Social Media and Wealdstone FC

20151004_Social_media_newsAs part of the forward looking strategy in raising awareness of the Club both in the local Community and to potentially wider commercial organisations the club have embarked on improving it’s presence through the various Social media outlets.

In Saturday’s programme a taster was provided as to where we are and the how we plan to move forward by  Craig Whitehead, the Club’s Social Media Manager which is set-out below for those who may have missed it or weren’t at the game.

Tell us about yourself

I live in Pinner and have been coming to Wealdstone FC for the past 10 years or so.

What’s your day job?

Currently, I work in logistics for a company that supplies outdoor products and lighting decorations to trade customers. My previous job was in the social media department of a large gambling company.

Why does WFC need a social media manager?

Fans expect to be able to keep up with everything WFC-related in different ways. Having a website is great, but the WFC family has so much to say and share, and social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) gives us a variety of ways to do that. We want to make sure that we deliver up-to-the-minute news, start interesting conversations, and become an integral part of our community. And coordinating all the component parts requires planning, creativity and focus.

How did you come to be WFC’s social media manager?

I’ve been working on WFC’s social media for about nine months now. I had spotted a gap in WFC’s offering. My background in social media meant I could offer the skills to help develop this important part of the club’s work, with the aim of delivering effective and professional communication to help the club to talk to fans and the wider community. I plan, schedule and create each week’s posts, then analyse engagement (likes, views, shares etc.) across all our platforms, and prepare reports for the board.

So, tell us about social media at WFC.

In July 2015, we launched all new, centrally co-ordinated social media channels. We adopted a ‘one club’ approach to share updates about not only the first team, but also the ladies’ team, youth team, walking football team and social club news.

The benefit of this for fans is that instead of having to check in several places, it is now all under one roof. Essentially, the left foot now knows what the right foot is doing…

We aim to provide unique and quality content and during the coming months, we will build on our strong start with more interviews, behind-the-scenes insights and other video content.

It’s important to us that our social media helps us reinforce the links we have with our supporters, as well as the wider community and local businesses, encouraging them to get involved. We don’t just want to post news – we want to start conversations, celebrate successes, and stimulate a bit of friendly debate. Recent examples of the type of posts are photo quizzes such as ‘guess the former player’, or ‘on this day’ announcements, or conversation starters such as score predictions.

Social media also gives us the chance to thank the business community and sponsors for their support, and will allow us to reach out to schools and colleges – growing our fan base among the area’s younger population, and even offering work experience.

Most people know about Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but what other platforms can people link into?

From the start of the season we increased our video output via YouTube but we also offer pre-match video content via Periscope and Vine.

Vine is a short-form video sharing service where users can share six second-long looping video clips – perfect for watching goals slamming into the net, over… and over… and over again. Periscope is a live video streaming app for phones.

Of course, creating all this content takes time, and we plan to grow the team to help us manage that. I’ll be involved in training new team members on the platforms we use, how to create good content, and best practice.

What people have seen on WFC’s social media in the past couple of months is just the start. We have big plans for what we want to produce and share with fans and the wider world, showing them what is so great about our club. The best is yet to come.

Head over to the website and click on the social media links on the homepage. If you aren’t following the club’s pages already, sign up for all the latest on the ‘Stones’.

Craig Whitehead