From Pinball to Darts, How Chelsea Has Revamped Their Instagram Strategy

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Photos via @ChelseaFC

Creative storytelling is essential in the fast-moving and constantly changing field of social media. Entering the 2017-2018 Premier League season, Chelsea FC took this to heart, rethinking the way they shared match recaps on their Instagram Stories. The end result was not what you would expect.

With the objective of entertaining the club’s Instagram audience with a new take on traditional Instagram Stories, Chelsea changed their social media strategy, documenting Premier League games through a series of cartoon graphics resembling old-school arcade games, including Pac-Man and Pinball, recreational sports, such as darts, and even activities like pottery.

This change of strategy quickly brought in results for Chelsea’s social media team, with the click-through rate from frame to frame staying fairly consistent across posts, showing continuous engagement from the club’s fans.

Chase McCaskill, a digital analyst at U.S. Soccer weighed in on the club’s new strategy.

“It’s a unique strategy,” he says. “Speaking as a fan, I found it engaging.”

No story is the same, which creates a surprise for fans at the culmination of every Premier League game. The club’s intention was to stand out from other teams across the crowded and popular soccer space by creating something innovative, unexpected, and entertaining, that would draw fans back.

It’s working.

“Looking through the posts, I was very curious as to what the next match creative might be. They totally span from one spectrum to the other. You have pinball on one and you have divers on another,” says McCaskill.

Photos via @ChelseaFC

Following the implementation of this strategy, Chelsea has seen a 120% average increase in traffic to the match report. Throughout the story, there has been a 95% retention between 3-5 frames on a 45-60 second story.

While there have been some questions, on channels like Twitter, about how the stories relate to soccer, most of the responses have been positive. Many fans have expressed their excitement around the stories across social platforms, demonstrating the effective way in which Chelsea has successfully been able to tell match stories in an outside-the-box manner.

As storytelling platforms, like Instagram and Twitter, continue to develop, a large amount of experimentation and trial and error are used to determine what type of content is successful. For Chelsea, taking a risk at untraditional animated storytelling, that was unrelated to soccer, worked.

Photos via @ChelseaFC

It appears this method may be gaining traction. Last week, Bleacher Report created an animation featuring a Pokémon battle to announce which soccer teams made the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

“Any time you are able to take a sport and relate it to another sport or activity, you are linking and expanding your fan bases,” says McCaskill.

As Chelsea continues their successful new Instagram Story strategy. Only one question remains: what will they come up with next?