542 athletes will compete for Team GB at the London Olympics. Many use their Twitter accounts to keep fans up to date with what’s going on. But who’s worth following..and what are they saying?
Gary Ennis, from Glasgow digital agency NSDesign travels the country helping businesses do social media better.
He’s been taking a look at some Twitter medal contenders. And some who’re definitely not!
Holly Bleasdale (@HollyBleasdale)
Pole vaulter prone to outbursts of excitement. Predicts London 2012 is ‘gonna be the best 3 weeks ever.’ Her anticipation ahead of the games is only matched by the joy she experienced when passing the 5 thousand Twitter followers mark recently. ‘Wow wow just realised I went over the 5000 mark! Thanks everyone for following and supporting me. love you all. And when checking in at the airport she shared, ‘There is a tiny tiny baby about 5 months old and it’s soo unbelievably cute! Awwwwwwww’. If she wins a medal…brace yourself.
Andy Murray (@andy_murray)
If there was a Twitter Grand Slam our boy wouldn’t have been crying at SW19 a few weeks back. It’s taken a while for him to get his personality across in interviews, but Murray’s million plus followers have been enjoying his dry wit, behind the scenes chat, opinions on current affairs and occasional plugs for sponsors for years. Famously shared a picture of himself playing backgammon with his dog but has remained Twilent since that defeat to Federer and for that reason, doesn’t make our top 3.
Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua)
Tipped as a potential star that could emerge during the games, this London boxer might want to up his game on Twitter. His 4 thousand or so followers are subjected to a large amount of chat between him and his mates which lapses into text speak such as, ‘what’s up fi I’m not bad thanks how’s u and Callum?’ It’s not quite ‘I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee’, is it?
Jessica Ennis (@J_Ennis)
The golden girl of Team GB is a shining example of good social media engagement. She regularly retweets followers taking part in their own charity runs, thanked a group of school kids who sent ‘good luck’ letters and even chatted with Philip Schofield while watching ‘The Cube’. Always sharing her passion for athletics but her hatred of Mondays seems to be a recurring theme.
Zara Dampney (@Zara_Dampney)
Only 1,800 followers just now but watch that rocket during the games. Zara is part of Britain’s Beach Volleyball team. She understands that fans want pictures and shares them by the dozen…including one of her Ugg boot moments after it had been devoured by her dog. Tweets several times a day with updates from inside the Olympic Village, sharing every aspect of life leading up to London 2012. Recent tweets include, ‘Steak night….my reward after a long day #bringmemysteak Xxx’, ‘The draw has been made . . . Italy, Russia and Canada. Want to get going now! Alarm is set for 3.10 so goodnight xxx’
Sir Chris Hoy (@chrishoy)
Has been known to tweet while lying on the massage table. Wrong.
Hannah Miley (@HannahMiley89)
The reigning Commonwealth Champion for 400m individual medley could end up on the podium in London but don’t expect to see her Tweeting. The Scot disappointed her 6,300 followers last week announcing she was ‘going into social media lockdown’ until she finishes her last swim.
Craig Benson (@craigbenson94)
At 18, one of the youngest members of Team GB with updates along the lines of ‘Cannot stop laughing at the music on the website for our prom photos.. hahaha’ followed a short time later by, ‘Big shout to Andrew’s Driving School for helping me pass.’ Like I said, he’s 18.
Dai Greene (@DaiGreene)
Despite recently receiving a ticking off from the British Olympic Association following a badly judged tweet, the Welshman generally has a decent go at giving his fans some insight into the life of an elite athlete and adds plenty of humour. Recently revealed he was reading Andre Agassi’s biography, that he thought he saw a cyclist eating a pasty during the Tour De France and even shared the breaking news that he was taking his dog for a walk.
Imogen Bankier (@ImogenBankier)
Glasgow based mixed doubles badminton star and another medal hope. Recently Tweeted a moan about the amount of washing she had to do along with a picture of her playing kit hanging up to dry. Had an unfortunate rant aimed at the ‘thieving bandit swaggering around with my purse’ after a night out in Milton Keynes. She discovered later the aforementioned ‘thief’ had actually returned it safely with all her cash and cards inside. Despite the odd hiccup she engages well with her fans and adds plenty of fun and character. Writes a regular blog with playing partner Chris Adcock.
And the winners are…
In Bronze Medal position – Dai Green
Taking the runner up Silver Medal is – Jessica Ennis
And in top spot – our Gold Medal winner is Zara Dampney – Zara gets our nod as Team GB’s Top Tweeter because she understands what her fans want and gives it to them regularly.
She shares enthusiasm, information, loads of pictures and mixes business and personal really well. There’s a lot of fun and even some nonsense from time to time but there are boundaries and you won’t see her tweeting irresponsibly or getting into trouble. She might not be conscious of it all the time, but there’s a clear strategy behind what she’s doing. Increased engagement with her fans equals a higher profile which equals happy sponsors.
A great example to anyone looking to do Twitter better, either as a business or an individual. Well done Zara and good luck in London!