Part of my role at BirminghamLive has been to grow our presence on social media. Twitter and Facebook are our two preferred platforms and I have worked to increase followings on both.
We cover the four leading football clubs across the West Midlands and have developed Twitter and Facebook pages specifically for fans of each club.
Chants which have been sourced online always work well on Facebook. One Aston Villa fan came up with a quirky song for Albert Adomah and we turned it around for a native post.
The post has been shared hundreds of times by Villa fans and it’s been watched more than 40,000 times.
During a match between Watford and Wolves at Vicarage Road I managed to capture away fans celebrating Raul Jimenez’s goal before breaking out in his popular terrace chant.
The video I posted has been retweeted thousands of times and reached 500,000 people – which made it BirminghamLive’s biggest sports tweet (until Jude Bellingham!).
The video has also been used by a number of leading news outlets in Mexico on Twitter and Facebook.
Ultimately, though, our social media channels are required to boost page impressions and occasionally you stumble across something which has the potential to go viral.
My tweet, posted from our Birmingham City account, which revealed Blues had retired Jude Bellingham’s shirt number resulted in just that.
The tweet itself reached 2.5 million people and I took advantage of the exposure by posting a series of links in a thread below. The breaking story received 74,000 clickthroughs from Twitter alone.
Something I always look out for is supporters’ comments and how they can be used to create a social post/story. It’s very rare to find a supporter heaping praise on rival fans – but when you do, it offers a unique opportunity to engage natively with your audience.
A Barnsley fan contacted our page to detail the wonderful gesture he and his friend had received during a match at Villa Park. I posted his comment on our Facebook page and my own personal Twitter account.
While the Facebook post reached in excess of 30,000 people, the tweet was retweeted hundreds of times and has been viewed by more than 130,000 people.
Despite the huge interest in football throughout the week, match days still represent the best way to engage with supporters on social media.
Supporters who aren’t at the game are often glued to Twitter and Facebook keen for any bits of information you can provide.
Aston Villa promotion special
I was tasked with leading our social media output for Villa’s play-off final against Derby County. This involved building up to the game with plenty of pre-match content and planning ahead in anticipation of a Villa win and promotion.
Promotion to the Premier League ensured we enjoyed an excellent day on Twitter with fans lapping up our pre and post-match posts.
On the day of the final our Aston Villa Twitter page accumulated a staggering one million impressions which led to a sizeable increase in followers.
I tried to blend creative posts, such as the video below, to simpler content which I knew fans would engage with and share.