So the first weekend of Olympic action has finished and I’ve been putting in some serious hours of Olympics watching, mostly on TV but with a very wet trip to the Mall in between. The BBC coverage has been outstanding with seemingly unlimited viewing options, having broadcasts on three BBC channels as well as a red button service and a plethora of options online.
One thing that has been noticeably absent from their coverage however is any promotion of hashtags during coverage. We’ve become used to seeing the BBC promote their own hashtags, such as #bbcqt, during their broadcasts so it was surprising that they didn’t push #bbc2012 which is the hashtag being used by official BBC twitter accounts.
As a result the numbers of tweets we’ve been seeing for the BBC broadcasts have been surprisingly low (note we’re not tracking generic tags such as #olympics as we want to focus on the broadcast itself and we outline our reasons here). It has also meant that there has been a lot of fragmentation of the hash tags being used, during the opening ceremony we saw #bbcolympics being used almost as much as #bbc2012. There was also a lot of fragmentation of the generic, non-BBC, hashtags being used alongside the BBC hashtags with #olympicceremony, #london2012 and #olympics all getting large numbers.
This demonstrates the need to actively promote programme hastags in order to avoid conversations about the coverage itself being lost in the general chatter about the event. The BBC may have their own reasons for not promoting #bbc2012 but we feel like they’ve missed an opportunity to own the conversation happening around their coverage.
By Ted Littledale