West Ham United may not be not the club with the biggest number of followers on social networks, but it’s definitely the club that’s doing a great job on social.
West Ham’s social network ”family” is getting bigger every day, thanks to interesting activities that keep fans interested and engaged.
Here is a summary of the most interesting actions that West Ham United took lately and which should also be applied by other clubs.
Video + emotions = excellent story
”It’s time to come back” video was made to promote season tickets (for season 2016/2017) and also to ”reunite fans and the club”. In this video manager Slaven Bilić and old/new fans shared emotional stories of their favorite memories, feelings for the club, what did they miss the most and realized that they just had to come back.
I believe that messages like: ”I live West Ham”, ”It’s in the blood”, ”This club is so special” , in combination with a song that says ”I just wanna be by your side, for the rest of my life” are really heart-melting for everyone who believes that emotions make sport so interesting and beautiful.
Show never stops
Sports fans are not only interested in seeing what’s happening on the ”big scene”, so ”behind the scene” videos are always welcome.
It sometimes seems to me that a lot of clubs doesn’t see the importance of this kind of content. As I already said, emotions are very important when it comes to sport and sharing them is the best way to enter fans’ hearts.
Take the best of each day
You probably know that people absolutely love to post photos of their pets on social networks. But did you know that the 26 of August is celebrated as National Dog Day? Is it enough to celebrate it with just a photo? No, West Ham United came up with an even better idea! Its followers were asked to post photos of their dogs in West Ham kits on Twitter.
Adorable, isn’t it?
Followers were also asked to think of the West Ham United Hammers dog XI and the best suggestions were listed in a visual that’s similar to the usual gameday visual.
Since we celebrate something every day of the year I believe that celebrating some of these days can be an interesting way to create a story and to engage fans on social.
Let them show your colors
West Ham’s match against Leicester City was the last first match of a season on Boleyn Ground. To make it memorable, that day was declared as a Claret and Blue day.
Fans were invited to show ”how Claret and Blue” they are by posting their photos on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #IamClaretandBlue. Posting photos on social in the week before the match was an excellent way to warm up the atmosphere.
Photo of the West Ham colored pitch went viral on the Internet (even though it wasn’t real).
On the matchday, fans were invited to share their photos using hashtag #ClaretAndBlueDay. Best photos were rewarded with a signed shirt. That is a moment that every fan will remember for a lifetime.
Claret and Blue day became really big in England, fans of the other Premier league clubs showed approval and West Ham got a lot of free PR.
It sometimes seems to me that a lot of clubs think that you can start a fire without a spark, but it’s impossible. They should learn from this that even a simple action can make a good reaction.
Present a kit, make a hit
New kit presentations are the excellent chance to get the attention and to rise and shine. It’s possible when you find an interesting way to do it.
While presenting first kit, West Ham made an interesting story: jerseys’ design is similar to the jerseys that team had in 1904, which was the first season played on Boleyn Ground (current season is the last season played on this stadium). All the kits were presented on Instagam with a ”collage” . This kind of presentation surely stayed in mind.
Clubs should definitely learn that kits are not just a part of players’ equipment. They are a vital part of the club’s brand and everything should be done to present it in the best possible way, so all the fans and collectors put it on their ”wishlist”.
Money, money, money
We all know that being a fan of something is not always ”wallet friendly”. Tickets, kits and other fans’ accesories are not the cheapest products on the market.
Since I believe that fan products should be affordable to fans, I like the fact that West Ham is finding way to make products more afordable to fans.
Everyone loves discounts and special offers, so it’s a great way to make your fans buy something that they probably wouldn’t buy without a discount.
I believe that every club should do this from time to time. ‘Treating’ your fans is just another way to thank them for loving you.
Of course, it’s also important to find the balance because making tickets or products extra cheap can seem like brand devaluation.
Everyone loves birthdays
Have you noticed how sometimes simplest action makes for a best reaction? Congratulating birthday to people who are/were a part of the club is very simple and very likeable content. West Ham does it on a regular basis and results are great.
For me, this kind of posts will almost always bring a positive reaction. For a player this could mean a new dose of motivation, which is always desirable.
Make your fans feel important
For over two years, Wednesday at 1 PM is a Twitter and quiz time for West Ham fans. Rules are simple, fans have to answer three questions and use a hashtag #HammersQuiz.
I believe that it’s a great feeling when you know that your favorite club is honoring you for anything. All the clubs should find the way to show their supporters how important they are to them and thank them for all the love and support they are giving. Without those same people who bite their nails when it’s though, who lose their voices when celebrating important victories and who are always by your side, clubs would be nothing.
Biggest fans deserve biggest benefits
To make a first season on the new stadium unforgettable, West Ham already started to motivate fans to buy a season ticket. Everyone who buys a tickets for 2016/17 season is not just a season ticket holder. Their ”title” is the founder of West Ham’s new stadium and they will aslo be rewarded with an exclusive gift and by displaying their names on the new stadium. They also have a chance to visit new stadium, choose their seat and make a memorable photo. West Ham United is proudly sharing photos of its founders on its social networks and web site.
For me this is an excellent way to give your fans unforgettable expirience. I’m sure that they are feeling very special and honored while they are becoming a part of the historic moment of their favorite club. I believe that they won’t let that excellent feeling go away and that they will keep coming back in the following seasons.
All clubs should know who are their biggest fans and find a way to reward them. It doesn’t have to be something big, it’s just important to make your fans feel special and important.
West Ham may not have as much money, history or titles like some other Premier league clubs, but it has heart and excellent ideas. I hope that in the future West Ham will keep inovating and creating content that is amazing even to those who support other clubs. I already look forward to the upcoming activities.
PHOTO: YouTube screenshot