It seems like a no brainer, but holiday content on social media performs well, as cultural moments attract high user engagement. In sports, this is especially true and it’s no wonder we’ve seen things from Secret Santa with Liverpool to American-centric Halloween “Never have I ever“ with FC Barcelona.
As we think about upcoming holidays, next on the list is Valentine’s Day. We love (pun definitely intended) tossing around ideas internally to leverage holiday moments and Valentine’s Day provides great creative opportunity. After all, what fans don’t enjoy showing appreciation for their favorite team? Or inversely, what teams don’t enjoy showing appreciation for their fans?
In a time where in-person events are few and far between, how can a brand or team capitalize on the moment with a simple, yet effective social campaign?
Using love (and hate) to drive social engagement
Covering the Premier League on social media, we see a lot of chatter among fans leading up to games. They love to share from where they’re watching, with whom they’re watching, or even send pictures of themselves watching their team. As American fandom for a foreign league continues to evolve and mature, a trend we’ve seen increase is families and couples who root for opposing teams. This makes for an intriguing storyline – not just for them, but also for us as we continue to look for news ways to grow the league’s brand in the U.S.
So, let’s hone in on this notion of families or couples who root for opposing teams. Playing into this dynamic around Valentine’s Day is engaging for a few reasons. First off, it allows us to speak directly to two opposing fanbases and create a bit of a back-and-forth, which always means more when it’s a rivalry – both on the field and at home.
Secondly, and more importantly, this allows us to play directly into the human relationship dynamic. What is the game day experience like among family members who dislike each other’s team? How did they become fans of their team? If they’re a couple, how did they meet? Are things ever at stake when their teams play?
“The two reactions that drive the most attention toward content are ‘love’ and ‘hate.’ Regardless of side, these emotions generate engagements – indifference doesn’t. Targeting couples where at least one person is fan of your club is an authentic way to interject your brand into a holiday without it feeling forced. It gives fans another reason to express their connection, perhaps in spite of their partner’s fandom.”— Griffin Ward, GESM
We often talk about content with a purpose rather than content for the sake of content. Focusing on human connection to help sell a broader fandom story allows us to attach faces and stories to a league thousands of miles away. Conceptually, it’s akin to our PL Fans Of series where we highlight fans and tell their unique stories. The same principles apply here, but through the lens of couples and families for the holiday.
Telling stories to which fans across the U.S. can relate may encourage families or couples with similar stories to join the conversation. Oh, and it plays into the Valentine’s Day love theme, perfectly.
OTHER HOLIDAY SOCIAL MEDIA IDEAS
We’ve surpassed the halfway point of the season for the biggest European leagues, so leveraging the Valentine’s Day holiday is a great way to re-invigorate your fans. Plus, mid-February is the doldrums of winter and we can all use a little warmth.
As I mentioned earlier, as a team, league, or brand you have two content paths: show love to your fans, or let them show love to you. Still looking for potential last-minute social media ideas for the holiday? Here are a few thought starters to get your creative juices going.
Have your graphics team come up with a few creative templates and share them with your fans. Allow them to create their own corny Valentine’s Day cards with unique graphics and messages that cut through the clutter. Alternatively, give fans the opportunity to put themselves next to their favorite player and share on social media.
TELLING FAN STORIES
Fans love to talk on social media, so why not ask them how they fell in love with your team? Let them submit their stories and have your content team pick the best ones that can be turned into larger content pieces around Valentine’s Day or down the road. Telling relatable human stories can be a great way to convince casual fans to join your ranks.
EVERYONE LOVES PRESENTS
If you have the ability to produce special Valentine’s Day-themed team merchandise, doing a giveaway for fans who express their love of your team is a great way to boost engagement. Don’t have the existing inventory or the budget to produce holiday-specific items? No worries. Tap into the scarcity model and give away the few items you can to drive engagement. Show the fans some love.
WHAT WOULD YOU GET ________?
This could potentially go off the rails a bit, but asking your fans what a particular player should get for Valentine’s Day can be very… meme-able. It’s not an engagement style for every team or league, but humor is a great way to move the needle and cut through the clutter on a day where you’ve already seen your fiftieth corny card or thirty-seventh candy heart by 9:30am.
So, there you have it. By no means an exhaustive list of ideas, but a few simple thought starters to get you prepped for any last-minute Valentine’s Day social needs.