Football Social Media has come a long way in the past 18 months in terms of fan engagement, player policy and stadium social media. However, one area of social media forgotten about by football clubs is blogger outreach.
Blogger outreach is a tactic used by brands on social media to identify key bloggers who are influential around a certain subjects. Brands aim to build a relationship with them over time with the end product usual being a piece of content generation that shows the brand in a positive light.
What is blogger outreach?
For example, imagine you own a restaurant and want to generate some social media coverage in order to build awareness. What you might do is identify bloggers who have shown interest and expertise in the food industry. Ideally, you would want a blogger who you know to be active, influential and happy to cover the event. You also would want an individual whose blog is well read so you can increase the chances of people learning about your restaurant. Once you’ve identified a number of bloggers (because more is better) then you “reach out” to them and invite them to the launch event. The blogger gets a free meal or access to something they may never have got in exchange for agreeing to write some social media content up afterwards. But be warned, if the event/service isn’t up to their expectations – they won’t always write just nice things. Blogger outreach isn’t a bribe, it’s a chance to impress and make your mark on the social media world.
Where does football fit in?
It strikes me that football clubs have loads of “events” in which bloggers would be interested in covering:
- - Training sessions
- - Match days
- - Hospitality suites
- - Non-match day events such as club functions or transfer deadline days
- - Press conferences
- - AGMs
Football clubs want to use social media to engage with their fans and give them access to areas that they not traditionally see. Football clubs want to promote their services and “experience” as a form of entertainment so that fans will buy tickets. Football clubs want to be seen to be caring about their fan base in order to keep morale up.
So why don’t they use blogger outreach? The costs and effort in inviting key bloggers to visit the stadium, cover a matchday experience or see the behind-the-scenes nature of a club are likely to be minimal. Providing the club plans the experience so it’s successful, then they could potentially have a fantastically engaging piece of content that will resonate with fans and improve their reputation.
Brands do it, so why not football clubs? The growth of football social media shows that there are bloggers and content generators out there, so why not use them? Fan generated content is likely to be more engaging and authentic.
PS. It isn’t missed on me that I am a blogger and that this is a shameless plug for some club to send me some free match tickets! Wait, didn’t I say it wasn’t bribery!?