Social media is playing a major role in how everyone views football. Borussia Dortmund, in conversation with DW’s Alex Chaffer, tells of how they became one of the most followed online football clubs in the world.
Borussia Dortmund has around 12.6 million Facebook likes and around 1.4 million followers on Twitter, which is not at bad for a club that is having a horrible season!
Borussia Dortmund’s Facebook page was formed in 2007, which remained silent until 2011. Post 2011, this club made its presence felt and it was then that BVB started taking social media seriously.
“It was the first time for us, we had a strategy behind media,” says Görges.
The club has a unique style in interacting with people and posting on their wall. They ensure that their fans are targeted directly.
BVB’s Unique Style in Social Media
Twitter is Dortmund’s favourite social media tool. With limited word count, BVB tries its best to produce jokes and other one-liners.
“We fool around on various levels on other channels too. We are quite ironic on Twitter- it just helps us as we are better this way.”
Facebook has most of the club’s audience; hence, it takes a serious approach there.
Switching styles is the key. Jokes cannot be used all the time. Especially when we were not performing, it didn’t really justify lighter moments. It simply did not sound right, Görges explains. But the readers are the main audience.
“We use these channels for our fans.”
Behind the Stadium
The man who is responsible for Dortmund’s Twitter account starts at midnight and continues till the final moment.
He follows this like a ritual. He likes to park in the same spot for every game, Flore even goes over the bridge just before the kick-off to get a feel of the stadium.
“Two hours prior to the game, the live coverage starts. Without any script or plan during the game is the best way to be emotional.” explains Peter.
Flore’s favourite online moment was the one in which BVB missed numerous chances against Borussia Mönchengladbach, which saw BVB fans becoming impatient.
“We missed again and again; I just wrote ‘screw this.’ I also added a hashtag so that people don’t think that it was by mistake” he says. This led to a massive 12,000 retweets! The most-ever!
The only other time when the count came closer was when Sven Bender broke his nose, which made him change his shirt four times. This made Flore post a picture of Bender’s shirt in the shop with the tweet, “We have more.”
A Plan for the Future!
Dortmund has just one Facebook and Twitter account with only one language. With an ever-increasing reach the club wants to post in English and German, following other German clubs like Schalke, Mainz and Bayern Munich, who have multiple accounts in English as well as Spanish.
Peter Flore wants to write his comments in English before he does in German, to go with the right translation, but still posts in German. “Let’s see what happens in the next season, we have thought about opening another Twitter account.” says Görges
The club also plans on launching a mobile app, which will bring the inside story of each game to the fans. Other features such as weather and traffic reports will be included too. ”Almost all football fans are more mobile dependent than ever now. So, the mobile app is our plan for the future.” Görges says.
He continues to say, “I want my social media team to be like surfers paddling in the waves. They have to be both focused and sharp to ride new stories. A big wave should never be missed.”