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Social content is – or at least should be – entirely driven by a brand’s tone of voice. And that tone of voice should be driven in turn by the brand’s target audience and the image it wants to achieve.
Betting companies are interesting because they get away with stuff that a lot of other brands wouldn’t (everyone remembers the ‘last one to sign up to a Paddy Power account is a t***’ banner ad).
I thought I’d look at three of the top UK betting sites to see how they handle social content and what other brands can learn from their success.
You know you’re in for a treat when you head to Paddy Power’s YouTube channel and see this:
Kicking off with Paddy Power’s most successful video ever, Chav Tranquilizer, this clip illustrates exactly the kind of ‘close to the bone’ humour the brand has become known for.
As Paddy Power proudly proclaims, the ad will never be seen on TV having failed to pass ‘the powers that be’.
Then there’s some potentially racist bizarre humour in the form of Paul Scholes booting a football at some noisy Italians’ heads.
So self-aware is this brand that it even has a video titled ‘Top 5 Most Controversial Paddy Power Adverts’.
On Twitter, Paddy Power is in its element, creating reactive content that not only gets people talking about its brand but also generates a decent amount of media coverage.
This exchange with an unfortunate man named ‘Steve’ is a classic example…
Right, I've blocked out Steve's number because I'm sound that way. Help me out Twitter, what do I reply? pic.twitter.com/dysztl8Utf— Paddy Power (@paddypower) August 9, 2014
One thing Paddy Power does is veer well away from the actual sporting side of things and focus more on the humorous elements, such as this extremely awkward clip…
And in this Tweet the social media manager appears to be admitting to class A drug use…
This match is so strange. So many weird things happening. AND I'm out of my MIND on shrooms. I think my brain's going to explode, lads.— Paddy Power (@paddypower) April 6, 2016
But a lot of the stuff on the brand’s Twitter feed is simply appreciation of brilliant stuff in sport, such as this ridiculous golf shot.
Vijay Singh with a simply ridiculous shot! pic.twitter.com/QaMriiMgzH— Paddy Power (@paddypower) April 6, 2016
Paddy Power’s Instagram feed continues the controversial/oddball humour from its other channels, including mock quotes from such respected sporting pundits as the Pope.
And this brand is quite comfortable using politically incorrect humour. In fact it goes out of its way to do so, as demonstrated by this celebration of underage public drinking…
Its Instagram video content is pretty good too, such as this clip laughing at how those black pellets get everywhere after you play five-a-side. I don’t play football but I assume this is a thing…
The bringing together of nostalgia and humour is always going to be a winning combination, as demonstrated by this tweet from Ladbrokes Casino.
Asking the questions everyone is thinking…
More nostalgia here from Ladbrokes with an ‘on this day in…’ tweet looking back on an iconic sporting moment of old.
Ladbrokes’ YouTube strategy seems quite effective. It enlists a sporting celebrity and produces a number of videos featuring that person, such as this clip of Frankie Dettori talking about a run-in with Vinnie Jones at a race.
The brand has also created some decent shareable video content on YouTube, such as this corgi race at ‘Barkingham Palace’, which has had more than 600,000 views at the time of writing.
I do actually quite like Ladbrokes’ Instagram feed. The brand clearly understands what makes people tick on this platform, using plenty of simple, eye-catching imagery.
That said, it clearly needs to work harder to grow its followers on the site, because currently even the best posts only receive a handful of interactions.
Bet365 enlisted the help of pseudo-hard man Ray Winstone to help build its reputation as the everyman’s betting brand.
He appears in lots of the brand’s video content, with his gravelly and slightly intimidating voice.
Anyone who doesn’t feel immediately compelled to go out and sign up to a Bet365 account upon hearing the words ‘bet in play – NOW’ in a thick cockney accent is clearly made of sterner stuff than me.
But Ray Winstone doesn’t get to have all the bubble baths. Bet365 also puts out some decent sports journalism that seems to bring in a lot of views.
You can definitely see a different tone across these three betting brands, with Bet365 taking a much more ‘down the line’ approach to content as opposed to Paddy Power’s outright weirdness and borderline offensive humour.
Bet365’s Twitter feed is mainly filled with directly promotional material, such as offers and announcements.
Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to take advantage of our Grand National Money Back Offer. pic.twitter.com/pY0okzHYIB— bet365 (@bet365) April 7, 2016
Anyone taken part in our In-Play Bet Offer?
We aim to refund qualifying bets within two hours of FT.
T&Cs apply. pic.twitter.com/jadBHoBukp— bet365 (@bet365) April 6, 2016
The brand does have a go at some light humour occasionally, but in a much more reserved way than Paddy Power.
Otamendi + Mangala = £72m.
Entire Leicester City squad = £54m. pic.twitter.com/otGO55t3ia— bet365 (@bet365) April 6, 2016
When you check the calendar & realise there's only one more sleep until #TheMasters...April 6, 2016
If you want to learn much more about how to plan and execute social content, check out some of our social media training courses.