Social Media Team Review: Chiefs Celebrate The Big Plays With Their Fans

The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the better teams in football, often flying under the radar in playoff contention. But their fans are as fervent as any in the NFL and the Chiefs social team seeks to deliver all the fuel they can to fan the flames of their fans. A recent review of their game day content, on a frigid  Sunday afternoon narrow with tough-to-swallow loss at home to the Tennessee Titans, showed a team ready and waiting for the moments, and then delivering, while also listening.

The Chiefs had their most creativity and engagement shine through on their Twitter feed. The Chiefs made the most of the times when fans were cheering, serving a complement of GIFs and video, primarily. The pregame window saw mostly game preview content, posting the inactives, and some good content around the very cold weather. Also notable was their pregame listening – replying to and retweeting fans excited for the game.

The Chiefs had reason to celebrate shortly after kickoff when Tyreek Hill scored a long touchdown. The Chiefs made the most of the big early play, posting a nice animated touchdown GIF, followed by a sponsored drive summary (the only instance of this, not other scores), and continued to monitor their feed for opportunities to selectively engage. They also threw out a quick GIF of him celebrating (in real-time, permitted by new NFL policy), followed by a tweet of the NFL’s SnappyTV cut of the play. They were prepared with personalized player GIFs, used a few times to celebrate big plays. There was not much play-by-play, more so punctuating noteworthy plays for the team during the game.

The Chiefs had an end of quarter and halftime graphic, that was a nice visual, with no sponsor integration. They continued to make use of real-time and prepared GIFs and were quick to share highlights via the NFL. The Chiefs activated a sponsor deal during the game, a McDonald’s ‘Big Mac for Sacks’ deal, and had a prepared GIF to showcase that (that did not include the McDonald’s logo).

The Chiefs had some halftime content for fans – including a link to a photo gallery and a short text halftime recap. The early 2nd half was similar to the first – with GIFs and video highlights comprising the majority of the content. They also supported an activation (?) with AwesomenessTV and a celebrity takeover, while the attending the Chiefs game.

The feeling was that the Chiefs would win this game, but things started getting pretty hairy later in the second half and the volume of content (and reasons to tweet) slowed a bit. (They did retweet their cheerleaders account, celebrating a Pro Bowl nod). During the nail-biting, they saved their time for the positive Chiefs plays [including a retweet of actor Don Cheadle] and let retweets of their website reporter be the bearer of bad news. The decisive plays of the game at the end were delivered in this manner, followed by a final score graphic and an immediate post with a Periscope stream started up, standing by with a graphic card, waiting for the start.

The remainder of the postgame window on Twitter was a couple of nuggets of postgame quotes (via retweets of a team reporter) and a Periscope link to Alex Smith’s and Andy Reid’s pressers. They later posted a link to a game recap and had video of Reid’s solo postgame interview with the team reporter. There were also posts with game photos and, later on, a couple of player retweets. They finished off the game day Sunday with a very late night tweet promoting the McDonald’s deal activated during the game, using a photo of the sack that activated it. Even later in the night, it appears there was a little snafu as tweet went out with a GIF promoting tune-in for the already completed Sunday game.
Overall, a strong Twitter presence for the Chiefs with worthwhile, real-time and content and an active presence that pays attention enough to conversation to uncover opportunities here and there to amplify.

For the Chiefs, Twitter was their primary in-game platform, followed by Instagram, which they kept active during the game, particularly Instagram Stories. Instead of peppering their Instagram main feed with game day content (though there was some), the Chiefs used the Stories feature to showcase photos of fans leading up to the game. Once teh game began, there was a consistent flow of game action photos, likely pulled from Getty or an in-house team photographer.

The all-photo content, mostly from game action, but some fan, remained for the rest of the game, with some of the ‘best’ also getting posted to the main Instagram feed. The curation was solid and a good effort to use the feature throughout game day. While it lacked the wow factor of some others and the pre-loaded graphics or videos, it was a nice narrative trip through the game.

Meanwhile, on primary Instagram, the Chiefs began with some game day hype content, including a couple of videos to get fans pumped for the game. The content began the day before, with videos and a GAMEDAY graphic with just a player shot (i.e. not a tune-in or match-up graphic). The remainder included warm-ups (which included a nice posed shot, it appears) and in-game, narrative action shots, as well as a halftime score graphic; though no final score graphic. The content was eye-catching and well-selected, and Instagram is a platform the Chiefs make sure to serve on game day Sunday.

The Chiefs Snapchat, primarily to build up to the game, but had a nice mix of content and just enough up-close access to satiate fans. They, like many teams, set the scene with a morning stadium shot and, of course, utilized the temperature filter to hammer home how cold it really was! Not to be lost, as well, is the way they stylize their text, with red on yellow and yellow on red. They also had some up-close shots of some star players in warm-ups and even had the ability to get up close and next to the pregame coin toss, which was a nice touch.

Once the game began, the volume slowed down considerably, but they did take advantage of the NFL permitting a little in-game content with a live shot of a field goal. They also didn’t rest during halftime, capturing some of the promotions, including a plinko game, as well as a score update using the filter. There was no Snapchat content during the 2nd half and the rest o the day was a nice ‘Football is Family’ post game prayer shot and a final score to conclude the story.

One small note on Snapchat is the Chiefs have a couple of my favorite home stadium geofilters, but they opted not to use them (or have active?) or this past Sunday’s game. Take a look below, from a prior week.

The Chiefs did a lot in the pregame window on Facebook, building up the moments and narrative leading up to the game and giving fans plenty of preview content. There was some similar content, which included the sponsors also featured prominently on Twitter (with sponsors on the visual and tagged in the post), as well as a link to a preview article and a timely post about the stadium battling the frigid temperatures. The content was almost all visual (with some links), but there was also a quote snippet from a post tagging a local media network.

The Chiefs delivered probably their best Facebook content with their final two pregame posts, including a unique tune-in video, in an artistic drawing style, as well as a pregame video with content filmed just minutes before. While the video was not as produced as some hype videos, the quick turnaround and quality shots was certainly notable. Once the game began, there was not much content, with a halftime score graphic, a link to an early Tyreek Hill touchdown highlight, and then a sponsored final score graphic. Later in the day, the Chiefs posted a sponsored (Microsoft), natively uploaded video of Coach Andy Reid’s postgame one-on-one interview with the team reporter.

The Chiefs arrive on game day with content at the ready and with a specific eye to each platform, whether distinct, timely, unique, or for selective re-purposing. There is no platform forgotten each tries to deliver with big hits and a less is more mindset, rolling with the flow and the narrative of the day.

On a cold day that ended in a heartbreaking loss, the Chiefs kept their fans cheering at the right times and delivered the more somber news with a light touch. #ChiefsKingdom is in good hands.

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