The flood of support and passion that makes the Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium vibrate on every football match day is also reflected on social networks. Sevilla FC has reinforced its commitment to these digital channels, achieving notable success: in just one year it has managed to increase its total number of followers by 32%, reaching 8.3 million. A figure that has allowed them to position themselves as the fourth club with the most followers, after overtaking Valencia CF; followed by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid.
Sevilla’s head of social media, José Ángel Risco, admits that they are very satisfied with the results obtained on social media, despite the fact that they come at a time when the club is going through a difficult period in terms of sport, as they are thirteenth in the league.
Their strategy, which depends on the communication and branding teams, headed by Jesús Gómez and Vanesa Bassora, respectively, is based on the club’s intention to undertake a profound digital transformation. In fact, the work of this team is also strictly aligned to the digital department.
“The first turning point of this transformation in the social media plan,” Risco told, “was the reinforcement of staff. In 12 months they have doubled their staff from four to eight professionals. In addition to his position, the social media team is made up of three community managers, three video editors and an international network manager.
It is precisely this last point, internationalisation, that is another of the key axes of the roadmap, as it is committed to the opening of specific accounts by language. For example, Sevilla FC has Twitter and Facebook accounts in English, Japanese and Arabic, and is also present on Sina Weibo – the main social network in China.
The Asian country, explains Risco, “is the big target for European clubs, as they are interested in football. Sevilla is already working there, our numbers are quite low, but we have an important presence”. The Andalusian club has a team of four Chinese collaborators there who take part in social media to talk about matches or the team’s current affairs.
Their strong commitment to international audiences on social networks is also evidenced by the support they hire from communication agencies in China, India, the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom to generate content adapted to their respective cultures and trends.
Sevilla FC has managed to rank among the four football clubs with the most followers on social networks.
The results speak for themselves. On Twitter, “our informative social network par excellence, which reaches our top echelons and fans”, they have reached 1.6 million followers. Facebook, “which, although perceived as a network for the elderly or abandoned, works very well for us in the Arab world or South America”, has 2.8 million users. On Instagram, where they display their own audiovisual resources, they have almost 2 million. And on Tik Tok: 1.4 million; Sina Weibo, 25,000 and Twitch, where they have recently gained access, 5,700 followers.
The social media team is also responsible for managing their YouTube channel. In fact, it was the first one they started to exploit, reaching the Top 5, with 193,000 subscribers. Only surpassed by Madrid, Barça, Atlético de Madrid and Betis -which also has a solid strategy in this area-.
Planning and objectives
The social media team starts each week with a meeting with the Communication department to put on the table all the content forecasts – signings, matches, events…, -. Based on this list, the social media manager applies a filtering process with his team, prioritises the content to be presented to the Brand teams and then draws up a calendar of publications, which they also coordinate with their agencies abroad, while starting the production part.
It is not uncommon for the pre-established calendar to be altered due to breaking news. For these cases, Risco explains, “we have the capacity to react quickly” and adds that “the most important time in terms of impact is in the afternoon, when Latin America is awake and Spanish users are more active. The morning tends to be more institutional content”.
The impact of all publications is analysed through external tools, although the social media team is already working with the Big Data department to develop its own tool, with Artificial Intelligence, to provide specific data to better understand its audiences.
Another of the challenges that the head of the digital community is proposing is to also position itself in the Top 4 clubs with the most followers on social networks in the Iberian Peninsula. This would mean, on the one hand, achieving a double-digit total figure and, on the other, surpassing the level of loyalty on the network of Porto and Benfica.