It really surprised me a lot when I read that the name that is known to almost every sports fanatic and not just that of Soccer is officially not allowed to be on Facebook. Now that only applies to the official profiles and pages as of now. We are talking about Manchester United being absent from the social network. Very sad and even more astonishing. Why wouldn’t they resort to not having a fan page when they do have a website?
The news was broken forth by the football clubs communication department and the very news gives an idea that the club has no idea on how to maximize on the potential the social network has. The players have been strictly forbidden to create their profiles on the social network either. This sounds justified given the issues concerned with privacy. While I might be exaggerating here and siding with team management, I personally think it is quite justified given that valuable data might just leak out in one way or the other from the social network. But not having a page? Seriously this is more like ManU trying to be from stone age.
The management wants to make sure that the only source of news regarding the club should come from the clubs site. While that is perfectly fine, I think they could have leveraged the social networks population to drive more traffic to the primary site as well as actively engage the fans. A quick search for Manchester United reveals many unofficial pages, one of them has more than 360,000 users and the other is just a few thousand shy of 300,000. Which alone tells how much is being talked about the club across the network and that’s just Facebook, the conversation are in even large numbers on Twitter.
The strategy of sticking on with the more traditional form of media but eventually they are bound to lose big time. Fans want to be heard and the Web is giving them that power. I bet they will eventually move over to utilizing it for their own good. What would you all want to happen? Which one of your favorite players would you love to have on Facebook? Leave your answer in the comments.