A quick survey on online presence, visibility and regular updates and information regarding the clubs' activities leaves a lot to be desired. Kenyan social media enthusiasts take up your roles and make this year a winning one for Kenyan sport on social media.
|Tweep, can we play ball? image courtesy of www.flickr.com|
This ranking was done on Facebook and Twitter which are the biggest social media platforms currently. Our non-scientific survey is based on clubs' official pages, fan pages and 'likes' as well as official Twitter handles (or pages) and fans too. Since most clubs do not have an official page and even when they do, there are other duplicated ones, we shall aggregate each of these to the nearest 100th person/like( NB: These was as of 17th February 2012 based on Internet findings);
- Gor Mahia - An estimated 59,500 Likes on various Facebook pages. These range from official pages to fan pages to others like 'Gor Mahia is not a club, its a lifestyle, but do we say?' Their web-page's www.gormahia.net - this site aggregates info on the club from other news sites and is quite basic. No links to Facebook or Twitter accounts. There are 3 Twitter pages linked to Gor Mahia @GOR_MAHIA - 108 followers, @Gor_MahiaFC - 99 followers and @Onegreenfamily - 289 followers bringing total to 596 followers.
- AFC Leopards - An estimated 18,300 Likes on various Facebook pages also has wide range such as ' AFC Leopards Facebook Branch'. The club has a website www.afcleopards.net which is quite interactive. The site has a link to the Facebook and Twitter accounts and also has YouTube channel linked to SmartTV which went burst a few weeks ago. The club also has 4 different Twitter handles @afcleopards_SC - 316 followers, @afcleopards - 272 followers, @ingweleopards (fans page) - 628 followers and @AFC_Leopards - 43 followers totalling 1259 followers.
- Sofapaka FC - with an estimated 5,100 Likes on Facebook pages, batoto ba Mungu's football club is 3rd most visible club on social media. The club's website www.sofapaka.com is also quite well-done and frequently updated. It also has Twitter page @SOFAPAKA with 98 followers and another unofficial one @Sofapaka_Kenya with 79 followers - 177 in total
- Ulinzi Stars FC - is at number 4 of the social media savvy football clubs. It has 2835 Likes on its Facebook page. Its Twitter handle is @UlinziStarsFC with 234 followers. It is without a website despite being one of the biggest clubs in the country and having a wide followership not just in the army ranks but with ordinary football fans.
- Mathare United FC - carries the top 5 of the football clubs on social media. It has a modest 2800 Likes on Facebook. The club has a website www.mathareunitedFC.co.ke which needs a bit of sprucing to meet the current season's set-up and corporate identity. You can also access their details via www.mysakenya.org which is the parent company under which Mathare United FC was borne. Its Twitter handle @MathareunitedFC has 313 followers.
|Do you Like what you see? - Image courtesy of www.facebook.com|
A lot of work needs to be done to these among other clubs which are featuring in the Kenyan Premier League. The League is also rapidly engaging with social media enthusiasts and fans alike and revamped its website at www.kpl.co.ke and also has a Twitter handle @KenyaPremierLg with 1,568 followers & 676 Likes on its Facebook page.
- Constant review and regular updates are a must in social media where as they say, it's not a monologue but an exchange of ideas between the clubs/management and the fans.
- Competitive brand offers can be made every so often to increase visibility and have a sense of ownership to the followers and fans alike - e.g. AFC Leopards did engage some of its fans last season online and even managed to book flight tickets to a local game in Mombasa - brand loyalty anyone?
- Instant feedback on ways to improve the clubs' fortunes - from suggested playmakers to colours of the team, club management can use social media to have fans engage them instantly.
- Sponsorships - many a clubs internationally have had sponsors who are willing to look beyond the usual streams of revenue to engage and entice users. Social media platforms can supplement to such campaigns and ensure sponsors have a wider audience and measurable means of showing success rate of the campaigns.
These are but a few points which Kenyan clubs and sports management specialists can learn from. Finally let's look at the top 5 Football Social Media League as of December 2011;
- Barcelona-25,359,311 Facebook fans(27,030,540 Likes); 2,316,765 Twitter followers = 25,676,076 fans
- Real Madrid-22,182,985 Facebook fans( 24,876,778 Likes);2,872,018 Twitter followers = 25,055,003 fans
- Manchester United-20,269,260 fans (22,598,283 Likes); 102,773 Twitter followers= 20,269,200 fans
- Arsenal - 8,155,842 fans (8,989,136 Likes); 1,061,636 Twitter followers = 9,217,478 fans
- Chelsea - 7,885,970 fans (8,704,028 Likes); 501,375 Twitter followers = 8,387,345 fans
This shows you the power of social media. It's free and its waiting for you, just LOG ON & GET GOING!