• Charlie Beall

Spiking the spike: what to do when the amazing happens

Barcelona's remarkable comeback against Paris St Germain in the UEFA Champions League this week was the stuff of dreams and the digital team is capitalising on the moment.


Data from our Scout platform shows that they grew their social audience by 92,966 in a single hour. This broke down as follows:

Facebook: 52,790 Twitter: 11,658 Instagram: 28,518

Their single hour spike outdid their great rivals Real Madrid when they won the Champions League last year. Real's single hour spike totalled 68,331, broken down like this:

Facebook: 34,209 Twitter: 7,638 Instagram: 25,723

Of course, the nature of when the spike occurred for Real Madrid (around 11pm GMT after extra time) meant Real's spike was longer, which makes sense given all the pageantry and ceremony of a final, not to mention the fact that audiences in the Middle and Far East will have been waking up as the celebrations ensued.


Barça's spike also outdid the New England Patriots, who registered a remarkable come-from-behind win during this year's Super Bowl, which gained them a mere 74,970 fans.

Facebook: 41,178 Twitter: 11,117 Instagram: 22,675

That said, the Patriots were quick to bathe in the reflected glory of the FCB win:

Barça (who are Seven League clients) weren't however, able to outdo the mighty feat of Leicester City (also Seven League clients) last year, who at 11pm GMT gained 159,655 social followers in a single hour.


Facebook: 83,257

Twitter: 41,956 (10PM spike - the reaction on Twitter was quicker)

Instagram: 34,442

A single hour when they weren't on the field - this was when Chelsea and Tottenham played to a draw, crowning Leicester champions. The social growth was amplified largely by video of Leicester players celebrating at Jamie Vardy's home.

Of course, these 'fans' aren't yet fans. They are new social followers inspired by a great moment and curious to learn more. The key is to have the ability to take advantage of that moment and turn them into fans.

Different commentators on the winning goal#ForcaBarca #WEDidIt pic.twitter.com/I64CNMvhAs — The Catalan Giant (@TheCataIanGiant) March 9, 2017

The team at Barça quickly distributed short form videos, curated fan and commentator content and created the hashtag #WeDidIt, which gave fans and content producers the opportunity to come together around the moment.

This video of fan reactions to the victory is something Barça's created for its own platforms but has been widely distributed by a variety of other content producers:

While distributing short video clips across their social platforms, the team also placed a longer form video (the last ten minutes of the match) behind their premium video service which requires users to enter their data:

This gives the club the chance to form a relationship with these fans that lasts longer than the moment. Instead of the social platforms 'owning' this audience, Barça can now communicate directly. This is smart digital strategy and shows that Barça have a clear understanding of what content they put where and to what end, which means they can respond rapidly and strategically when the amazing happens.


FC Barcelona's Russell Stopford and Leicester City's Jamie Tabor will be joining Seven League CEO Richard Ayers and Juventus's Federico Palomba on stage tomorrow at SxSW - check out their session here.

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