The latest addition to Arsenal’s frontline last month was highly rated French striker Olivier Giroud, so to welcome the signing (and capitalise on social media), the North London team launched a #WelcomeOlivier Twitter competition.
Using the #WelcomeOlivier hashtag, Arsenal’s competition was very simple – tweet a welcome message to the new striker and potentially win a signed shirt from Olivier. However, the competition didn’t end there, the winning tweets also were placed onto a series of JPGs to be used as desktop wallpapers featuring Giroud in the Arsenal jersey.
Arsenal’s Digital Operations Manager, David Savage, told Digital-Football.com exclusively,
“At Arsenal we see social media chiefly as a set of tools for adding value to the fan experience. Be it via leveraging our unique access to the club, creating an interface between fans and players or sourcing fan generated content to add a social layer to club activities. Social channels provide us with the means to engage with specific fan groups on the platforms of their choice.”
Arsenal currently lead the Premiership in terms of Twitter followers and rank a very respectable 3rd worldwide. The Gooners showed that social media doesn’t need to be complicated or at all time consuming. By encouraging fans to tweet on their hashtag, they were raising awareness of both the transfer and their own social media activity. Secondly, they used UGC (the tweets) to integrate it into their own content, thereby creating a stronger sense of affinity between brand and fan. Thirdly, they raised awareness for their Fanzone area of the website and drove web traffic there.
Consequently, the short Twitter campaign saw over 10k uses of the hashtag in 48 hours and the @Arsenal Twitter account had an increased follower rate of over 30% (more than their usual average growth).
As football social media continues to grow (even in the off-season), Arsenal also spoke to us about their future plans to expand their football social media activity,
“We’re constantly evaluating the landscape and looking to join fans wherever they’re active – something that will be reflected in our likely expansion onto new platforms in the coming months.”
This is a great example for clubs of all sizes into how they can very quickly utilise social media in order to engage with their fans and promote their offline activity. As we have continued to stress since this site’s beginnings - social media doesn’t need to be complex, merely fan focussed.
Have any more good examples of football social media? Leave us a comment or send us an email on sean [at] digital-football.com