A lot has been written about footballers on Twitter, mainly due to the antics of one Joey Barton, but not much is said about how football clubs use the platform. In the Premier League 19 out of the 20 teams have an official Twitter presence (the name of club without an account may surprise you), all of which have very different styles of communicating.
Two of the better accounts are those of Sunderland and Wolves, where a mixture of news, insight into what goes on behind the scenes at the club and personable tweets make both an interesting read. At the other end of the spectrum there’s the spam approach, with Newcastle United being one of the biggest offenders. A riveting read if you’re a fan of offers on club-branded gear, not so much for those who want something a bit more substantial.
But does the content matter? The stats suggest not. Newcastle have many more followers than either Sunderland or Wolves do despite the fact their stream is little more than a barrage of links. It seems fans will follow their club online regardless of whether their content is actually any good. But then that’s blind loyalty for you – what’s a poor Twitter presence to a supporter that travels around the country watching their team getting hammered?
So football teams don’t feel the need to innovate online like other brands because their audience will follow regardless, but that’s not to say that it’ll always be this way. The news that the Premier League are about to embark on a major social media drive indicates those within game are beginning to take digital comms more seriously. Will teams follow suit? It’s too early to tell, but I’d still like to know what you want to see from your club’s Twitter account? I’ll include best suggestions in a later post.