When you’re the fifth major league team in town, it can be difficult to draw fans. That’s where social media comes in for the Philadelphia Union, a Major League Soccer team.
The team has built up more than 81,000 followers on Facebook and nearly 20,000 for its @PhilaUnion handle on Twitter − a significant base for a second-year team in a crowded sports market. It keeps rabid fans up to date with constant updates of news, statistics and contests, which are synced from the team website.
Can’t get to a game? You can follow it on your smartphone or computer since the Union sends out almost minute-by-minute tweets. Facebook updates are provided for major games as well. Immediately after a match, players tweet out comments and thanks for support of the team at the stadium and online.
Bringing fans close to players is a key part of the social media strategy. Star players like Sebastian Le Toux, Freddy Adu, Faryd Mondragon and Carlos Valdes post frequently, often holding contests or asking their local supporters about the best places to go in the city.
The team holds frequent contests of its own, such as giving away tickets for the best caption for a game photo; holds live chats on Facebook; and encourages fans to come to team meet-ups held around the city.
The results of these combined social media efforts and outreach to fans? Philadelphia Union – working toward a mission to “fill the bleachers” with fans – has already seen several sellout streaks, even though the team is only in its second season.
You can read more about the team’s social media strategy on Bleacher Report.