I wish to take this opportunity, this platform I have been kindly offered, to talk about football. A phrase I never thought I would utter. I’ve not chosen the music I feel so passionately about which has seen the light of day due to Kickstarter or social sharing in 2016. Nor the social media waves that have created political change in the past four months. The most emotionally affected I have been by social media in 2016 (and as my title ‘Social and PR Manager’ suggests, I consume a lot of social content) was Leicester City’s ‘David and Goliath’ climb to victory last week. Let’s all remember that the odds of these lads being victorious was a staggering 5,000-1 at the start of the season. I’d also like to take this moment to send my commiserations out to the guy that cashed out a couple of weeks ago… My thoughts are with you!
I have thought at length about why the social media presence around LCFC’s victory affected me so much. As someone that does not get weepy often, it put me on quite the back foot. Was it the thought of the underdog winning? Was it my secret fondness of the camaraderie of Football? Or, was it more likely that this has affected me because the content and platforms used to communicate their victory in 2016, more than any year before it, were so encompassing? I could basically taste the lager on Saturday, whatever I read/watched, be that traditional media or by turning on my phone, I could not escape the feeling of achievement.
Snapchat’s ‘Leicester City’ story was a beautifully orchestrated piece of content. We saw supporters getting ready, Snapping their friends kitted out in blue and white. Short clips of fans jubilantly collecting on the sunbathed streets of Leicester, dancing with a sense of glory not usually seen around The Foxes. ‘GOALLL’ and an almighty scream from the stands, a video taken in the midst of the action. We then finally saw the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Wes Morgan holding the cup above his head accompanied by some weep inducing pyrotechnics. All capped off with the team themselves donning their suits to celebrate, alongside the whole of Leicester.
Twitter absolutely went off, with much thanks to the LCFC social media team. We saw specifically crafted memes and special behind the scenes video content (special note to the video of Jamie Vardy holding his daughter, a great, great piece of viral content), which were all incredibly sharable. The hashtag #HavingAParty, is also a strong choice. Apart from the obvious Jamie Vardy connection (who doesn’t love a rhyme?!) the hashtag is colloquial, neutral and emotive enough to be inclusive of every supporter, without being too bland.
But what can you, as a brand marketer, learn from the success of Leicester City’s social media presence? It’s pretty safe to say that to emulate this kind of exposure, your brand will literally have to win the Premier League. But if we look at how the social team over at LCFC perpetuated this attention and delve a little deeper into content created with specific platforms in mind, it becomes clear that the monumental social exposure LCFC has enjoyed over the last months isn’t all down to fate.
Firstly, learn from LCFC, always make your content platform specific. If you are partnering with Snapchat or are fortunate enough to be associated/have access to a high profile event, send a member of your social team down there with a phone! Organise interviews, design printed collateral to make sure people are generating content themselves- in real life activation is incredibly important. A simple poster will make sure people know exactly how to participate in your social media presence, in exactly the way you wish them to. Secondly, give the people what they want. Sometimes the less complex pieces of content, i.e Wes Morgan holding the cup with a simple hashtag overlay, will work incredibly well. You will not need to produce content that complicated, this is not the right medium for it. Keep it simple with social. Thirdly, do what LCFC do, keep mentioning your extraordinary event after the fact. We are still seeing pieces of exclusive content popping up on Twitter and Facebook. Literally mention it until you or your fans are sick of it. Which, in LCFC’s case will probably be never.
Bravo LCFC, bravo.