The rise and rise of digital continues to make its mark on business, and the sports industry is no different. Dialogue between organisations and their stakeholders has never been so rapid.
The Online Community
In the context of sport, especially football clubs, social media has not only allowed them to engage in two way communication with their fans, but it has also enabled them to be the hosts of communities and put themselves at the heart of conversations. Some clubs have been better than others at getting in on the action.
There are several reasons as to why social media still has its sceptics; having the available resource, doubts over driving revenue and being unsure as to which platform to invest to name a few.
A big one though is the fear factor. Two-way communication can leave clubs at the mercy of their fans, open to criticism and powerless to take control.
Liverpool FC Pioneer Pinterest and Tumblr
Most have taken this on the chin however, and opted to take the rough with smooth. A team that has jumped in with both feet is Liverpool, who recently added to their existing roster of official accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Flickr, by becoming the first Premier League club to launch an official presence on both Pinterest and Tumblr blog.
Liverpool’s approach to social media is to ensure they develop an even deeper relationship with their fans according to Matt Owen. Liverpool FC openly admit they are not social media experts, but one thing you can see is that fan engagement is at the heart of all their social media activity. Below is a quick summary of Liverpool’s use of their different social media platforms:
Liverpool FC uses their Facebook page to post pictures and news regarding the club – exclusive content and competitions are quite frequent too.
Twitter is all about dialogue with the fans, often requesting user generated match reports, match predictions and information regarding the Merseyside community.
Liverpool FC uses their Google+ account in almost identical fashion to their Facebook account.
Liverpool FC uses their Pinterest account in a similar way to their Tumblr blog, however rather than share images in a more traditional, linear online photo blog, they use their Pinterest account as an online scrapbook.
Liverpool FC uses their Tumblr blog page (The Reds Gallery) to showcase some of their most iconic photographs from the clubs famous history, whilst enabling fans to purchase these pics via links to commerce.