With the 2014 Winter Olympics all wrapped up, it’s a great time to share the top hashtags of this year’s games. They’ve run the gamut from funny (#BadOlympicEvents) to event-specific (#USAvsCanada) to uber patriotic (#TeamUSA, #Go4Gold, #RoadToGold). Here’s a categorized breakdown, with some pretty sweet analytics for you to sink your teeth into along the way.
In Real Time
On February 7, during Sochi’s awe-inspiring opening ceremony, athletes from all over the world filled Twitter with grinning pictures of fellow teammates, heroes and rivals in a flurry of excitement to finally be at the winter games with peers who train (and, apparently, love) as hard as they do.
Fans were also free to take part in the experience by tweeting about the Opening Ceremony as they watched, once again reminding us of Twitter’s capacity to make any event an interactive one—even if it takes place on another continent, with figures that in the past could only ever be looming, inaccessible icons to the general public.
As is the case with any event, the closing ceremony didn’t garner as much attention as the opening ceremony. Mentions peaked at 14,447 per hour on Sunday.
The big conversation driver was a joke slipped into the event by the Russian Olympics committee, eluding to their Olympic ring gaffe during the opening ceremonies:
During the nail-biter USA vs. Canada women’s hockey game on February 20, tensions were running high.
Fans reminded us what makes Twitter so awesome and unique, coming together to express support and play-by-play anxiety in real time:
Smart brands took the opportunity to become part of the conversation:
And even drive traffic towards Olympics content on their own sites:
Wave That Flag
This patriotic hashtag has also been used in a variety of ways during the Olympics. It’s been championed by supporting organizations like U.S. Figure Skating as they offer information about Team USA athletes:
And used by fans as they cheer their favorites on:
And tweeted directly from the athletes themselves:
#WeAreWinter This one really took hold after the Canadian women won hockey gold against team USA in overtime. Wow, such drama!
Canadians the world over went wild with this hashtag, spearheaded by the Canadian Olympic Committee to celebrate their athletes’ toughness, endurance and excellence at winter sports. This is a great, living-and-breathing example of what rich video content and a strong investment in multi-platform social media can do for a brand’s exposure and popularity.
#Sochi2014 was incredibly popular on both Twitter and Instagram as an overarching category.
Here’s a great visual from Simply Measured’s Instagram Hashtag report, which you can use for your own brand to gain a comprehensive view of the activity behind any hashtag, providing a full understanding of your campaign’s reach and the value of your efforts.This one shows us that, in just one 24-hour period, #Sochi2014 was used on Instagram by 756 unique people, 993 times, with 1 million people potentially reached by those posts and 1.2 million potential views. This is a tremendous amount of activity, but it’s lower than we expected, given Instagram’s 160 million active users and 55 million photo posts per day. We think it’s due to the interchangeable use of #Sochi and #Sochi2014 in posts. What’s your best guess?
This one, as you might expect, gets used very often and for a wide variety of purposes. As an actual physical location:
In lieu of #Sochi2014 either on purpose or inadvertently:
And coupled with other hashtags to build meaning via layering:
This is an interesting one. It’s been used with coupled with a disparaging comment to indicate a shortcoming of the Sochi Olympics site, such as,
Over time, the hashtag has morphed into a vehicle for humor:
Along the lines of #SochiProblems, this hashtag gained particular notoriety when this tweet went up:
It’s a video of Kate Hansen, a member of the US Olympic Luge Team, spying none other than a wolf prowling her Sochi Olympic Village residence’s halls (!!). After a few hours the truth came out: this was part of another Jimmy Kimmel hoax, a follow-up to his faux video of a woman setting herself on fire while twerking. This was a smart social media move for Jimmy—capitalizing on a hashtag that’s been incredibly popular and also letting the Other Late-Night Jimmy know he’s not the only one who can make ’em laugh and cause a stir in the Twitterverse.
Proctor & Gamble’s social media blitz dedicated to thanking Olympians’ moms is the definition of a contemporary branding success story. Their YouTube channel is endlessly watchable, with 3-5 minute mini-documentaries that describe Olympic athletes overcoming serious personal and/or professional obstacles to achieve greatness—all thanks to Mom. But Proctor & Gamble won big during Sochi 2014 because it didn’t stop there. It sponsored Olympic athletes and has been keeping its promoted hashtag, #BecauseOfMom, alive throughout the games.
This hashtag has really opened the floodgates for humor on Twitter, from bawdy to brilliant. After Bob Costas had to leave the games early due to an unsightly pink eye outbreak, Zach Braff sent an especially chuckle-worthy tweet out…
Digging into the most popular hashtags on Twitter surrounding a specific event is a great way of tracking what’s newsworthy and cataloging the latest and greatest. How could this kind of deep-dive exploration shed light on your brand and its audience?