gets you into trouble.

Here how our Olympics Live Pulse looked the day before the opening ceremonies:

The conversation happening in the US centered largely around EXO – the Korean-Chinese boy band playing the closing ceremonies. The games have barely started, and people can’t wait for the grand finale! The terms “penguin” and “penguin Soo” refer to endearments ascribed to one of the band’s members.

“Yuri on ICE” is another big topic. This is the name of an anime series about figure skating – which appears to have been brought to life by Japanese pairs skaters Miu Suzaki & Ryuichi Kihara.

Translate text and sentiment

With a global event like the Olympics, it’s vital your social analytics tools can decipher global languages – like Korean – but also consumer languages. What are those? Netspeak, sarcasm, pop culture references, etc.

Accurate translation of these human languages is an essential component for calculating Net Sentiment – or whether consumer emotions are positive or negative, on a scale from +100 to -100.

From there, Natural Language Processing (NLP) also must weigh the intensity of these emotions, so you know where to focus your attention – and when to steer clear. We call this Passion Intensity, also calculated on a scale from +100 to -100.

Let’s look back at our Live Pulse. On Friday, the emerging topics were – predictably – more focused on the opening ceremonies happening that night. But you can see there are some other topics from which brands might want to abstain.

Potentially loaded topics like “trick,” “illegal,” “Trump,” and “Kim Jong Un” may not be worth your time – unless your brand is political commentary.

But here again, it’s worth a bit of exploration to be sure you know why these terms are trending. The words “trick” and “illegal” actually stem from conversation about former French Olympic figure skater Surya Bonaly:

Use social listening and sentiment analysis to unearth additional insights about trending topics – so any decisions you make are based on facts, not assumptions.

Continue tracking in real-time

With all social engagement you’ve got to monitor your audience in real-time. Whether you reply to a controversial subject, inadvertently start one, or remain silent, you have to know how trends are evolving. You can’t keep your brand safe otherwise.

It only takes one tweet to catch fire and become a brand crisis. If you’re not vigilant, you might not be able to stop the reputational damage that ensues.

So use your social media monitoring tools wisely – and you’ll win marketing gold every time.

Keep following our Olympics Live Pulse here to see how things progress – and get in touch if you want your own!



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