Tag Archives: Liverpool

Top 5 close season Twitter campaigns

Missing the beautiful game? Sick of preseason? Don’t worry, the lads and lasses on Twitter have you covered.

The football may have stopped, but community managers are still working hard to ensure that fans are as engaged as they possibly can be during the off-season.

Here are five of the best:

Football fans are romantics. They’re suckers for history and love reading about past glories, which means Fulham’s 50 Moments series is a winner. The club have used a combination of their website and social media to bring the history of the club to life.

The staggered nature of the series keeps fans visiting the website regularly at a time when football news may be at a minimum, but details of preseason games are being finalised, kits launched and commercial deals announced.

Everton fan cup

Everton have challenged fans to show their love for the Toffees by sending the club photos of them flying their colours. The best 32 will then go head to head with supporters voting on the winner.

Fans are encouraged to engage on two levels – as competitors and as voters. Those fans who make it to the last 32 are expected to try and drum up support for their entry too, helping spread the message about the Fan Cup and creating a bit of friendly competition.

  • #LFCPubQuiz

Liverpool’s social media efforts have been one of the best in the league for quite some time, mixing innovative ways of engaging supporters with genuinely interesting content. The #LFCPubQuiz is no different.

As you might have guessed from the hashtag, fans are asked to answer a series of questions with the individual who gets the most right winning a prize. The real joy comes from the difficulty of the questions, which seek to reward supporters who really know their onions.

Simple, but effective.

  • Favourite player from previous Premier League seasons 

Crystal Palace went back in time in an effort to find a way to build even more excitement after their promotion to the top flight.

They asked their Twitter followers to pick out their favourite player from previous Premier League campaigns, selecting the most frequently mentioned and posting some classic photos to those individuals to their Twitter feed.

That’s one way to get the blood pumping for the new season.

Arsenal Hadouken

When clubs try to hijack to meme it usually looks contrived and doesn’t really work (those Harlem Shake videos, anyone?), but #ArsenalHadouken bucked that trend by encouraging fans to turn the camera on themselves.

After the club did their own photoshoot fans were told they could win a signed shirt if they did their own. The results were mixed but it gave supporters the chance to get creative and meant that there was a steady stream of interesting content floating around online at a time when most discussion among fans is limited to tedious transfer chatter.

Have I missed any other interesting time killers from football clubs this summer? Let me know.

Liverpool’s Twitter presence goes global

We’re often told about the Premier League’s international appeal, usually when the staggering details of the next multi-billion pound TV deal are leaked to the press or the dreaded 39th game idea is floated for the umpteenth time, but social media has really brought home the allure of England’s top flight to those abroad. Check out the Facebook or Twitter accounts of any of the top clubs and you’ll see a large number of responses, many of which are from supporters based outside the UK.

Tough crowd, Rafa

They can’t boo from the stands, but they can sure leave nasty messages!

It may seem easy to ignore these supporters, after all they’re not able to boo from the stands if things aren’t going so well, but as more money flows into the game from abroad and teams decide to take their pre-season training camps to the USA, Asia and the Middle East communicating with this contingent of foreign fans takes on a new importance.

But is communicating with these supporters through your existing channels satisfactory when you take into considering the language barrier and other difficulties? Liverpool don’t seem to think so.

The past few weeks has seen several accounts created and verified simply to cater to Liverpool’s army of fans from across the globe. Supporters in Thailand, Indonesia, India, Spain, France and the Arab world will now get the latest club news in their language at a time suitable for them.

Liverpool are not the first to create foreign language social media profiles and I’m certain they will not be the last. For a fan-base that may occasionally feel unappreciated or disconnected from events that occur several thousand miles away this is a lifeline. For Liverpool it’s a fantastic way to solidify the allegiances of those Reds from far flung corners of the globe and gain access to an audience that will surely continue to grow.

Liverpool become the first Premier League club to launch Tumblr and Pinterest accounts

Photo by Shaun Wong

It’s been a busy month at Anfield. Liverpool, who came out near the top of the social media Premier League table, have set out to cement their place as one of the very best teams in terms of use of online tools by being the first in the English top flight to launch both a Tumblr photoblog and Pinterest account.

