Spice Girls break Tweets-per-minute record at #London2012

This was the first Olympic Games to really have the power of social media behind it. When Beijing hosted the Games in 2008 there were only 100m active...

This was the first Olympic Games to really have the power of social media behind it. When Beijing hosted the Games in 2008 there were only 100m active Facebook users and 100m Tweets per quarter. Today there are roughly 900m active Facebook users and 340m Tweets per day, so these were always going to be the ‘Social Olympics’. Before we put the Olympics to bed and return to normality, let’s take one last look at the social buzz created before, during and after the Games.

This handy infographic from social media monitoring company Sentiment Metrics analyses the buzz in the build-up to the Games.


Olympics buzz - Sentiment Metrics infographic
Infographic courtesy of Sentiment Metrics

One of the most striking figures is that in the build-up to the games Ecuador came third for social media chatter, behind the US and the UK, before going on to win no medals at all. Apparently medals aren’t everything!

During the games records were broken on and off the track. According to Twitter there were a total of 150m Tweets with @UsainBolt taking more than his fair share – 80,000 TPM (Tweets per minute) for his 200m sprint and 74,000 TPM for the 100m. Of the British athletes, Andy Murray’s gold medal came out top with 57,000 TPM, although @TomDaley1994 received more mentions in total.

Top 10 discussed athletes on Twitter:

1.Usain Bolt (@UsainBolt)
2. Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps)
3. Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994)
4. Ryan Lochte (@ryanlochte)
5. Gabby Douglas (@gabrielledoug)
6. Andy Murray (@andy_murray)
7. Kobe Bryant (#GetKobeOnTwitter)
8. Yohan Blake (@YohanBlake)
9. Lee Chong Wei (@Lee_C_Wei)
10. LeBron James (@KingJames)

Throughout the Games Londoners were treated to a daily lightshow on The London Eye which showed Twitter sentiment for the Games that day. This infographic from EDF energy (below) picks out some of the highs and lows.


Infographic showing Twitter sentiment for the Olympics
Twitter sentiment during the Olympics - EDF Energy

It seems that medal success was the big sentiment influencer. Jessica Ennis winning gold was the most positive event with 90% positivity, but when Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish were disqualified in the cycling, positivity sharply dropped by 15%.

Unsurprisingly, the closing ceremony produced a large number of Tweets. The Spice Girls stole the show when they  eclipsed Usain Bolt with a new Twitter record of 116,000 TPM during their performance.


Courtesy of GettyImages


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  1. Social Media for Sports Clubs Infographic | Reply

    […] 150m tweets about the Games and 67% of British adults used social media to follow the action live. Spice Girls aside, Usain Bolt attracted the most mentions with tweets peaking at 80,000 per-minute following […]

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