Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Instagram set pieces deliver reach, but you need to innovate for engagement

By Brad Rees, Chief Executive Officer at Mediacells

Instagram continues to be the creative, expressive medium for clubs to highlight the club’s character more visually than on Twitter.

Muscle memory posts are when digital and social teams revert to generic best practice in the schedule.

Focus on birthday celebrations, rejoicing over new signings, match updates, factoids and sponsor plugs do not always engage Instagram audiences and instead have the feeling of a pre-recorded radio show.

To avoid the Dead Air effect, some clubs, like Wolves and Burnley, have collaborated with agencies or individual digital creators to produce innovative, memorable social media content which is borne out in Club Social premium metrics.

In the Spanish top flight, it is the big clubs – Real Madrid and FC Barcelona – who lead both in engagement and creativity

Mount Real swaps the four US presidents for Madridistan top scorers, including the Blond Arrow Alfredo Di Stéfano replacing Theodore Roosevelt.

The number one Instagram post so far this year across all five European leagues is a portrayal of Pierre-Emerick ‘Auba’ Aubameyang as Super Saiyan, the Nineties Japanese anime hero in the Dragon Ball series.

Both posts indicate an appetite to connect with Instagram audiences on the medium’s terms and feel more like an interaction than a loudhailer-style broadcast.

The value of video content and the power to share expensive footage for free is a constant motif in Paris Saint-Germain’s Instagram posting strategy

To celebrate Neymar’s 30th birthday in February the top Ligue 1 club displayed its largesse by offering an exclusive post with no less than 10 memorable goals the Brazilian has scored while at PSG.

Elsewhere in the league Racing Club de Lens lives up to its club values of Authenticity, Fervour and Pride in its portrayal of defender Jonathan Clauss’s journey to the FIFA World Cup with Equip France.

Chaotic iPhone footage in the Lens dressing room shows his team-mates’ positive and proud attitude towards individual achievement.

The top Italian league has the richest texture of conversations at club account level

Interspersed with the standard celebration and information-centred content are emotional posts with conscience.

Italy’s biggest club Juventus attracted a quarter of a million engagements when it assisted in the ‘humanitarian emergency’ and arrived at the Ukrainian-Hungarian border with food and transport for fleeing refugees.

Fashion and Italy have always been synonymous and this season many Serie A clubs are creating new fan experiences around kits, not least of all Napoli and Venezia.

There is nothing like a major award to inspire fans to burst with pride on social media

Bundesliga’s biggest club fully capitalise on Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski’s 2021 Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year accolade.

The photo of a beaming of ‘Lewangoalski’* clutching the FIFA trophy with the simple hashtag #TheBest is enough to elevate the post to a Club Social Five-Star rating.

FC Köln choose a more heart-warming, human-interest angle in their top Q1 video post which is a Day in the Life of an under-ten girl fan with the caption, ‘Here’s someone applying to be captain for the 2045/46 season.

Download the Club Social 2022 Spring Report here.


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