They’ve been training for years, we’ve been waiting for months, but in 4 days the wait will be over. This Friday marks the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics: the last of Michael Phelps’ career (or so he says), the first of gymnast Gabby Douglas, and the fourth for beach volleyball duo Misty May and Kerri Walsh. But we all know that having your TV turned on for every event just isn’t possible, as much as we’d like it to be. That’s where Twitter comes in. NBC has partnered with the social media site to guarantee that the 15% of Americans who tweet won’t miss a beat, as long as they’re following @NBCOlympics.
The partnership is an obvious benefit for Twitter. Their number of users will most likely increase substantially and we can confidently assume that the traffic on their site is going to skyrocket come July 27. This is a global event and now that minute by minute coverage is possible, NBC had to take advantage of it. How would it look if the network hadn’t made it easy for viewers and not created a Twitter account? By doing so, NBC has strengthened their brand by demonstrating a “we’re giving the people what they want” kind of approach. They’re also giving Twitter one of the greatest opportunities for exposure since its inception. How often do you think we’re going to hear the words “hashtag Olympics” and “follow” over the next few weeks?
Although @NBCOlympics has been tweeting steadily since June 7, the partnership was only made official this morning. The account already has over 200,000 followers, more than NBC’s Twitter. Who knows how high it will be by Friday. There couldn’t be a better way for Twitter to give Facebook a run for its money. The reliability of @NBCOlympics is incomparable to any Facebook update by one of your hundreds of friends. With Twitter, we’ll know instantly and we’ll know the truth, at least that’s what they are promising us. Users are going to be checking their phones and refreshing their computers constantly over the next few weeks, and Twitter is (hopefully) ready for them.