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15/02/2013 by

How Football Clubs Engage Fans On Instagram

With more than 90 million monthly users and still seeing a strong growth, it’s time for more football clubs to consider including Instagram in their social media strategy.

Instagram users share around 40 million photos on the service per day. The company, which was bought by Facebook last year, also revealed that Instagram members make 1,000 comments and 8,500 likes every second.

The whole experience of a football match and everything that surrounds it is filled with visual stimulants. Football clubs can take advantage of Instagram by using these photos to tell a story about their brand and connecting fans to the brand through photography.

But be careful! Instagram users are not looking for the well known, plain sport photography. Instead they really want that specific content which brings them closer to their favorite teams and players.

Here are some great content examples from clubs and fans how to really leverage the Instagram platform.

LA Galaxy’s ‘behind-the-scenes’ experiences

Fans love to see what goes on behind the scenes. The opportunity to catch a glimpse of that “secret” world can create a strong connection between a fan and their favorite team.

Fans on Instagram love content that divers from the regular photo content which can be found on news sites and the official club website: the stadium tunnel, the locker room and the fitness room, as in the example above from LA Galaxy.

Romagram, an Instagram Api for AS Roma Fans

Matteo Santiloni from Italy had the idea to mix his  passion for As Roma with Instagram and the result is a website called

“The aim was to experiment with the Instagram API and to gather in one place all the Instagram pictures with the tag of my very favorite football team #ASROMA.

“The site has immediately gained the attention of AS Roma so that we have made a partnership. They’ve even put the link to our Romagram site on their their official website!”

Manchester City’s themed contests

Although I’m not a big Manchester City fan, I love their online and social marketing and especially the way they engage with fans on Instagram.

Each week for example, club snapper Sharon Latham gives City’s Instagram followers a theme, such as “Do the Tevez”, “Fireworks” and “Sing your hearth out”.

The best three photos as chosen by Sharon are given pride of place on the club’s website.

FC Barcelona’s official Instagramer for one day

FC Barcelona takes it a bit further. Their latest contest gave fans the opportunity to become the official ‘FCB Instagramer’ for one day. Fans were asked to show their passion for FC Barcelona by posting images about the club, its history, values and identity on Instagram using #IgersFC.

The winners of the contest was FC Barcelona’s official Instagramers for the Barça-Osasuna match. It was the first time a Barça game was told through photos.

In addition, whenever Barça play at the Camp Nou, thousands of photos of the stadium are posted live. The Club’s official account highlights some of these photos.

OnsOranje’s Instagram Activation

OnsOranje, in English “Our Orange” is the meeting place for all the Dutch National Team fans.

For the latest friendly match against Italy, OnsOranje activated the official Instagram account with the help of a Dutch Instagram influencer, who had unlimited access to the pitch, press rooms, player tunnel and other parts of the stadium that are closed to fans.

The Instagram account was filled with unique content in advance, during and after the match.

Fans were asked to upload their photo’s to Instagram with #nedita, #OnsOranje and #Oranjegram.

The fan content and the official content made by the Instagram influencer was shown in a Facebook app on the official OnsOranje page.

My opinion?
Instagram can be a very useful tool in a club’s social media assets and provide another way to connect fans to the brand.

As you can see in the examples above, some clubs and teams have made some forays into the world of Instagram, but their is still progress to be made.

What About You?

Is your favorite team or player active on Instagram? What do you prefer more? Engaging with your club on the official club website? Or do you believe that for example mobile apps Instagram is the future for fan communication?

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About the author
Laurens Bianchi is an online marketing professional from the Netherlands and has been blogging on ViralBlog since 2008. Currently Laurens is a Managing Partner and Commercial Director at ICON&Co and Social Media Consultant for the Royal Dutch Football Association.



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