Liverpool eyes fan boost through social content push

Liverpool FC is looking to partner with its sponsors to launch social media campaigns in Europe, Asia and South America as part of wider strategy to put localised content at the heart of its fan recruitment drive.

The football club is planning to ramp up the number of co-branded campaigns it launches from its Twitter profiles to offer additional localised club content to its fan base.

To support the strategy, the club has launched seven profiles in different languages including Spanish and Bengali since last November to run alongside its global account. It claims to have overtaken Spanish giant Barcelona as the most active club on Twitter since.

It is hoped the social media drive will create additional value for sponsors as the club looks to boost revenues after a third successive season without Champions League football.

Paul Rogers, head of international digital development at Liverpool told Marketing Week the strategy was created after the club realised some of the content it was serving its fans online in emerging markets was “irrelevant” and unable to be understood by fans who didn’t speak English.

He adds: “We’ve got fans all over the world but they were getting updates about the club that were not relevant to their markets which meant we were at risk of driving down engagement. There’s no point in some of those fans seeing there are tickets available for a game tonight, or that one of our former players is going to be at Anfield signing autographs if they live in Bangkok, Istanbul or Mumbai. We’re investing in digital platforms to give fans tailored content.”

The strategy is being led from the club’s commercial team and is the first in a three-stage plan to leverage new media to sell its brand to fans. It plans to replicate the strategy on Facebook before launching its official website in different languages later this year, with Indonesia and Thailand among the first.

Rogers says: “The plan is not to just do the usual translation of an English website, which is what I’ve seen other clubs do. We could do that quite easily, but instead we’re going to adopt a more localised approach. We’re employing people in Jakarta in Indonesia and Bangkok in Thailand to ensure we’ve got tailored and culturally-sensitive content for our fans.”

He adds many clubs and other sports organisations make the mistake of looking to commercial organisations and brands for a social media and online strategy, as they face different challenges.”

The club, which was ranked ninth in Deloitte’s Football Money League for the 2011/12 season, hopes the move will allow it to compete more effectively with rivals such as Manchester United and Arsenal for fans around the world.

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