Most football clubs have a social media presence and the channel accounts for anything between 5-20% of the total value generated for sponsors by top European clubs.
As such, social media is a channel that teams of all sizes must prioritise in order to stay relevant and commercially attractive. But what makes a football team stand out from the rest on social media?
To kick-off the discussion, we’ve compiled a list of seven creative examples of football-related social content that has helped these football teams capture the attention of football fans, and why they work so well.
Lionesses World Cup Announcement
Earlier in May, the England Women’s Football Team (also known as the Lionesses) revealed its 2019 World Cup squad in a creative way on Twitter.
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) May 8, 2019
The Lionesses used the thread feature on Twitter to slowly drip-feed the squad to fans and followers over the course of a day – enlisting famous faces like Prince William, Emma Watson and more to deliver short videos announcing individual player names.
The passing of a very awesome baton.
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) May 8, 2019
The Lionesses used influencers across both men’s and women’s football for reach and allowed for a slow burn – with a break between each post in the thread – for a full day’s engagement and coverage.
When you’re searching for examples of football clubs that use Twitter in an effective way, you needn’t look further than AS Roma.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 13, 2019
Renowned for its reactive, funny and informal tone on Twitter, the Giallorossi has several accounts covering different regions, languages and dialects that keep fans entertained all season long.
Roma’s dedication to sounding like a friend (sharing in cultural news and topical banter) is what has endeared its Twitter accounts to so many football fans. Of course, it shares club news, match updates and fixtures, but it’s the tone in which it does so that makes it so memorable.
A standout addition to this winning formula was the AS Roma Pidgin Twitter account launched back in March. Recognising a need to serve its West African fans, the Italian club created a Twitter account, run out of Lagos, that speaks directly to them – something yet to be done by any other major club.
Na almost 18 years ago one fine sabi small pikin player make hin debut for #ASRoma against Anderlecht, now na 35 years di skippo be and hin go wear di Giallorossi jersey for di last time against Parma.
Beta player wey too sabi ????????https://t.co/0Z8RogK4ZF
— AS Roma Pidgin (@ASRomaPidgin) May 14, 2019
Manchester City’s Inside City
Newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City were one of the first Premier League teams to garner a lot of engagement on YouTube through the Inside City series of videos.
By hosting the content on YouTube and focusing on high-quality videos that can be both fun (e.g. player competitions) and informative (e.g. one-on-one player interviews), Inside City is a great example of finding a formula on a specific social platform and sticking to it.
The series gives its fans a reason to keep coming back to its YouTube channel whether it’s for an exclusive interview with midfielder Bernardo Silva or a closer look at the development of City’s academy players.
The Champions return to the CFA! ☀️
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 14, 2019
Now on its 341st episode, the series shows no signs of slowing down with videos uploaded weekly and clips shared across all of City’s social channels to entice fans to watch the full videos.
Orlando City FC’s social media scavenger hunt
Founded in 2013, Orlando City FC is one of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) youngest football clubs.
For any new football team, recruiting fans can be extremely difficult and Orlando FC came up with an interactive way of addressing this problem with its social media scavenger hunt.
Placing match tickets around downtown Orlando the MLS club used Twitter, Instagram and Periscope to broadcast the scavenger hunt clues, keep followers up–to–date on who managed to find the tickets and announce the lucky winners.
This is a great demonstration of a team using a combination of a fun interactive game and social media to engage its desired audience in a creative way.
Bristol City GIFs
It’s not only the biggest clubs in the world that use social in a creative way as Bristol City have demonstrated on its Twitter accounts.
Matty Taylor is a red… ???? pic.twitter.com/xXRuAB47eB
— Bristol City FC (@BristolCity) May 5, 2019
Clubs often share Twitter updates of goals scored in matches and typically highlight the goal scorer with a mention in the copy or an in-game image but the same cannot be said for Bristol City.
Much like AS Roma, the English Championship side doesn’t like to take itself too seriously and the GIFs it has produced are a humorous way to showcase individual players personalities.
— Bristol City FC (@BristolCity) April 30, 2019
The value in creating and sharing content like this is two-fold with Bristol City fans enjoying the GIFs (and goals) but other football fans able to join in on the banter on Twitter, too.
Bayern Munich’s #FCBDay1
At the beginning of the 16/17 Bundesliga season, reigning German champions Bayern Munich launched a partner content campaign with Allianz Deutschland and Facebook Live called #FCBDay1.
#FCBDay1 was the first place Munich fans could see the presentation of selected team players – like Thomas Müller and Philip Lahm – and new manager Carlo Ancelotti, exclusively on Facebook Live.
Following the format of a late-night TV talk show and recruiting two established football influencers to host, #FCBDay1 combined things like pre-produced player interviews and clips, with interactive content like live Q&As to give Bayern Munich fans a reason to stay tuned in.
The campaign worked well because it allowed Bayern Munich to present its players and manager in a more relaxed format that both utilised Facebook Live – to get fans engaged in real-time – and harnessed the power, reach and resources of its brand partners, in turn producing a memorable piece of content.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Striker Force 7
Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t a football team, however, he’s as popular on social as some of the biggest clubs in football.
Striker Force 7 is an animated series for his younger fans to enjoy on Facebook Watch and gives viewers lessons on the fundamentals of key themes like teamwork and collaboration, in a way that’s fun for the target demographic.
Ronaldo has created a series that helps his younger fans by encouraging them to learn, whilst being entertained.
Econsultancy runs social media training.