Football season is upon us and if you are a football fan you may have noticed that the NFL’s social media platforms have strayed from their normal content. Taylor Swift’s alleged relationship to Kansas City Chief’s tight end, Travis Kelce, has taken the internet by storm, and the NFL has embraced its new era of being a #Swiftie. This decision presents a unique case study on the benefits of incorporating trending cultural moments into your social media strategy. Here’s what we can learn from the NFL’s social team:
After the first Chief’s game Swift attended in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears caused a social media frenzy from Swift’s fanbase and resulted the highest viewed football broadcast of the week with 24.3 million viewers, the NFL social team leveraged this viral moment by changing their social media platform bios and updating their X header.
NBC noted that viewership of Sunday Night Football among girls ages 12-17 increased by 53 percent, women ages 18-24 increased by 24 percent, and women ages 35+ increased by 34 percent. The NFL continued to utilize this surge and created a TikTok playlist for content dedicated to Swift. Each video received millions of views and was welcomed with positive engagement from users.
With media buzz still generating when Swift was spotted in the stands again at the Week 4 Chiefs versus the New York Jets game, the NFL social media accounts continued to sprinkle in Swift related posts amidst game updates. The top performing post on game day was Swift oriented, having over 600,000 likes and over 13,000 comments. After the Chief’s win, the NFL updated their X header to a new Swift picture and changed their bio to a Swift song reference, The Best Day.
According to Comscore, the NFL’s social media posts mentioning Swift have garnered 12.2 million actions and 92.6 million views across platforms. The NFL accounts occupy over 10 percent engagement on all posts that mention Swift.
They also found that within this past month, other users’ social media posts that mentioned Swift and the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, or football have generated over 34 million actions and 687 million video views across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X.
It is important to remember that not all current events will be applicable to your brand’s messaging. However, if it is something that is relevant to your brand, joining in on the conversation can pay off. Time is of the essence on social media, as viral trends can end as quickly as they start. By recognizing the opportunity and acting fast, the NFL was able to successfully amplify their already prominent brand awareness, reach a new demographic by engaging in authentic conversation with a different fanbase, and increase engagement by differentiating their content.