accountingcpd.net author Anna Faherty explains why the London Olympic Games Organising Committee are missing out on the opportunity that Social Media presents.

For most people, their social media strategy is either non-existent or based on strict rules about what their organisation says they can or can't say. But if you're organising one of the biggest sporting events in the world, you need to think more creatively than that. You also need a lot of people and a lot of time to make the most of social media around your event.

Almost a year before last weekendís US Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, marketing company Raidious set-up a city-centre office to manage the event's social-media strategy. Packed with 50 employees and student volunteers working around the clock, they then got blogging, tweeting and Facebooking.

Of course the social media command centre was sure to be sending out messages to market both the Super Bowl and the city in which it is taking place. But it also monitored the use of 300 keywords across different social media. If someone spotted a question or concern they could respond to, or a fun experience they could share, they got to work. Plus they also created new content - sourcing photos, videos and stories to share on their Highlights blog.

With our own major sporting event just around the corner, perhaps London 2012 can learn a thing or two from Super Bowl XLVI. So far, we're not doing so well. Despite encouraging competitors to make this the 'Twitter games', the London Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOGOC) didnít win itself any favours when it recently announced that anybody volunteering at the games would be banned from using social media - hardly the way to get people talking, sharing and promoting the games online.

LOGOCís approach might not be so surprising if you take a look back at the 2010 Winter Olympics. In an article for Mashable, blogger and social media marketer Teresa Basich says most of the Twitter action for Vancouver 2010 was 'pushing' agreed messages out, rather than engaging with audiences in any real sense. Perhaps if LOGOC heeded Basichís advice to listen to people, connect with them and foster links between people with shared passions things might be different. Because, as a recent article in Forbes magazine confirms, social media today isn't about broadcasting, it's about meeting like-minded individuals, participating in meaningful conversations and collaborating to make a difference. That's true for LOGOC. And it's true for you. Don't miss the trick...