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Arsenal vs Spurs – battling it out on social media

Wed 2nd Apr 2014 | IT & Technology

While Arsenal have been getting the better of their North London rivals on the pitch of late, when it comes to social media the two clubs are neck and neck.

In fact, in Accepted Socially’s recent report on the social media activities of all Premier League clubs, they were positioned in joint fourth place with both scoring 16.5 points out of an available 20.

Here’s what the report said:

Arsenal

Arsenal boasts an impressive social media portfolio and passed 20m likes on Facebook and 500,000 followers on Instagram during this period. The former was marked by a ‘thank you’ video – available on Facebook – from Arsene Wegner and selected players.

Twitter is, inevitably, its busiest platform in terms of updates and, when RTs and commentaries are taken into account, it tweets up to 50 times a day.

As well as live commentaries and pre and post-game analysis, training footage and general club news provide an excellent window into the club, enabling fans to feel part of what’s going on. However, while it RTs fans’ comments and opinions, it doesn’t engage directly with any of them, which prevents driving further supporter engagement.

Good content mix on Facebook

Facebook content is varied and appealing to fans, with plenty of video content – press conferences, interviews, goals from previous games etc. – from ArsenalPlayer, the club’s own video channel. Full access to the site is pushed within the videos on social media, with sign-up – at no cost – enabling the club to gather useful CRM data, which, if opted in, is passed onto selected sponsors.

Across platforms, tone is relaxed and friendly, and you sense Arsenal is comfortable with its social media output. It benefits from a seemingly close relationship with the players, many of whom are social media users. Integration between social media and ArsenalPlayer is well done, with hashtags like #asksanti running on screen when Cazorla was interviewed post Crystal Palace game.

Rather like other teams, a Google+ page is regularly updated and while there may be exclusive pictures and footage on there, content is very similar to that on Twitter and Facebook.

While it is on YouTube the page is not regularly updated, in light of the free content on ArsenalPlayer, and has been used mainly for footage of tours. In addition, it has a presence on Flickr and Pinterest but there are only sporadic updates on both, however Vine is being used more frequently and adds variety to its Twitter feed.

Spurs

On the first day of looking at Spurs’ social media activities, the North-London club hosted a Twitter Q&A with its contingent of Belgian players, Jan Vertonghen, Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele. Well promoted via its other channels, the #spursqa initiative trended in the UK (though inevitably this was partly down to ‘ambush’ questions submitted by fans of rival teams). However it demonstrates Spurs’ commitment to social networks as a way of bringing the club and its players closer to its fans. It also regularly enters into dialogue with supporters on Twitter and frequently throws out questions to them, particularly around their matchday plans, retweeting photos and responses.

On Facebook, fans are encouraged to vote for their man-of-the-match by liking pictures of certain players while regular training galleries give fans that ‘behind-closed-doors’ access they appreciate.

Across both channels there’s the usual news and activity around and during matches. There’s also regular pushes for Spurs Connect, an interactive mobile game that fans can play while watching live matches.

Commercial messages aren’t overdone

Spurs’ does use its channels to raise awareness of certain products and services – like its soccer schools, merchandise stores and the usual tickets and programmes – as well as highlighting match odds through betting partner BetFred, but such posts are occasional.

The club does regularly push its Spurs TV online service though and it’s on here that the vast majority of its video content is kept for paying customers.

Occasionally videos are available on YouTube but they are short and its clear the best content (including any interviews with Tim Sherwood) are kept for Spurs TV.

Instagram is regularly updated with the typical club and match pictures. Pictures of fans pre-game are also a regular feature (via FanCam), another way of making them feel part of the Spurs community. The club can also be found on Vine and Google+, where content is similar to that seen on Facebook.

To see how the scores were allocated and to see a full copy of the report, visit http://acceptedsocially.com/social-media-in-the-premier-league/

Image: REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Posted by: Kev Howland 

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