By Nick Aitken, Onuba Comms’ Founder and UEFA Media Officer
Both before and after a record-breaking FIFA Women’s World Cup, there have been a host of big-name internationals moving clubs across Europe this summer.
Indeed, the likes of England trio Nikita Parris (@nikitaparris17), Alex Greenwood (@alexgreenwood3) and Toni Duggan (@toniduggan), Spain’s Virginia Torrecilla (@virginiatr6) and Jenni Hermoso (@jennihermoso), Mexico striker Charlyn Corral (@charlyncorral) and Swedish pair Kosovare Asslani (@asslani9) and Sofia Jakobsson (@sofiajakobsson) are just some of the stars to have opted for a change of scene.
Prompted by these and other high-profile switches, we decided to take a closer look at how three different clubs in three countries (Atlético de Madrid, Girondins de Bordeaux & Chelsea FC) promoted one of their new signings on Instagram and – given Onuba Comms are multilingual specialists – which languages were used!
First under the microscope is Duggan, whose signing merited three posts on official channel @atletifemenino – the first a typical facts-based announcement post, in both English and Spanish.
Then came a player-pic post and a short quote – in Spanish only – followed by another player-pic post, all accompanied by Atleti’s usual hashtags (#AúpaAtleti, #Atleti) plus a couple specially created for the occasion (#WelcomeDuggan, #BienvenidaDuggan)!
Next up are Chelsea and a player I’ve followed since first interviewing her back at the U-19 Women’s EURO in 2013: Guro Reiten. Snapped up before the World Cup began, the Norwegian goalscoring midfielder joined up with her new club after the tournament – her arrival announced on Instagram with three initial posts, with minimal text and hashtags and only in English (@chelseafcw – feel free to contact us to remedy this 😉).
In a nice touch by last season’s Women’s Champions League semi-finalists, a week after the announcement Chelsea caught up with Reiten (@GReiten) for a ‘get-to-know-you’ interactive Q&A session – inviting fans’ questions and publishing related articles on their official club site.
Last but not least comes Khadija “Bunny” Shaw (@bun_bun10), with Bordeaux – who share an account (@girondins) with the club’s men’s division but enjoy plenty of protagonism – announcing her signing with a novel post featuring two videos (https://www.instagram.com/p/ByZxG82CjsO/ ).
First came footage of the club’s sporting director Ulrich Ramé’s trip to Jamaica’s pre-WWC camp in Grenoble, where – at the request of the club’s new coach Pedro Martínez Losa (@pmlosa) – he travelled to secure the signature of the in-demand attacker.
Then came a couple of short statements from Shaw herself, who has averaged over a goal a game for her country so far and was voted 2018 Footballer of the Year by UK paper The Guardian.
Looks like Girondins have bagged themselves a global star in the making, though they missed a trick by failing to add any English to their Insta post… Shaw has made her name with an English-speaking audience (in US college football and for Jamaica) and nor did Bordeaux tag @guardian_sport or FIFA’s official channel @fifawomensworldcup – both of whose large followings would have given any Shaw-related content a global boost!
Since we have looked at three different clubs from three different countries, let’s look at three lessons we can learn:
i) Make your posts visually attractive and striking. It’s also important to keep colours & style consistent.
ii) Communicate with your audience in their native language(s) and adapt content to their culture/location. If not, you will fail to connect with a large potential audience.
iii) Interact with the official accounts of other players, clubs and federations – to get the maximum impact from your posts.
Experts in women’s football and only using native-language translators or content writers, we at Onuba Comms believe that everyone in sport should have the opportunity to connect with their global audience. Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive our free guide to “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media” – specifically written for women’s football players and clubs!
NB: All handles mentioned are for Instagram