Lewis Wiltshire, Twitter’s head of sport for UK and Europe, told delegates at the IAB’s Great British Social Media Festival that brands should take inspiration from successful strategies teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool have used on the site.
He said that like those clubs, brands should “tweet in their own voice” to give fans unique access to their brands. Retweeting fans can also help brands “find their own voice” on the platform and make fans feel as though they have a personal connection with a football club or company.
Brands should also take their Twitter content offline to encourage new followers, he advised. This could include placing hashtags in-store or outdoor, in a similar way in which the FA printed the #lionesses hashtag on a stand next to a goal during an England Ladies football match.
Wiltshire added: “We like to call hashtags ‘the new chants’ in football and sport. [A hashtag can be] the glue that brings fans, clubs and players together and that could be the brand, employees and customers for you.”
Football clubs have also galvanised Twitter to reach fans in different areas of the world in which they do not traditionally have large fan bases.
Wiltshire said: “Chelsea now competes with the LA Lakers – it gives brands a chance to find fans in emerging markets and gives them a free marketing opportunity for your content.”
However, the UK’s most successful football club, Manchester United, still does not make great use of Twitter as a communication channel.