So, Manchester United – one of the world’s biggest brands – has announced the launch of its own twitter and Sina Weibo account. We admit, this suprised us a little; surely a big brand with such a global following has had a foray into social media before?
Well, it does have a Facebook page – and a pretty active one at that with over 34 million followers. Of course the club’s official press office has had a Twitter account for a while, since it appears that the media are more engaged in social media than the fans; though that’s unlikely given that 100,000 followers signed up in the first 60 minutes of launch.
What surprised us most here at Skout HQ is that Man Utd has been able to manage its brand across the globe without a microblogging feed in any language. As B2B PR specialists we spend a lot of our time advising companies on social media policies and strategies. In the past some B2B clients have not always seen the value in using social media platforms to engage with their stakeholders, feeling that it’s the preserve of B2C brands only.
We’ve always advised B2B brands that while it may initially feel uncomfortable communicating so directly with interested parties, building relationships in this way is very quick and effective. Which is why we were flabbergasted to discover that the one of the world’s premier (forgive the pun) consumer brand has only just launched their Twitter feed. Or have we got wrong – is social media on its way out as a communications channel? Let us know your thoughts?