Liverpool Football Club’s official Twitter feed @LFC has been voted the world’s best by a sports team at the Shorty Awards in the USA.
At a gala event in New York which also honoured NASA for best use of twitter in the Government category and Justin Bieber in the Celebrity category, @LFC received most votes in the sports team listings to claim the prestigious award. This is no mean feat when you think of the likes of Real Madrid, NY Giants, McLaren F1, FC Barcelona, Man City, etc.
Staged at the Times Centre, the fourth Shorty Awards – known as ‘the Grammys and Oscars of social media’ – were held in front of a packed crowd of celebrities and social media heavyweights alike and recognised the best users of social media in dozens of wide-ranging categories.
With over 829,000 followers, @LFC has gone from strength to strength since its launch in January 2009.
“…we’re delighted our official twitter feed has been recognised as the world’s best by a sports team for its role in keeping supporters up to date with the latest news from Anfield.
But we don’t want to stop there and as we’re always looking at ways of further improving our twitter offering to supporters, this month we kicked off a brand new ‘Twitter Tuesday’ feature in which we give fans the chance to quiz former Kop stars in a live question and answer session online. Luis Garcia and Titi Camara have joined us over the past two weeks and we have plenty more exciting plans for the future to give our fans the chance to interact with their heroes.”
So what makes Liverpool’s twitter account better in the eyes of fans and pundits alike than any of the other sports teams out there? Here’s 5 reasons why…
1. Fan Interaction
The club do a great job of recognising their fans and taking the time to interact with them. When you get to over 800,000 fans on a platform it can be hard to do so in a meaningful way. Here they retweet fans comments, which means a lot to those who follow the club on Twitter. A retweet from a celebrity or club these days is seen as ‘the new autograph’ and really can make someones day. They also run quizzes to test out fans knowledge and mention competitions being run by their partners that reate to the club as well.
One of the benefits of Twitter is how it can bring not only the club but the players closer to the fans who adore them so much. As mentioned earlier in this article, the cub are running Twitter take-overs by certain players. This gives fans the chance to speak to the likes of former favourite Titi Camara or injured star Lucas Leiva. Hosting these on the club platform gives access to the large fan base to the players and gives even more reason for fans to tune into the account at certain times. The clever thing Liverpool are doing is holding this on a regular basis – when this happens then fans know exactly when to logon and join in.
3. Match News
The account is a must for club fans who want to find out what is going on in the lead up to the match. There is ticket info for games, links to highlights of recently played games and team news as it is released for those not able to make it to the game. One thing I do prefer to the @LFC account to other football ones is the lack of a live match feed within it. Whilst it may be ok for a few are not either at the game, listening to the radio, watching Soccer Saturday or the BBC live feed. For everyone else it can feel very ‘spammy’ with their feeds getting clogged up with almost minute-by-minute game updates.
4. Links to other platforms
An interesting feature of the Twitter account is its use as a central platform, one that links to all the others that are being used. Many of the updates are links out to useful or latest pages on their website, LFC TV, Tumblr and Pinterest. With so many different platforms being used by the club it is important to have that string that binds it all together, and Twitter is that string in this case.
A nice feature which I have been lucky enough to experience here with UKSN is the openness of the club to link out to content written by others. A recent example is a tweet that links out to a link posted by football blogger Kickette, just for the reason that they liked the article and thought their fans would also like it. Many clubs are precious about what content is linked to and will ensure that it is only their own that appears. Here they are showing that they value others as well as themselves and it will only help in the perception of the club with those who write about them. With UKSN they linked to an article written about their Pinterest page (and earlier about their new Tumblr page). Sending traffic on such a scale to smaller sites is a really nice touch – even though it crashed the site both times!