Football and Social Media: Tanami’s Top Tips
Football isn’t just about the ninety minutes on the pitch; it’s about the social structures surrounding it. Who you’re next to in the stand, which pub you head to after, where you stand during the cup parade – it’s all about the bonds between the fans, with the club as facilitator. Using social media to help fans feel connected with one another, as well as the club, is key to successful social engagement. With that in mind, here are our top tips for successful social media campaigns for football.
Know Your Fans
It might sound simple, but to use social media effectively to reach fans, you have to know not just who they are, but how they interact with the club. Fans will often form self-regulating communities themselves on social media, so understanding how they work and the kind of content that will bring value to them is key. Manchester City show a real awareness of the global spread of their fans, and their #GlobalCityFans campaign is both a great way of fostering ties with their international fanbase and a strong promotional opportunity for their shirt sponsor, Etihad Airways.
Know Your Brand
Every club has an identity and these days we’re just as likely to support a team on another continent as the one just down the road, so team branding is vital to attracting supporters. Evolving a brand is one thing, but disavowing the heritage of a club can cause real trouble, witness the revolt over the Cardiff FC’s Bluebirds’ red makeover for just one example. But it goes further than colours, symbols and stadiums; Dulwich Hamlet FC have built an impressive following by making social justice a key facet of all that they do – raising funds for refugees and celebrating International Women’s Day with a special one-off kit. Consistent branding across social media and all other areas of operation will encourage consistent fans.
Results Can’t Always Drive Content
It can’t always be a three-point day; when a club’s performance starts to slip, social media is the first place that fans will go to vent. This is when a social media strategy that isn’t purely based on results will come in very handy. Content featuring fan favourites, legends or indeed the fans themselves can be a good way of keeping the conversation focused on the positive; Sunderland AFC’s Facebook page since relegation has been making the best of bad situation, with throwbacks to happier times, and profiles of youth players offering hope for the future.
Do Your Research
Not everyone who works with a club will be a die-hard fan. In fact, we can guarantee that some of the football chat will be straight from Bluffball. However, going back through the history books to find out the landmarks of a club’s history, can help forge a memorable piece of content. Celtic FC’s recent kit launch video drew on the legacy of the Lisbon Lions to spine-tingling effect. Plus, knowing your onions will make sure news outlets don’t accidentally tweet about the team signing a fake player.