Digital Marketing for Champions! – Learn from Manchester United!

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Here we take a good look at how Manchester United uses social media to grow their brand. Over the recent years, social media has become like Google; something we can’t live without. Brands in different industries continue to build their brands with the use of social media. Football clubs haven’t been left behind either. Such is the case of Manchester United or Red Devils as they are famously known. Manchester United is a clear depiction of how brands can use social media to not only create engagement but to grow their brand.

The Red Devils are not only one of the most successful football clubs but are also very popular globally. As a leading professional sports brand, the club has been able to attract a community of over 659 million followers. The largest in the world football!

The saying content is king applies to any organisation across various industries. Manchester United is a good example of a Club that lives by these rules every single day. They tweet about ten times a day. Their use of hashtags to drive their message is one thing that most businesses can adopt.

To better serve their international audience, the global brand’s website is available in seven different languages. This is in a bid to appeal to the interests and tastes of their supporters around the world. It is even the more reason as to why the Manchester United club has been able to build a well-established brand both online and offline.

So, what did the club do to get to where it is today?

Manchester United are on pretty much almost on all social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ – and in all those sites, have amassed a large following. However, it’s important to note that they didn’t get where they are over a cup of coffee. It took work, lots of it to get them where they are. Remember that adage about ‘Rome not being built in a day’? The same applies to the brand building that Manchester United has done over the years. They have a social media strategy that is fully bullet proof that is largely based on the use of imagery and a short video. Below are some of the ways they used to get to where they are today:

1. Use of local content based on the region their audience was
2. Worked on improving their user engagement
3. Improving their search engine optimisation (SEO) in the different languages including French, Chinese and Spanish.
4. Improved the websites user experience, implemented strategies that would increase conversion and reduce bounce rate
5. Leveraged on some of their key players to drive content and engagement, therefore, making the website easy to find with relevant content
6. Tailoring of promotional content that is not only relevant but makes their followers feel as though they are part of the team

These are the key takeaways that we have to look at regardless if we are a leading sports team or a startup.

Take time to build your business and create awareness first before jumping to all the available social media platforms with little or no expertise on any of the platforms. As you look to grow your business and brand build, a couple of things to reflect on based on the success of the Manchester United’s use of social media channels are:

1. Content is key. You cannot have an effective marketing strategy that falls short of content that is attractive
2. Use of hashtags that are relevant to your business or organisation
3. Use of multiple social media platforms to create engagements and interaction with your followers while at the same time pushing key messaging that is relevant and appealing to your audience whether in a specific region or globally
4. Research on the most used social media channels by your audience and leverage on those
5. If possible, push for the same content across all your different social media channels that drive your agenda and vision
6. Do market research on what worked and what didn’t and use the data to improve your overall marketing strategy and content
6. Give your audience what they want. Your research will reveal what your audience engages with most and on what platforms and you can find better ways of tweaking your content to suit them
7. Make use of how Manchester United uses social media to grow their brand – there”s no harm in copying a successful strategy.