Yesterday saw the official launch of Glasgow Rangers FC’s official Facebook page, complete with a photo shoot to celebrate it. They have taken their time to enter into social media but it looks like they are going to take it very seriously.
With 17,900 fans in the first day since launch, mainly off the back off the PR generated for their launch, they have made a promising start to tap in the clubs massive fan base. The PR for the launch not only included a photo shoot but also a launch press conference, something I don’t think any other team has done yet. It has to be said that the video from the Press Conference is about 2 players and their injuries/plans with no mention of the social media launch or future plans, a bit of a miss.
If this is a sign of things to come then the club looks like it is going to integrate its social media presence in other activities (integration is key to making it really work successfully).
Initially they have launched a Facebook page and LinkedIn ‘Business Club’ page (9 members so far but is early days). The LinkedIn page is I imagine on the back of the ‘Celtic FC Business Network’ and something they see working for their sales, hospitality, events and sponsorship departments and has been eulogised by our own Sean Walsh in his recent article.
They have taken the two very separate lines with Facebook (fans) and LinkedIn (business), both of which could reap long term benefits for the club. They have not leapt into this with their eyes closed but hired an in-house digital manager to mastermind their online presence and keep the pages updated. One of the keys to this venture is having buy-in from the very top of the club….
Ali Russell, Rangers chief operating officer, said: “The Club has a well-established and successful media portfolio and the launch of the Official Rangers Facebook page further enhances our media operation.
“Social media is leading the way in instant news and our supporters can now keep up to date with all the latest Club news on Facebook wherever they are in the world.
“There are exciting times ahead for Rangers, on and off the field, and the creative use of digital media will undoubtedly increase and expand our exposure in the UK and worldwide – which in turn will increase the worldwide reach of our sponsors and partners.”
The club have also included their sponsors in their plans by consulting with them and making sure they are linked up from the start by making sure they ‘like’ their sponsors Facebook pages. The involvement with any networking events run on the back of the LinkedIn (the need to bring the online offline is the real key to success here) will also be popular with the sponsoring companies.
Sarah Bell, marketing manager from the Lomond Audi Group, the club’s official vehicle sponsor, said: “At the Lomond Audi Group we recognise the importance of digital communication and are investing heavily in our own online presence in order to improve and build our customer relationships.
“The launch of the Rangers Facebook site is an exciting addition to the club’s media portfolio which allows us as official sponsor of Rangers to instantaneously connect with and engage the fans of the club.”
There are also plans for a Twitter page in the coming months, though I suspect this may appear prior to the start of the new Scottish League season.
Article originally appeared in The Drum.