Iceland Already Clear Winners Of #EURO2016 Twitter

Euro 2016 is here, guaranteeing a set of trending topics from now until 10th July. We were in the process of setting up a complex Euro 2016 bracket, based on companies’ Twitter feeds and how they’ve used the tournament for self-promotion. But it quickly became apparent that there could only be one winner, even at this early stage of the competition.

Frozen food specialist Iceland have left their competition for dead, aligning closely with their nation namesakes. Leaping into action during Iceland’s 1-1 draw with Portugal, the supermarket showcased a range of different social media skills. Communicating with fans, encouraging user engagement and creating viral content. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could hit a Panenka at this point.

Here are our top 5 tactics to learn from Iceland’s opportunistic Euro 2016 success.

  1. Fake spats with other brands

Not every business has taken a shot at marketing through Euro 2016. Disappointingly, Swedish giants Volvo and Ikea have avoided Dare to Zlatan posts and German car companies have avoided showing support for the nationalmannschaft, perhaps because of Joachim Low’s sniffles.

Not everyone’s done it well (here’s looking at you Ryanair) but Iceland have struck a nice balance. Their effort to get a reply from CR7 himself have proved fruitless, but have led to a tonne of replies and retweets.

My personal favourite is an interchange with Nando’s, everyone’s favourite Portuguese chicken joint. After Iceland and Portugal’s 1-1 draw, @IcelandFoods tweeted this:

1k retweets from a reply is pretty solid. Nando’s got back to them with this tweet


Putting Iceland in front of Nando’s 1.5million followers. Cue 2nd reply from Iceland

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Which to me, was a #thatsthejoke moment, making Nando’s look a little out of touch, particularly when this old post popped up.

social media success

  1. Joining in with funny fan pics

If you’re after a replica Iceland shirt, you’re looking at around £55-£60. For fans of the plucky Nordic nation, a cost effective show of support was needed.

Inspired by Murtaza Ahmadi, the Afghan boy with a plastic bag Messi top, Iceland fans in France have taken to wearing custom Iceland kits, made from the supermarket’s plastic bags.


£55 for an Iceland shirt, 6p for a plastic bag

The movement was kickstarted by an interaction with football’s cheeky chappie and recent Tommy Wiseau lookalike, Jimmy Bullard. Shared 2k times, Bullard’s makeshift Iceland kit has led to a series of fan photos from French stadiums.

Comedy accounts like BBC Sporf have joined in, stealing and reposting the images, getting even more shares of the full kit fans. This is good viral marketing through a smart bit of influencer marketing. Jimmy Bullard’s followers are the sort to turn up at to match in a plastic bag.

  1. Expanding to Google Adwords

My favourite moment of their post-Portugal roll was this Adwords expansion. Anyone in digital marketing will know how difficult it can be to co-ordinate your social media and PPC campaigns.

It’s rare to see Google ads that are built around a recent subject, the closest we generally get is seeing adverts for a special day, Fathers’ Day, Christmas, whatever. But Iceland followed the 1-1 draw with this.


For starters, this is a nice advert to target Google searchers. I’m not sure how high it scores on Ad Relevance, but it stands out in the SERPs. It’s also clear that once someone spots it, it’s getting shared on Twitter.

Keeping everyone in your digital operation in the know allows grand campaigns like this, making it possible to combine your Twitter and Google marketing.

  1. Promotional campaigns with popular accounts

When you have a plan to put your brand in front of thousands of new viewers, you’ve got to be ready to self-promote. Building brand awareness is all well and good, but if it’s unclear what your company sells, why bother?

Iceland have done a good job of keeping their eye on sales during the past week. They’ve built up a library of promotional videos with the Icelandic National Team, keepie uppie challenges, flick the ball into a trolly, that type of content. These videos have been shared on the @IcelandFoods account, but also on other popular sports accounts, including Footy Vines.

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Alongside the promo competitions, Iceland have posted a series of tweets during games in relation to big events. Gareth McAuley scores a leaping header, they tweet a shot of some salmon fillets, Vardy rises to the challenge, they tweet a shot of rising dough pizza.

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These tweets are blatantly promotional, offputtingly so. But they serve an important purpose. Iceland make money from selling frozen food, not from getting 30,000 shares on a post. Their promotional tweets aren’t going to get many retweets or likes, but they will be seen by Twitter users that click through to Iceland’s profile. This shows an awareness of the number of page visits they are set to receive in the upcoming days. Customers clicking on your tweets will be exposed to your products and offers, making them more likely to make a purchase.

  1. Replying to tweets from followers

In addition to profile visits, getting a high number of impressions leads to a lot of replies. The worst move a business can possibly take is ignoring interactions with customers, you can read our detailed look at the importance of responding to customers here.

Responding to replies leaves a lasting impression on the person. They’ll remember the interaction and (hopefully) have a good opinion of your brand.

Iceland are doing a great job of staying up to date with interactions. One scroll of their tweets & replies section shows how often they’re responding. They’ve kept to a jovial tone of voice, in keeping with the style of their pro-Iceland posts, but they haven’t lost sight of customers asking for support.

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Keeping on top of the sheer number of replies they’re receiving is tough, and, in the case of a major brand like Iceland, is a full time job. Outsourcing is an option if you’re likely to be busy when receiving replies, but also consider that an immediate reply isn’t absolutely necessary. Within the hour should be the aim, but customers won’t be too upset if a smaller business takes a little longer.

A major rule to remember when replying is to maintain your tone of voice. Iceland use emojis, and get away with it, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect for your company. Always stay on-brand.

So it’s a clear victory for Iceland, using the various EURO 2016 hashtags to promote their brand. Top scorer goes to Jimmy Bullard for his 2.5k retweets, though player of the tournament has to go to the Iceland Adwords team for getting irrelevant ads approved in such a short timeframe. To stay up to date with the latest information on social media and Google Adwords, subscribe to the Digital Media Team blog, like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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