It’s hard to imagine modern football without social media. The two have become intertwined. Fans will take to Twitter to express their views on the team they support and post pictures on Instagram or Facebook when they visit stadiums.
In a similar manner, Football Clubs also use different social media platforms for news and marketing purposes. They use them to convey announcements and provide updates. They also utilize social media to build a closer relationship with fans. This, in particular, is important to reach out to those living outside of Germany and have little or no chance of visiting the grounds. Twitter is an important tool in meeting the aforementioned purposes.
The clubs are using different languages to communicate to their audience. English is an important language in this respect. In addition to the main accounts that use German, most Bundesliga clubs have separate English accounts. These accounts are special in the way they try to make twitter engaging and fun. There are 5 ways in which they do that:
What’s twitter without a little banter?
Bundesliga clubs are fully aware of that and try to make a joke or two whenever the chance arises.
That face you make when you drop 3 away points at the BayArena https://t.co/sn02ZSPMyX
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04_en) January 4, 2018
The tweets are often accompanied by Pictures, GIFs, and Videos that are always creative and portray the intended message effectively.
This probably sets Bundesliga Clubs apart from the rest. They are very responsive to tweets from fans. Be it to answer a question or just to have fun the clubs aren’t shy to engage with their followers.
You can imagine how happy I was when I got this message!
.@brookbvb Not anytime soon – but that surely is great news! Greetings to Ethiopia and to all of our fans in Africa!
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) August 26, 2015
The tweets also provide important information. That can be either something that happened a long time ago or something you didn’t know about a certain player.
Even though it is not possible to transmit league matches on social media the clubs post updates of the games in a very entertaining manner. The tweets seem to be coming from a fan as the accounts effectively portray the emotions one goes through while watching a game.
— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) December 17, 2017
Friendly games, however, are being broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook.
In order to gain an in-depth, look Bundesliga Fanatic spoke to the people behind the Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach social media accounts.
Peter Flor, New Media Editor had this to say on the importance of Social Media for the club and fans.
“We don’t see social media as a single entity but more as an integrative part of our communication and marketing strategy. In fact, social media is about the fans, interaction, and engagement. It doesn’t work one-way only. Our general philosophy was and will always be about listening to our fans and connecting with them. With the rise of social media, we learned that this is also possible with millions of fans worldwide who will most likely never make it to our stadium.”
Regarding the feedbacks received on how the BVB account is run:
“We’re fortunate enough that our fans seem to like what we do on Twitter and self-conscious enough to claim to have found a unique way or language we use on Twitter ever since we started the official account. It surely differs from the way we come across on Facebook, Instagram or elsewhere.”
David Görges (Head of New Media/CRM) spoke about the importance of using different languages to reach out to fans in different countries:
“Basically, we believe that fans do want to have a genuine and native point of contact in the digital world which we provide with our main social media channels. The mother-tongue channels are often used additionally not as a substitution and the growing power of the integrated translation tools help us with this approach. Also, we would never geoblock any native editorial content. If a fan wants to get more local insights we will always provide this possibility. Nevertheless, we do believe that we have reached a certain size where dedicated international contents and channels help us to create a new narrative. This is why we are planning to launch an international Twitter channel. Currently, we are running our website, app and online shop in six different languages, we’re offering our fans in China and Japan dedicated social media channels and we are targeting international contents on our main channels. We want to keep our digital world as clean as possible and if we compare it to other European clubs we do believe that this is a competitive advantage in terms of control and creating a strong marketing narrative. ”
Interview with Andreas Cüppers, Head of Digital at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Question: Bundesliga clubs (twitter accounts) are more interactive with fans than other clubs in Europe.
What are the advantages of that?
Could you elaborate on the role of Social Media in bringing clubs and fans together?
Andreas: “Via Twitter (or any other social media) we can get in touch with fans all over the world – cheap, quick and at any time. That’s a big advantage of social media and helps us to let our fan-base grow and establish some kind of relationship with our fans. We can improve the image of the club and help to link fans with the club. Ideally, we gain new fans, establish them as real supporters and might welcome them one day in our stadium, museum or shop. The communication via Twitter helps us to follow that goal.”
Question: Which of your tweets got the most RTs or was well received?
Andreas: Without a doubt the whole “A German Team”-Tweets around our Champions League-Match at Celtic Glasgow.
Question: What feedback do you get regarding how you run the BMG account?
Andreas: In Germany, we don’t get a lot of feedback, because we mainly do business as usual. There are not so many extraordinary tweets. Internationally we get a lot of positive response because we communicate with a lot of humor. That’s liked.
Question: How do you generally decide what type of tweets to send? Is there a meeting with a team or does one person decide that?
Andreas: We discuss the daily programme every day in the morning and try to make some kind of schedule. But a lot of things happen spontaneously so we need to be quick. We have a Social Media Manager for that and use a tool to approve his drafts if he likes to get a final check on what he wants to post.
Question: Do you think the account has accomplished its goal until now? What are your plans for the future?
Andreas: We are satisfied with the outcome of the account. We appreciate the feedback we get and we will continuously work on improving the channels. For example, we plan to communicate also in French in the nearer future.
Which club’s Twitter account is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section!