Internet users give a lot of importance to information and types of communication on social media platforms. Basically, online fans are the disseminators of key messages among their peer groups, hence widening the reach of the sport brand, and transforming users into ambassadors and agents in the society.
Social media should be, like few others, be considered as a strong and influential element of communication strategy which deals with other factors of communication, including its official website. Social networks should operate alongside the website as a well-balanced whole.
An organisation engaging in social networking sites should, in other words, be a sign of endorsement of interaction with its different publics, by opting for a friend-to-friend (F2F) type of communication. Gradually, this will build up a bond with online users, thus asserting a long-lasting institutional communication. Apart from centring on informal/institutional communication, the organisation should also focus on information which are published on its website and blog, maybe by going for a dissimilar, friendlier, personalised, and sincerer approach while posting on its social media platforms. Furthermore, in this case, the core objective of the public relations and communication strategy should be to motivate fans to give their reactions to its website – IOC’s and YOG’s leading online presence.
Social media allows millions of Youth Olympic Games (YOG) fans to discover panoply of contents on the official websites of YOG and IOC. Nonetheless, most of those fans do not visit the websites. So, it is imperative to make efficient use of social media platforms by posting information in the same way the public wants to receive them.
The current use of Twitter by the Youth Olympic Games Organising Team (YOGOC) to promote the Olympic spirit and events, by opting for an institutional communication, is somehow unpersuasive for Twitter fans. The posts do not create conversations; they do not generate expected amount of retweets; and they do not foster fans engagement.
Moreover, it is essential for the IOC and YOG Administrators to post content on Facebook and Twitter by keeping in mind the social and demographic profiles of fans, with the aim to present them fascinating and attention-grabbing content. Likewise, opinion leaders also play a crucial role in this process; YOGOC and IOC members should play safe with them by making sure they are acting as advocates of YOG, thus stimulating the projected Olympics messages on their social media profiles.
The International Olympic Committee is a big, believed and reputed sport organisation. It should not be reluctant to ask questions to its social media fans; to respond to their queries or criticisms, since these could be constructive and lead to uncover ideas and prospects for innovation. The Olympic Movement has a commendable history, culture and story about its foundation, and people believe in it more than in its events. Therefore, Facebook and Twitter could be during the Youth Olympic Games to spread the ideals and culture of the Olympic Movement through text and audiovisuals.