Football fandom can be born in some very, very different places. Gone are the days when you had to wait for the daily newspaper to catch up on the previous night’s results or you ended up ‘watching’ a game on Teletext. Yes, that was really a thing.
In this ultra-digital age, clubs are seeking to ‘recruit’ fans from a very young age. Improving the brand is what the marketing departments of every club are tasked with, these days. One sure way to do that is to gain a huge following on social media. Get everyone talking about your club, liking and retweeting your posts, using your hashtag – it won’t be long before you’re trending – and to be trending… well, that’s the holy grail when it comes to online presence and almost-global recognition.
One of the newest social media platforms is TikTok. This application is a space where users can create and share short videos at the touch of a button. It’s available to use in 150 countries and 75 languages. It’s available to the iOS and Android markets so there’s really no excuse for not having it if you want it!
One European club that has wasted no time in jumping on the TikTok bandwagon is Serie A’s Inter Milan. The people at Internazionale have always taken pride in being ahead of the curve when it comes to social media and online interaction with their fanbase.
They place great importance on the strong bond they have created with their young fans through their online presence in recent years. The marketing team at Inter Milan are as proactive as any when it comes to exploring new social media platforms and expanding into fresh avenues to get quality content across to all the young Nerazzurri supporters globally.
Inter identified the TikTok app as another way to share short-form content with a growing amount of people. The club just launched its official TikTok channel in mid-December 2018.
For their fans, Inter offers some great exclusive content via TikTok. This ranges from behind-the-scenes action, goal celebrations, match highlights, skills and tricks, and archive footage from the retro days.
They also offer fans the opportunity to be featured on the club’s official channel as they will show the best fan choreographies from all over the globe.
Internazionale’s representative stated that the club’s new TikTok channel “caters to a very young audience”. and added that it “marks a new step which will help us to further expand our fanbase globally… as we look to create and share digital content relevant in various marketing contexts and to different age groups”.
It seems that the more technologically advanced our world becomes, the less patience we have. We want everything yesterday. Waiting isn’t an option. Translate that into social media and online content and it’s easier to understand why the short-form subject matter is really the only way to go with younger audiences. Clubs won’t get followers via some long, in-depth articles or feature-length documentary videos. It has to be quick, snappy, trendy and accessible.
Inter Milan’s TikTok channel now has over 12,000 followers and that is bound to grow ten-fold when the platform breaks into the European and American mainstream. The Italian club will hope to have gained more of a ‘head-start’ than 12,000 by the team other major European clubs take to TikTok.
2019 could be a huge year for the app, formerly known as musical.ly, and they will be looking to market themselves to every major worldwide brand possible. This will include football clubs. Imagine the impact on TikTok’s membership figures if Barcelona or Real Madrid announced they had opened an official channel on the platform.
Inter may have been the first to jump but there’s an opportunity there for all clubs to grow their young fanbase with TikTok. Digital Marketing has never been more important and it’s a role which is likely to take on more and more relevance as clubs continue to enhance their off-field, online reputations as well as their on-pitch achievements.