Four years ago, as my college days were coming to an end, I had to choose a topic for my thesis. I decided to unite my two great loves: marketing and HNK Hajduk. It was a year Hajduk celebrated its 100th birthday, so I was mostly focused on celebration activities. Since than, Hajduk’s marketing really improved, especially in the field of merchandising and sponsorship activations. Hajduk also made huge progress on social media. In 2011 Hajduk had a Facebook page, Twitter and its own YouTube channel. Things became more serious in 2013 when the new Facebook fan page and Instagram were made.
For all of you who might not know, Hajduk is one of the most popular football clubs in Croatia and one of the clubs with biggest average attendance in the region.
Since I am a huge Hajduk fan, I follow its social networks every day. And just as I am happy when Hajduk’s players score a goal, I am happy when I see something worth liking and retweeting on social networks (and vice versa, of course).
For that reason, I made an analysis of HNK Hajduk official social media and some recommendations for improvement.
Hajduk is very active on Facebook where it has more than 240k fans. News about the club are served all day which is good because its loyal fans like to get as many information as they can throughout the day.
Although I like the way Hajduk combines posts from their website, photos and videos, it seems to me that the quantity of photos and videos can be better balanced. Lots of galleries that are posted have too many photos and I am afraid that a lot of fans are too lazy to view them all. I believe that posting short videos with inspirational music would make fans much more interested.
I also like the idea of using call to action button for web shop promotion. This is a good way to remind fans about it every day without being too intrusive.
Hajduk is often sharing some interesting articles related to their team, which is another great practice. By sharing The Guardians article, in which goals by Andija Balić and Elvir Maloku were included in top goals of the week, Hajduk showed that it is known and recognized around the world.
The visuals used on Facebook look powerful and attractive, but unfortunately there is one problem that keeps happening every now and then. It seems as the ‘after the goal’ visuals are not prepared in advance for all players which doesnt’ look very professional and it just doesn’t seem fair to all the players.
It just doesn’t make sense when, during the same game, some goals are announced with a visual and others with a post.
I can understand the situation from April when there was no visual prepared for Fran Tudor who played his first match for Hajduk and surprisingly scored the goal, but I don’t understand why the people responsible for Hajduk’s digital communication didn’t learn anything from that situation.
Although I noticed some new visuals in last few matches, I’m not satisfied with the fact that it took more than three months after that incident to make new visuals. A club like Hajduk must react quicker and should’t let mistakes happen more than once. Let’s just hope that they finally learned their lesson and that the new players will have their visual prepared on time.
Another thing I would like to change about the visuals are their dimensions. Visuals showing statistical records (e.g. visual of Hajduk’s 200 matches in European competitions) look really good, but its dimensions (389×960 px) make it less readable and it looks like lot of space has been wasted.
Something that definitely must be improved on Facebook is communication with fans. There is little to no reaction to fans’ comments (and in my experience on messages), while offensive comments and spams are tolerated so it almost seems that no one checks what people post.
Proof that Hajduk should definitely ”collaborate” with fans is a post in which a photo that a fans sent was shared. A photo in which a Hajduk fan and Massai tribe members were holding Hajduk’s flag ”earned” over 7.2k likes, almost 250 shares and a lot of positive comments and definitely heated the atmosphere before an important match.
In my opinion, example of ”how could comunication save the day” was presentation of the new kits.
When Hajduk presented its 3rd kit, a lot of fans showed disapproval and they kept wondering why is it grey when that isn’t one of Hajduk’s traditional colors. Unfortunately, noone tried to explain why it is grey. In my opinion, just one post which explains that the 3rd kit shouldn’t contain any of the colors on the first two kits and a short story about what the grey flags represent would probably make their fans happier and satisfied.
Except for the lack of communication, I also noticed that there is no reacion to fans’ wishes.
Lot of fans are not completely satisfied with the way the matches are covered on Facebook. When Hajduk scores a goal, it is announced with a visual or post, but when their opponent scores there is no post about it. It is definitely not good because it often makes fans unplaesantly surprised when they see the real score. And although I saw lot of comments in which fans complain about this, this practise hasn’t been changed. I am sure that it isn’t plesant to share bad news but ignoring fans’ wishes is much worse.
