As everyone dissects the results of the Super Bowl and Seattle’s impressive win over the Denver Broncos, the next big social media sports event is fast approaching with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As we have said previously, the Olympics are an incredibly valuable event for connecting with consumers.

Fans of the various sports and events will be seeking out information about results and sharing feedback throughout social media. When those fans are posting and sharing, will you be monitoring their behavior? More importantly, will you be considering that information in your brand’s content messaging? Even if your brand is not sponsoring or directly related to the Olympics, the broad appeal of the event and the higher volume of conversation associated with it makes it an excellent opportunity to garner increased exposure.

Leveraging the Olympics in order to connect with consumers and fans can make good marketing sense, even if you’re not an Olympic sponsor. Here are some suggestions on how to incorporate the Olympics in your social media strategy:

  • Connect with particular athletes, particularly those that complement your brand in some way. When consumers or fans see your interaction with the athletes and sports that they’re watching, it helps them also connect with your brand. Some athletes have a greater online following than others, which should also factor into your decision-making process.
  • Seek out fan feedback about event results or big stories coming out of Sochi. Participating in conversation about any trending topics and engaging with Olympics fans in a timely manner shows that you’re watching right along with them, increasing the likelihood that they’ll view your brand positively.
  • Keep track of platform use and adjust your content accordingly. Ensuring that you are being responsive to where conversation is taking place will allow you to maximize your interaction with consumers, and thus your brand’s reach over the course of the Winter Games.

Millions of people will be watching the Games and these fans represent enormous potential for social conversation associated with your brand. The bottom-line for getting the most out of your brand’s Olympic experience is to stay connected and timely. Olympics watchers will be expecting up-to-the-minute updates about their favorite athletes and events, and if your brand is right in the mix of that information sharing, you will “bring home the gold” for social exposure and engagement.