In an attempt to help build a sense of importance and belonging amongst their fanbase Liverpool have taken advantage of content created by supporters as well as curating content from the club archives. This has allowed fans to take ownership of these official streams of communication. Additionally the club have also made attempts  to monetise these pages by linking back to the club store. For example via Tumblr supporters can buy prints of the images posted online, whereas on Pinterest several of the pinboards act as galleries of official merchandise.

Simple? It certainly sounds it but the reluctance of clubs to embrace new social media platforms means that Liverpool have stumbled across something truly innovative. If, as hoped, these sites help drive more traffic towards the club store then expect other teams to follow suit.

Liverpool and Luis Suarez – A PR faux pas

There’s being fashionably late and then there’s turning up several days after the party has ended, and by deciding to comment on the Luis Suarez case in the final week of January I definitely fall into the latter category. However I’d like you all to bear with me while I explain why I left it so late.

Before I found myself involved in the world of public relations I harboured ambitions to be a journalist. My first love, as you can probably guess from this blog, is sport and I took a great interest in racism within it. I’d written pieces for the Football Supporters’ Federation on the subject and my current work deals with equity at a grass roots level. Talking about racism in the game to me is like a red rag to a bull and I wanted to approach the case, and Liverpool’s baffling response, as aware of the grim details as to what went on in that Anfield goalmouth as possible. Writing a blog piece over Christmas, when I’m full of food, beer and hell would’ve just resulted in a rambling diatribe against Mr Suarez. And no one wants to read that, do they?

Loyalty is a much sought after commodity in football. Almost any gesture, whether it be a player turning down a bumper contract elsewhere to stay with their current club or as happened in this instance a club backing a player after a less than savoury incident, will be applauded from the roof tops by fans and pundits alike. Sometimes though this clamour for loyalty overtakes the need for common sense.

Photo by Vincent Teeuwen

When Liverpool released their statement in the wake of the news that Luis Suarez was guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra it was clear to all that the Anfield press office needed their heads banging together. The charge was serious, yet here we had a football club not only backing their player but attempting to undermine the credibility of those on the other side and those who reached the verdict. If that wasn’t bad enough even the tired “some of my best mates/family members are black” caveat that seems to be applied exclusively by racists to give credence to their opinions was given a cursory paragraph.

A storm erupted and at this point Liverpool FC, the club which apparently prides itself on it’s reputation for equality, should have held its hands up and accepted the findings with good grace. Maybe someone within the press office suggested this was the best course of action. Who knows? If they did we can only assume they were shot down because the club had just knocked up a few dozen Pro-Suarez t-shirts and the club couldn’t justify wasting any more cash after the transfer of Andy Carroll (I’m sorry, but I couldn’t resist).

After the t-shirts another statement followed, as did a glut of online rants from myopic supporters unable to accept that the FA’s findings were reasonable based on the now publicly available evidence. However there has been a slow realisation from those on Merseyside that Liverpool’s brand has been damaged by their antics. I’m hardly an expert, but I could’ve warned them off going down this particular road if they didn’t want their name tarnished.

Were Liverpool’s press office negligent or were their concerns ignored by those above them who believed that they’d not get dragged off their high horse if they tried to play down the validity of the allegations against one of their players? I know which I believe. Liverpool’s response to the Suarez verdict was baffling to everyone, even those with a very basic knowledge of public relations. You don’t become one of the biggest brands in world football if you have dolts managing your reputation.

Amongst the media and rival fans Liverpool and Kenny Dalglish will be associated with racism for a long time. I’ll leave whether that’s fair or not for you to decide. On the other hand many existing supporters have been emboldened by the club’s stance, taking some form of pride in the siege mentality that the club created with their statements but then that’s blind loyalty for you. Unfortunately as valuable is loyalty is it doesn’t protect teams from negative PR, especially when said team is on a collision course with the English game’s cause célèbre.