Hajduk is very active on Twitter where it has more than 46k followers.
The best thing Hajduk does on Twitter is live covering of all matches. Benefits of Twitter are used wisely and Twitter is definitely recognized as a place to be when matches can’t be watched live or on TV. The way they tweet about the game really make you feel like you are at the game.
Bilingual covering of the matches is an excellent idea because Hajduk has fans all over the world, and it is a way to show respect for the opponent’s fans who are not able to watch the game.
Hajduk is doing a great job with retweeting posts. Retweeting posts is the nice way to show your supporters how important they are to the club. Maybe it seems like it’s not much, but I believe that every supporter is honored when he sees that his tweet is worth retweeting. I hope that in the future replying to tweets will also become common, because it is much more ”relationship building” than just retweeting.
Something that could be better on Twitter is the use of graphics. I noticed that dimensions of goal graphics are not always suitable for Twitter so they seem ”cut”. And as I already mentioned in the anayisis of Facebook, all players should have their after goal visuals.
One thing that should have been covered live on Twitter is Hajduk’s night at Riva on Twitter. I believe there is a huge number of supporters who wanted to attend, but couldn’t. Tweets could easily deliver the atmosphere and emotions to those who couldn’t be there.
Although Hajduk has an Instagram profile with almost 13k followers, it isn’t very active. The gaps between posts shouldn’t be a month or more long. Some interesting things happened in the meantime and none of them were shared.
Here is my list of things that should have been shared on Instagram:
- – celebration of the great results in European matches,
- – videos of great goals by Andrija Balić and Elvir Maloku,
- – more than 13000 members in 2015,
- – more than 6000 season tickets sold,
- – Hajduk’s 200 matches in European competitions,
- – 100th match for Anton Maglica and Tino Sven Sušić in Hajduk,
- – farewell to Dino Mikanović and Dejan Mezga, players who transferred from Hajduk
- – new kits presentation,
- – Torcida’s choreography in match against Stromgodset,
- – interaction with fans during Hajduk’s night at Riva…
It seems like a huge number of likes has been missed, doesn’t it?
It is even worse when you realize that Instagram was much better two years ago than now. A club like Hajduk must always push forward, even on social networks.
Hajduk also has a YouTube channel which is mostly used for sharing pre and post match press conferences. I find it good and informative but I also believe that this channel should contain more ”heart warming” videos.
To prove this, I will compare two videos Hajduk has published this year. Both videos were focused on Hajduk’s official products but in two completely different ways.
Video We live Hajduk, released in May, was created as the emotional 4 minute story which shows that Hajduk is always and everywhere with its fans. In July, Hajduk presented its web shop in a short 1-minute video without a special story, in which products were just listed, one after another . The fact that the first video was viewed more than 54k times and second just over 1.5k definitely proves that fans like emotions and that creative approach is the right way to go.
Behind the scene videos of lockeroom or bus/airplane celebrations would be great to see, and this is what fans would like to see. Emotions! Especially Hajduk’s fans.
What I really like on YouTube is the presentation of new sponsors. For me, it’s great because of three things: new products are introduced to fans, gratitude to sponsors is shown in a very professional way and it is a great way to ”build a bridge” between fans and sponsors.
Another good thing about this channel is that it is well coordinated with other social media. Almost all videos are shared on Facebook and Twitter, which is good for visibility.
To sum it up, Hajduk does a great job on social, especially when you compare them to other clubs in the region. But Hajduk is Hajduk and nothing but the best should be accepted as satisfying.
In my opinion, they are doing the best job on Twitter. Tweeted content can be attractive to anyone and network’s characteristics are used in the best possible way. The biggest improvement can be made on Instagram just by posting on a regular basis.
Hajduk must definitely work on building a proper communication with its fans, listening to them and reacting if it is necessary. When it comes to creating content, Hajduk should continue being creative and emotional, just like its fans. Use of behind the scene content is the way to go. Their digital and social team have access, they should take advantage of that.
And, most important of all, all the things worth sharing should be shared. Great things that happen must be recorded and remembered. Don’t miss the chance to share something memorable and to create emotions because emotions are something that Hajduk lives on.