BY PATIENCE LEPHOGOLE
The range of followers and interactions football teams have on social media, as if stadia are not enough, has come to be a battle field for different teams.
This is a challenge faced by the football business, which is staying aware of the pace of social media and what it stands for.
Numerous fans associate with their most loved groups through online networking, which puts weight on football teams to always continue refreshing their Facebook courses of events and Twitter channels.
In this way, if football teams are not proactive with social media era and don’t have the capacity of luring fans with present day innovation, fans are likely not to tail them nor go watch them play at the stadium.
Social media has proven to be an essential approach to address sports fans. Surely, even in its relative most punctual stages, social media administration has authoritatively ended up being a convincing gadget to help fan collaboration. It produces relationships among gatherings and unions and their fans, move tickets and stock, and help drive television viewership.
Moreover, it is a need to exchange the intensity of mainstream players, nudging fans to share their emotions about the game. It is funny how even in the premier league these days; teams want page views and gauge their success on that basis.
Each of the major players ÔÇö Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. ÔÇö is important for different reasons. Sponsors have gotten smarter about understanding that more subtle, immersive experiences on social media get better results.
Twitter is normally used as a hub for mass appeal, instant news, ideal for news blurbs, trades and highlights. Facebook is where teams want their best content and where it hopes to get the biggest viral push. However, Facebook has the largest reach, but is less instant than Twitter.
These days’ football teams can pass remarks to each other or even go to the extent of communicating with their rivals without naming or shaming, which is the fun of social media.
Fans which keep up with their team’s pages are kept on their toes, as they are updated regularly and timely. A typical example is that of our Premier League giants Township Rollers and Orapa United’s communication with each other in their web sites respectively.
Prior to their encounter with Rollers, Orapa United posted “first round Orapa won 2-1 at National stadium. It’s a league game, rules are clear win you get 3 points, draw you get 1 point and if you lose its zero point. It’s a league game no time for excursions.”
In their response after the game, they posted “We never understood the 7, 2 English but we still top the league,” going on to use a picture of Botswana’s sensational Vee Mampeezy in their t-shirt with a ball in his ar4m. Also, there is a post which read “Batho; Ga le kake la ja Orapa,” a finger pointing to a picture below the post showing two township rollers eating, insinuating that indeed they walloped Orapa. All these show the momentum that social media has brought in football, the fun it brings for fans hence making them.
Asked on how they perceive social media, Township Rollers’ Public Relations Officer (PRO) Bafana Pheto said for them social media has shown to be of great benefit to them, hence they are active in it. He said “We regularly use our website and Facebook page, where we update any official information which we feel need to be shared with pour fans and stakeholders.”
“Normally we share something that is factual, as we want the pages to be relatable and followed as they share precise information. In most cases we visit and update the page three to four times a day, depending on the activities of the day, if there are none we update it at least twice a day,” Pheto opined.
Moreover, Pheto shared that during a game there is an administrator who updates to keep up with fans that were not able to watch the game. He said “Everything that happens during a game is shared in our social media pages, starting from the line up, substitutes, system used to game reviews and summary after it ends.”
“These social media pages benefit us. We disseminate information for fans to give us feedback through their responses which will be beneficial to us to make things right where we may have slipped,” Pheto noted.
When asked how they use social media to harness sponsors, Pheto said for them it is a good thing.
“Our sponsors are happy with how we use social media as now and then we post about them. This in return gives us the mileage. Moreover, sharing information may be a sign of transparency hence attracting other sponsors,” he added.
On the other hand, not all teams may be able to keep up with times of using social media as a communication network. Gaborone United’s PRO Boitumelo Nsunge has said they are not yet at a stage where they can say they are actively using their social media pages. He said “We are not where we should be as of now, but I believe with time we should be able to proudly say we are fully utilising and active on social media pages,”
“The problem is that we do not have a social media administrator, we are yet to identify an individual specifically for that role, that is when we will have made progress on such issues,” Nsunge added.