Italian football and Serie A has some serious shortcomings when talking about the marketing and social strategy deployed by the clubs.
It seems only a handful of the giants on the Peninsula know what they are doing, in terms of fan outreach and marketing, most notably Roma, Juventus and AC Milan. The gold-standard for off-the-pitch work is easily the Premier League, where all teams handle their social media content miles better than their Italian counterparts.
The majority of Serie A sides do not even operate English accounts. Provincial sides Udinese and Sampdoria are two of the few who Tweet in English, and the results have been positive. Both are on the upside of 250,000 followers on Twitter alone.
“Social Media is the new media”
This is the difference, this is why fan engagement is so much lower for Italian sides than it is for the English. It isn’t solely down to TV deals or overpaid players, it’s the fact some sides from the Bel Paese continue to operate like it’s 1995.
Every single club should have an English social media department, and that’s the absolute bare-minimum they should do. Shirt giveaways, autographs, responding to fans, even the cheeky banter tweets would up their social game. It’s not a matter of tradition or modernisation, it’s engaging the fans and curious new-comers. A team like Chievo Verona could even benefit from adopting a social strategy similar to the English. The sad thing is, its so simple, and probably won’t happen.
Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have changed the game. Fans now feel closer and more interactive with their teams, and unfortunately for Calcio fans, there isn’t a lot being done to make you feel closer to the clubs.
I’ll give you an example of a club in Italy turning it around and doing their digital media right: Roma.
Paul Rogers, the man who for several years operated Liverpool’s social department, turned Roma into the most modern and engaging club in Italy. Statistically speaking, since Rogers became the director of the Giallorossi’s digital media team, the club entered into the Top 5 most engaged club in Europe. That’s tremendous. It’s a blueprint other clubs must follow.
— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) June 30, 2017
Even as Serie A has rebounded on the pitch and we are now set to embark on the most competitive and exciting league campaign in the past decade, much more needs to be done.