FINALLY! Celtic have now a presence on both Facebook and Twitter, and it's been a long time coming. Celtic have had their facebook page for a while now and they are sitting pretty on 144,249 likes, however this pales in comparison to the likes of Manchester City who sit at 1,733,219, Liverpool at 8,052,963 and Manchester United on 22,047,580.
Celtic finally launched their twitter account, in my opinion at least a year behind when they should have really delved into the social network site. With 12532 twitter followers currently, they sit far behind the likes of Barcelona who have 3,013,583 for example.
Now it is fully understandable that Celtic will be far behind given the start the other clubs have on such social network sites, coupled with the worldwide appeal that such clubs have given the leagues that they play in and the marketing they employ.
But they should at least equal if not surpass that of rivals Rangers, who sit at 28,638 followers on twitter and 229,355 likes on Facebook.
The main twitter feed @CelticFC is set to bring fans all the latest general club news, views, team lineups and minute by minute text commentary of first team matches, along with other feature pieces and news on the official website. Something that I do with Scotzine's very own twitter accounts from time to time.
The club's media team will undertake the running of the official twitter page, promising to bring you photos, videos and competitions as well as asking for fan input on various matters related to the club.
The key thing is interacting with the fans. There is no point having such a site and just post links to articles, photos or other tweets, ignoring the fans who are following the site. So far they seem to be interacting well with fans who send comments in and while a club account is always seen as producing propaganda that is positive all the time, it cuts out the middle man - ie. the Scottish mainstream media.
Outwith Neil Lennon's twitter account, the man who has done the most for Celtic on twitter has been Tony Hamilton aka @PolishTurnstile and I have frequently talks to Tony over issues in Scottish football specifically Celtic and recently met the man at the League Cup semi final match on the 29th February as Celtic beat Falkirk 3-1, it is always great to put a face to the moniker even if it was brief.
So ideally what should the twitter accounts tweet?
Regular Weekly Competitions – where football shirts, signed photos/prints, free tour of stadium, tickets are given away to followers/fans. Surveys & Questionnaires – asking the fans what they think of specific issues related to the club. Charity events – promote charity events, sale of tickets, auction bids etc.
Q&A with Players/Club legends – A weekly or monthly event where fans on twitter/facebook can ask a current player or legend questions and inconjunction with the media team to answer them. Regular updates during matches of the action on the field – goal flashes, bookings, subs etc. Promote the new issue of the Celtic View magazine which could lead to increased sales.
Just a few ideas.
Personally, I have a lot of time for what Rab Boyle is doing with the Rangers' social network accounts despite the differing rivalries. He is someone who understands social network and that is what Celtic need also. Another is the team behind the Manchester City social network accounts who despite working with a small budget [despite the financial might the club has to buy players on the field] are on top of their game and are what Celtic should aspire too somewhat on the net at least.
And if you are feeling in the mood to follow some folk after reading this, why not follow my own twitter account @scotzine.