Winter Olympics: Simi ‘slayed’, Seun ‘blazed’ even on Social media
Breaking the internet may very well have been beyond them but Nigeria’s winter heroines further endeared themselves to their fans and certainly earned new ones with the level of their engagement on Social media.
With immense pre-tournament exposure, which saw many Nigerians, before apathetic to the Winter Olympic games, become interested in the games especially in the Bobsled and Skeleton events, the athletes followed on, engaging fans brilliantly with posts and tweets with pictures and short videos.
Looking back, it was full of beautifully curated moments that made fans and followers feel part of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games, from the ‘first leg’ of the journey to Korea to the closing ceremony waving the giant Nigerian flag, wearing bespoke clothes matched with ‘gele’ and screaming out their lungs, proud of the history they had made.
It was little wonder they were the toast of social media for the month of February.
According to a report by Lagos-based sports communication company, CampsBay Media, Skeleton Athlete, Simidele Adeagbo earned the highest number of interactions across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
The report using data provided by Hookit, an analytics company, analyses the social media interactions and engagement by African athletes over the course of two weeks when the Winter Olympic Games took place at Pyeongchang.
There was African representation from Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo, with a number of the athletes making history for their respective nations as the first ever representative in their sport.
Seun Adigun, driver of the Nigerian Bobsled team gained the highest number of followers over the two weeks of the competition where she experienced a 36.3 percent growth, while Simidele Adeagbo generated the highest number of interactions across the three social media platforms – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Adeagbo’s 99 posts earned 175,359 interactions with the bulk of it coming from Instagram. Adigun added 9,644 new followers to finish the Games with 37,421 followers. Brakeswoman, Akuoma Omeoga, though with the least number of posts during the games gained 2,097 new followers on Instagram, with her posts getting more interactions than Eritrea’s Shannon Abeda, Togo’s Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean and Morroco’s Adam Lamhamed.
According to the report, the best platform for generating quality interaction with fans and followers of the African athletes was Instagram. The athletes had twice as many interactions on Instagram than they did on Facebook and almost 20 times that of Twitter.
Lolade Adewuyi, Chief strategist at CampsBay Media, saw the impressive level of interaction and engagement as an opportunity for the athletes and sponsors alike.
“The activities of athletes at major sports events like the Olympics can help sponsors determine the best means of engagement with their influencers and fans.”
Ghanaian’s Akwasi Frimpong was full of posts, enthusiasm and joy. Like Simi and the Nigerian Bobsled team his position never dampened his mood, the Skeleton athlete was proud of the history he had made and he even had a celebratory dance, Frimpong fever, that went viral on social media. He generated a whopping 218 posts on the three social media platforms. Frimpong had the best Twitter engagement sharing 101 posts, several of them being retweets, and earning 15,077 interactions.
Ngozi Onwumere and South Africa’s Conor Wilson were not covered in the report due to lack of data.
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