For a nation of more than a billion people with nearly 54% below the age of 25, it is indeed quite disgraceful that it has only 9 Olympic Gold medals to its credit so far, 8 in the field of hockey and 1 in shooting. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics alone, the highly populous China won 51 gold medals and 100 overall. But this is set to change.
Regardless of the crores that are being pumped into cricket and its variants, a not-for-profit foundation called Olympic Gold Quest is striving hard to help Indian athletes win Olympic Gold medals.
Founded in 2001 by World Billiard Champion Geet Sethi and Badminton Hero, Prakash Padukone, Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) really boosted up in 2009 when Viren Rasquinha, the former Captain of the Indian Hockey Team joined as the CEO after completing his MBA from ISB Hyderabad. Currently OGQ supports 32 athletes across 6 sports viz. Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Shooting and Luge (Winter Olympics) including Saina Nehwal, Gagan Narang and Mary Kom.
The athletes have access to the best in the world for their Olympics preparation right from training to physiotherapy and international exposure. In the process of promoting and popularising OGQ, the non-profit is making extensive use of social media viz. Facebook and Twitter.
Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) Facebook Page:
The simple goal to help India win Olympic Gold medals is quite evident in the OGQ Facebook page. There is a constant engagement with fans through contests and interesting anecdotes of the OGQ athletes.
With a strong and supportive community of more than 24,000 fans, the wall is quite upbeat with the 2012 London Olympics preparation by the athletes who have qualified and issues related to Olympic movement being discussed.
Often, the credibility of a not-for-profit lies in its transparency and its founding people. The OGQ Facebook page makes sure to keep its fans updated about the internal happenings and the progress of the athletes.
Along with this, the wall also displays the amount that has been collected for a specific cause, ensuring fans of clean accounting practices.
Decent engagement, an interesting mix of cover pages and photographs and an open approach to sharing information has helped the OGQ objective on Facebook. It drives trust as well as nurtures a thriving community for the long-term.
Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) Twitter Page:
At first glance, one can gauge that OGQ’s objective for being on Twitter is not clear. The Twitter page seems to be a photocopy of their Facebook page, just as most brands tend to do on Twitter.
OGQ has not tried to engage differently here. It follows only six people and does not show any signs of two-way interaction here. And when you’re on Twitter but do not connect and converse with others, you lose out on the magic that is Twitter.
Although the timeline does share links for the contests and other information related to the latest updates that are similar to the Facebook wall, there is hope yet. OGQ can make up for this by tweaking their Twitter strategy a bit.
Firstly, try to identify like-minded people who wish to support the cause and then start conversing with them, eventually building a rapport with them. Following which, the nonprofit can leverage the potential of links they share on Twitter.
My views on the Olympic Gold Quest social media strategy:
Well, apart from the noble cause, OGQ is seen perfectly aligned with its sole objective of helping Indians win Olympic gold medals.
1. All in all, Olympic Gold Quest has a decent engagement strategy on Facebook. The use of Facebook as a story-telling tool with pictures alongside the sharing of the collective emotions of the athletes certainly helps in positioning the nonprofit as trustworthy, transparent and passionate about its goal – the three qualities needed to be successful on social media.
2. Perhaps, if they start connecting and conversing on Twitter as well, they could build an excellent community. Here is a good product that needs to reach out to more people and Twitter can do just that – increase its reach.
3. OGQ could do with a blog – an effective and versatile story-telling tool. I’m clueless why there is no blog. A blog could serve a much deeper reach than Facebook, which has its limitations. A blog can reach people’s hearts, which is what really matters to a Nonprofit. The Founders can talk about their experiences at OGQ and how it has changed their life mission.
The athletes could talk about whats going through them in the process of winning that gold. Apart from that, quite often a lot of stakeholders are usually betting around a brand added to the rumours flying around, that may damage a nonprofit. It makes sense to blog regularly and build lasting relationships.
Although, a blog takes longer to mature and requires much more investment, the truth is – it will reap you much richer benefits than the other mediums in the long run. To me, OGQ is losing out on precious time by not investing in a blog.
What do you think about the social media endeavours by Olympic Gold Quest? Do share your feedback with us. In case you are interested in contributing, here’s the link.