Mmegi Online :: Local clubs fail to catch social media frenzy
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Last Updated
Monday 19 November 2018, 13:52 pm.
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Local clubs fail to catch social media frenzy

Visibility on social media has become key for football clubs across the world, as the platforms provide a crucial interaction stage with various stakeholders. Clubs have used popular sites such as Facebook to grow their support base and reach out to a wider global audience. On the local scene, bar Township Rollers, most clubs have been languid in their use of social media, MQONDISI DUBE observes
By Mqondisi Dube Fri 08 Jun 2018, 15:05 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Local clubs fail to catch social media frenzy








The days when football team supporters would wait for that weekly publication or the evening radio or television bulletin for news updates, are slowing disappearing into the horizon.

In between the next press or bulletin, supporters relied on ‘unreliable’ word of mouth for updates on the latest news within camp.

But the advent of social media has, or at least is expected to have, eliminated much of the distance between the supporters and clubs.

In the world, La Liga clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona have effectively taken full advantage of new media with more than 100 million followers on Facebook, while Manchester United are the leaders in the UK.

 Facebook is the most utilised platform, with the majority of smart phone users or those exposed to the internet, having access to the interactive platform.

Football clubs the world over have taken advantage of Facebook as it is cost-free, less complicated and has a wider reach.

In Botswana, Facebook has remained far more popular than other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat.

It can be used as a platform to drive meaningful engagement and expose the club’s corporate partners to a wider audience, gaining the much sought-after mileage in the process.

While most clubs have lagged behind in utilising social media as a useful communication tool, trendsetting Township Rollers has surged ahead.

The club has more than 244,000 followers on its Facebook page, which is regularly updated with useful information, including fixtures, general news within the camp and merchandise sales.  Player profiles and even graphic line-ups are regular fixtures on the club’s colourful page.

Rollers spokesperson, Bafana Pheto says the club has a dedicated social media person, who regularly updates their social media platforms.

“Nowadays people rely on social media for communication.  We saw it fit to have a vibrant Facebook page as it is easier for people to access social media,” explains Pheto.

Fading giants, Mochudi Centre Chiefs slot into second in terms of page popularity, but the Facebook page is not regularly updated, with the likes of Orapa United, Jwaneng Galaxy, Sharps Shooting Stars, Black Forest and Sankoyo Bush Bucks well ahead. Clubs like Black Forest have utilised the platform to advertise their merchandise, where else some use the space to inform supporters about fixtures and general news.

Chiefs general manager, Clifford Mogomotsi admits local clubs have failed to take full advantage of social media.

“There is a lapse on our side. This is one of the new innovations, which we constantly come across during our benchmarking trips. In Spain and South Africa, that’s what they do. We need dedicated officers for new media. Unfortunately, the arrangement of societies, which we currently have, does not cater for positions for such modern trends,” Mogomotsi says.

Botswana Premier League (BPL), chief executive officer, Thabo ‘Styles’ Ntshinogang acknowledges the power of

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new media, but admitted his office has not engaged clubs on the initiatives.

“Social media, which we call new media in sport, is quite key. It brings huge value for sports. It is surprising that most clubs have not taken care of that platform yet.  The sports world is moving fast though. There is what we now call e-sports, which European clubs have jumped into,” Ntshinogang says.

“We have not engaged our clubs on these initiatives yet, but we will in the near future.  I am hoping to talk to a few people when I am in Russia (for the World Cup), to come and talk about these issues.”

 

The social media ‘log standings’

1. Township Rollers

244,587 likes

244,538 followers

Very active *****

Last update: June 01, 2018 Drago, Mpote released

 

 2. Mochudi Centre Chiefs

52,313 likes

52,219 following

Active ***

Last update: May 30, 2018, reaction to TAFIC’s challenge on Chiefs’ affiliation

 

 

3. Extension Gunners

25,087 likes

25,137 followers

Less active **

Last update: May 23, 2018 ‘Hallo Guna Guna Let’s go and support our boys’

 

4. Orapa United

23,167 likes

23,382 followers

Very Active ****

Last update: June 02, 2018 about BPL awards nominees

 

5. Gaborone United

22,586 likes

22,597 followers

Less active **

Last update: April 28, 2018. Reminder about the next game and a special meeting at Nanogang School

 

6. Sankoyo Bush Bucks

21,371 likes

21,344 followers

Active ****

Last update: June 02, 2018, about COSAFA Cup quarter final fixtures

 

7. Jwaneng Galaxy

18,181 likes

18,296 followers

Very active ****

 

Last update: June 4, 2018, urging fans to vote for the team in the Charity Cup poll

 

 8. Gilport Lions (Relegated)

17, 725 likes

17,718 followers

Inactive *

Last update: December 17, 2018, about trials after some players terminated contracts

 

 9.Miscellaneous

9,643 likes

9,660 followers

Active ***

Last update: June 1, 2018, wishing defender Fortune ‘Mahindra’ Thulare a happy birthday

 

10. Notwane (Newly promoted)

9,573 likes

9650 followers

Active ***

Last update: June 4, 2018 about the club’s forthcoming Annual General Meeting in Palapye

 

11. TAFIC (Relegated)

8358 likes

8362 followers

Inactive *

Last update: January 26, 2018, updating cover picture, with team that won the 2002 Coca Cola Cup

 

12. BDF XI

8338 likes

8328 followers

Less active **

 

Last update: May 05, 2018, announcing the team’s match against Security Systems

13. Black Forest

8,002 likes

8019 followers

Very active ****

Last update: June 6, 2018 ‘How much do you miss Black Forest in action’

 

14. Security Systems

5,308 likes

5327 followers

Active ***

Last update: May 24, 2018, about team surviving relegation

 

15. Police XI

4851 likes

4845 followers

Less active **

Last update: May 6, 2018 BTC Premiership log update

 

16. Sharps Shooting Stars

4,355 likes

4390 followers

Very active ****

Last update: June 6, 2018, about a key player opting to stay with the team

 

17. Uniao Flamengo Santos (Relegated)

1,985 likes

1987 followers

Inactive *

Last update: January 12, 2018 about early kick off game against Sharps Shooting Stars due to floodlights failure at the Molepolole Sports Complex

 

18. Prisons XI (newly promoted)

1,890 likes

1,893 followers

Less active **

Last update: May 18, 2018, About the last meeting of the season

 

19. BR Highlanders

1,566 likes

1,567 followers

Less active **

Last update: April 14, 2018 ‘Stimela sa lelemela..’

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