Can smaller food brands successfully tap into big sporting events in their social media marketing?

With the Rio Olympics having come to a close, we take a look back at if food brands maximised the opportunities in their social media marketing despite strict copyright protection.

This year the social media marketing opportunity around the games has been somewhat of a legal minefield. Official hashtags such as #Rio2016 and #Olympics having been trademarked. So brands could be excused for thinking the social media opportunities were reserved for official sponsors only.

We are so used to seeing big sporting events as a catalyst for being inundated with thousands of sometimes tenuously linked posts from brands of all shapes and sizes.

Earlier this year the European football championships were the perfect example of that with brilliant content from brands such as Iceland Foods taking full advantage of the trending topics and hashtags.

But the Olympics have been a different beast with all but official sponsors shying away from games related content for fear of being reprimanded by the legal bods.

That being said, sponsors such as Aldi, Kellogs and Innocent have certainly taken full advantage of their sponsorship deals with reams of rich content.

So is it worth blowing the budget on sponsorship for global events? If so where does that leave smaller food brands that might not have the sponsorship budgets of the likes of Coca-Cola and McDonalds?

The answer is simply to think about what the other opportunities might be to increase your social media marketing presence? The year is not limited to one or two events. While there are surely benefits to tapping into large engaged audiences it is surely more pertinent to think about what social media events will really tap in to what your customers are interested in.

For food brands with smaller budgets for their social media marketing tapping into TV scheduling events such as the start of Bake Off and I’m a Celebrity may be a more relevant captive audience.

Identifying a calendar of events throughout the year and focusing resources on creating inexpensive but relevant content that customers will find useful or interesting will enable a much greater return on investment than simply taping into one massive global event. Let’s face it, with a crowded worldwide sporting event such as the Olympics, how many of your potential customers are actually likely to see and remember your content?

For more information on how Pelican’s digital team can help you create a calendar of events and content to maximise your social media marketing call 01457 820807.

Pelican Communications are specialists in the environmentfood and drinkoutdoor and leisure and packaging sectors and offer a range of services such as media relations, brand management, event management and people developmentContact us for marketing and communications expertise.