LaLiga Unveils Social Media, Digital Platform Strategy
LaLiga now boasts a community of 60 million followers and counting. The digital strategy that was implemented over the course of the 2017/18 season saw LaLiga’s social media presence grow more than any other football competition in the world. Consequently, LaLiga has overtaken the Premier League and NBA — two of its main competitors — in number of Facebook followers, a statistic to give great cause for optimism moving into the future.
“At LaLiga, we’ve taken into account that our fans aren’t just Spaniards, but rather our community reaches all four corners of the globe.” says Alfredo Bermejo, the director of Digital Strategy. The statement sums up the business roadmap that LaLiga followed throughout the 2017/18 season.
LaLiga’s follower numbers on all its social media channels have grown significantly, and at a rate greater than the other big European leagues. The key factor behind this has been opting for a global content creation strategy, which involves content with the same message but in different languages, specific to the local market. This has seen LaLiga cater to the preferences and concerns of fans across the world.
Above the Premier League and the NBA
Thanks to content that’s tailored to each audience and social media platform, LaLiga hasn’t just become the fastest-growing competition and caught up with the Premier League and the NBA on many fronts. Statistics also show that it has performed admirably in stimulating fan engagement on social media.
The following statistics are proof of the gigantic growth that LaLiga has undergone on social media. Despite growing over 50% on Facebook and 38.82% on Twitter, it’s on Instagram that LaLiga has experienced its largest spike in followers — gaining 4,049,113, which represents a 112.88% increase on the previous season. Thanks to its engaging content and savvy use of the Instagram Stories feature, LaLiga can now boast twice the number of interactions on Instagram as the Premier League, which at 17,196,973 has almost double as many followers as LaLiga, yet lower engagement than its Spanish counterpart.
If compared to competitions of a similar level of prestige, such as the NBA or the Champions League, LaLiga is still above these in terms of increase in followers and engagement on Facebook. In fact, it’s the only competition that has grown compared to the previous season, with 88% more interactions.
LaLiga’s Social Media Offered in More Than Ten Languages
According to Bermejo, LaLiga’s growing presence on social media has been bolstered by “a global workforce through which we’re able to gain an in-depth understanding of our fans’ tastes.” The director of digital strategy also acknowledges that “Asian fans are more interested in the big-name players rather than the clubs themselves, although this trend is changing.”
The adoption of this global outlook has seen LaLiga reach out to its fans in various languages on a regular basis. “We’ve gone from communicating with our followers in Spanish and English to doing so in over 10 languages, which has brought us closer to new communities and fans,” states Bermejo. What’s more, LaLiga has created Twitter accounts for Japanese, French, and Portuguese-speaking fans as well as penetrating the Russian market through popular social network VKontakte to great success. In addition to the aforementioned, LaLiga has Arabic and English language Twitter feeds and profiles on Chinese social media platforms WeChat and Sina Weibo, where it has been increasing its presence over the last two years. According to Bermejo, “LaLiga’s aim is to be a global brand. While in Spain the premium product is highly sought after, the appetite internationally is far greater still.”
Through this multilingual content strategy, LaLiga has also offered Thai, Korean, Turkish, Hindi, and Swahili speakers content in their native tongues. They have additionally reached out to the people of Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria through the use of Pidgin English, a variant that first emerged as a means of communication among specific groups that didn’t otherwise have a language in common. “Despite the fact that internet penetration levels are still very low in Africa, the continent offers the greatest potential for growth across the world, with our activity having grown more than 20% in the last year,” notes Bermejo.
Yet all this content isn’t just about the big stars. LaLiga has also sought out other means of increasing its brand value, such as by supporting and promoting the individual brands of its 42 clubs, championing the social responsibility and integration initiative LaLiga Genuine and showcasing new talents and tomorrow’s stars through the LaLiga Promises youth tournaments.
“LaLiga is a global entertainment brand, we boast the best product on the planet and have to take full advantage of that,” concludes Bermejo. Awareness of the tastes of its fans, communicating with them in their languages and offering tailor-made content at the click of a button has been a strategy that has seen LaLiga rise to the top of the digital sporting content and entertainment table.