Is your football team social?

This post was eventually going to happen, mainly because I’ve been trying to think of a way to get the following topics in one post: Social media, football, Aston Villa.

As someone that gets almost 100 per cent of his Aston Villa/football info from the web, I’m an avid reader of several blogs relating to my beloved Aston Villa. I also dip in and out of the forums from time to time, but I hardly ever read the papers anymore.

For me, if you’re a football fan of any club, you should be regularly checking the likes of  Football Spy with Darren Lewis, Sky Sports and a decent blog about your team. Probably the last place you’ll hear any decent news is your club site.

Take my club, Aston Villa if you will. There of a decent size, owned by a fairly savvy American Billionaire in the form of Randy Leaner, but are they social. Well, no…. Randy’s right hand man, “The General” was sitting in a few forums for a while and famously got himself into trouble with the “pig” comment. But, that’s about it.

The site has what they call a “blog”, but you can’t comment on it, they are also on twitter, but don’t answer back. They have a YouTube channel, but just seem to put footage from AVTV on there. They one thing that they did do that was kind of interesting was the Bullring to Bullring feature, which you can check out here:

But, where the official site lets us down, the fan-based blogs give us what we want. Here’s probably one of the best examples if you’re a Villa fan. They have a main blogger, but also have several other contributors and recently asked their readers to submit their own posts. In addition, they also have a Twitter stream which they use to provide feeds from the matches – great for people like me that hardly ever make a game.

How come the club isn’t paying attention? Well, as someone that works in this space it’s usually the classic fear of exposure/lack of control issue that is (yes, it is) totally irrational. And, to be fair to the staff at Villa – it’s probably a time and staffing issue. But, what could they do? Well, here’s a few ideas:

  • Offer a live Twitter feed from the games, complete with Tweet pics
  • Have a few of the players run the Twitter feed, or perhaps a few guest spots – i.e. tonight at 6pm, John Carew takes over the AVFC Twitter feed
  • Make the blog a blog – add a comments section and get a bit more interactive
  • Get the fans involved in your output – ask for thier pictures, clips, thoughts and so-on. Everyone takes their mobiles to the game – there’s a whole bunch of UGC right there
  • Use the YouTube channel for something interesting – get the players to do a few videos behind the scenes, perhaps offer fans the chance to come in and film some interviews

There’s just a few thoughts and I’m sure others will have a few more thoughts. But whether your a Villa fan, Man U fan or whatever – is your club social? And, if you’re a club – Being social is free to very cheap, get involved.