Olympians Should Use Social Media to Increase viewership

By Brook Williams

The Olympics have never had as low a viewership as it has in 2018. This year, the number of viewers who have tuned in to watch the events have become less engaged. This doesn’t come as a surprise seeing as almost everything that airs on TV has less viewers as the years go by. We also have to keep in mind there are other things that affect the viewership, such as the location of the event and the contestants. People are instead investing most of their attention to social media, where a large chunk of the millennials receive news updates, and this is impacting the low viewership.

Olympic athletes need to become more active on social media. They need to brand themselves and make themselves more known and personable to the public. This could increase viewership and support from the public. When an audience can relate to a person, they become significantly more supportive of them and their goals.

A great example was from 17-year-old American athlete, Chloe Kim, who tweeted in between all of her runs. She tweeted about being hungry and “hangry.” From the beginning of her first day of competition, she had 15,000 followers on Twitter, and by the end of the day, she had around 150,000 not only because of her impeccable and inspiring talent, but her tweets were relatable and personable.

If more athletes would go to social media with their thoughts, they could give us an eye into the life of an Olympic athlete which would intrigue us to watch more of them on TV. It would humanize their experience, which in the end would make viewers feel closer to them.

One thing that has been the most talked about thing during the Olympics was when 17-year-old American Red Gerard finished his run with a few cuss words. He started out his day by waking up late and having to use his roommates coat instead of his. He ended up being the last in line to do the run and he eventually won the gold medal. For the next couple of days, he made a ton of headlines and became one of the most talked about Olympic athletes.

Situations like Gerard’s and Kim’s prove that athletes gain more support by sharing humanizing and relatable situations. They should encourage fellow Olympians to engage with their audience more if they want to increase viewership. It makes the athletes more desirable when the audience can feel like they are connected to them and have a better view into the life of an Olympian and all of the training, diets and preparation they do for their performance.

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