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Twitter #SochiProblems: A Social Media Marketing Tale

Nothing brings the social media marketing world together like a scandal.

Gather ‘round children and allow us to tell you a story of an Olympic games currently in progress. Far away in Sochi, Russia, journalists arrived in droves to report, to analyze, and to recap the importance of each figure skater’s “focused face.” Have they done all of this? Yes. But they have also developed the #SochiProblems hashtag, which is a gift to Olympics fans, social media enthusiasts, and shoddy construction photo connoisseurs everywhere.

If you haven’t googled ‘Twitter Sochi Problems” do so now, I’ll wait.

So, let’s recap. A few days before the Olympics started, journalists arrived in Sochi, expecting to check into their hotel rooms and prepare for two weeks of nonstop obscure sports coverage. However, what they found were hotels without lobbies, rooms with broken light fixtures, wi-fi routers hanging from the ceiling, and stray dogs roaming the streets. The hashtag was born, then @SochiProblems was created as a central hub for all the issues and amusing photos being shared across Twitter.

Social media gave these journalists a public place to report on the conditions in Sochi. There have been a lot of people decrying their taking to Twitter to complain about the accommodations, saying they’re just whining. But really, isn’t this sort of what journalism is about? Reporting on your surroundings? Plus, by sharing these photos, the journalists (and some athletes) are shining a spotlight on Russia’s failure to adequately prep for the Games and raise questions about how they managed to win the bid for the Olympics in the first place. Over $50 billion has been on preparation. So, where was that money spent? It’s definitely a reason to raise our collective eyebrows.

All the politics aside, let’s take some time now to walk down memory lane and enjoy some of the very best #SochiProblems has had to offer. After all, what are we if we don’t take part in some good ol’ schadenfreude en masse every once in a while?

Because routers are hanging from the ceiling:

And the water looks like this:

And it would make us worry a bit if we saw this many coat racks just hanging out in a hotel lobby:

Now, this room looks complete but doesn’t exactly evoke the warmth of home, does it?

Then then are the bathroom issues. We wouldn’t want to discover this in a bathroom around here:

Or this:

Or this (the lack of a dividing wall, not the happy athletes):

But we’ve got to give people credit for coming up with their own solutions:

Even when shoddy workmanship gets them stuck in said bathrooms:

Because doorknobs keep falling off and orange peels are appearing in random places:

But we guess a doorknob falling off in your hand is better than falling into an open manhole:

This isn’t even technically a #SochiProblem but we felt compelled to include it anyway:

And it’s not like companies and marketers haven’t been getting in on the fun:

Comedians, too:

Basically, what we’re saying, is #SochiProblems is the social media gift that keeps on giving. And though its existence raises serious questions about the allocation of funds for these Olympic Games, for now, let’s just sit back and enjoy the show.

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