Gelsenkirchen - As regular competitors in the UEFA Champions League and boasting a packed with internationals from across the globe, it’s no surprise that FC Schalke 04 continue to blaze a trail in the world of social media.

The official club website provides fans with content in five languages - German, English, Russian, Chinese and Japanese - while there are a myriad of ways to stay informed about the Royal Blues on social media. A German and Japanese official Twitter account and official pages on China’s three biggest social networking sites (Sina Weibo, Tencent Webo and WeChat) bring club news to fans the world over, and on Thursday, die Knappen added a new string to their interactive bow.

First in Germany

Schalke have become the first club in Germany to use the Global Pages initiative on Facebook, a scheme that allows them to deliver content tailored to fans in a specific region of the world. Japan is currently the first and only country where this is already in practice, although English- and Spanish-speaking regions are set to be added in the near future.

“This is an extremely innovative tool that allows us to communicate with our many international fans via the web in an even more specific way," said Schalke’s marketing director Alexander Jobst. “The expansion and rapid localisation of our global presence is another important step in our internationalisation measures in the club media area.”

The Traditionsverein from Germany’s Ruhr region have over two million fans on Facebook, as well as close to 200,000 followers on their German Twitter account and close to 50,000 followers on their profile on the image-sharing network Instagram.