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Social Buzz for U.S. Women Gymnasts at the Olympics

Gabby Douglas may be the women’s gymnastics champion at the 2012 Summer Olympics, but fellow ‘Fierce Five’ member McKayla Maroney is the champion in social media, according to Attensity, a leading provider of social analytics and engagement applications.

It has released an analysis of top social media conversations and mentions from the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Using Attensity Analyze, the company’s social analytics application, Attensity identified and analyzed hundreds of thousands of comments about the Olympics posted on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, news sites, forums, videos and social and online sources starting from the swimming and gymnastics trials and leading up to the closing ceremony.

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The results from the entire data set from June 24-August 7 show that social media users expressed an overwhelming 98 percent positive sentiment toward the Olympics.

As more software tools are popping up to monitor the social media sentiment, news and information media company USA TODAY has launched the USA TODAY/Twitter Election Meter. It tracks the Twitter Political Index, a daily measure of sentiment expressed by Twitter users about President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. (Read: What Twitter Says for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney)

Attensity also found that sentiment toward American swimmer Michael Phelps, which was fairly negative compared to Lochte in the last analysis, reversed as he gained momentum in his final races and was proclaimed the “greatest Olympian ever.”

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte remained neck and neck in social volume until Phelps edged out Lochte during the races. Attensity Analyze shows the “why” in the spikes of social conversation for Phelps per day.

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“As one of the most exciting games in history, with an unprecedented number of star athletes, the 2012 Summer Olympics has been a topic perfectly fit for Attensity’s social analytics solutions,” said Michelle de Haaff, vice president of strategy and corporate development at Attensity.

Attensity’s data reveals that, while Gabby Douglas won the all-around gold at the final gymnastics event, the most buzzed-about “Fierce Five” member, taking in the entire period (June 24-August 7), is McKayla Maroney, earning 30,374 comments in social media and far surpassing her teammates who were all in the same range between 23,000 and 25,000 comments.

What accounts for this discrepancy is Maroney having been heavily considered a shoo-in in advance for Olympic gold and then making a facial expression when accepting the silver medal after a devastating fall that would become the subject of the latest internet meme frenzy, Attensity reports.

[ Also Read: Do You Know Who’s Saying What on Social Media? ]

Meanwhile, in honor of their gold medal in the women’s team competition at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Kellogg’s announced that the U.S. women’s gold medal-winning gymnastics team will be featured on special-edition boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes which will be on shelves this fall. (Read: Gymnastics Team to Feature on Kellogg’s Boxes) [ Pictured above ]

The nuances in the sentiment and trends were identified with Attensity Analyze to characterize these conversations from public sources. The information can be used in contact centers and marketing with Attensity’s social engagement solution, Attensity Respond, to route messages to the appropriate person to respond. Attensity also provides real-time, semantically annotated social media data stream as a cloud service, the Attensity Pipeline.

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