Twitter and social media are now a part of modern life as much as eating, breathing and enjoying Bundesliga football. But there was a time many moons ago when Twitter was just starting out and football clubs were looking to get in on the action – and with varying degrees of initial success.
Time has moved on since many of the Bundesliga’s clubs began their Twitter journeys, with teams winning silverware and progressing through the divisions. Much like looking back at photos of yourself as a child, seeing your first-ever Tweet can leave you a little red-faced…
We’ll take a look at how Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs made their debuts in the world of social media, and analyse the tactical breakdown of their approaches to the sport of tweeting.
The ‘welcome’ tweet
A classic, gentle approach to taking your first steps into the Twittersphere where you let your potential followers know what they’re in for with your tweets. These will have been discussed, checked and approved at all levels before being allowed into the public eye.
As ever, Bayern Munich did a professional job on both of their English language Twitter sites. No beating around the bush, this is what you’ll get from the record champions.
Darmstadt are yet to expand into the realms of the English Twittersphere, but sent their first tweet out whilst still in the then third tier Regionalliga Süd announcing themselves as ‘the unofficial Twitter page for SV Darmstadt 98.’ Still an unknown entity back then, the Lilies debut tweet received just the one like and retweet.
Herzlich Willkommen zum inoffiziellen Twitter-Profil des SV Darmstadt 98!— SV Darmstadt 98 (@sv98) February 20, 2009
Stuttgart have delved into the English market but appeared to be lacking a shift key on their keyboard based on the lack of capital letters. Their debut tweet may also not have gone through the rigorous process of checking and approving no doubt done by other clubs, as they were quickly caught out on their statement of being five-time Bundesliga champions, despite only having three titles since the Bundesliga’s inception in 1963. Woops!
The personal approach
Many clubs went down a different avenue and made their debut tweet a personal one for their target market. Of course not forgetting to get that star face involved...
Howdy VfL Wolfsburg fans! 👋The Wolves have arrived in the USA! 🇺🇸⚽️🐺 pic.twitter.com/8dn9yOiQw6— VfL Wolfsburg US (@VfLWolfsburg_US) December 23, 2016
Logically when you’re just starting out on social media, you want to increase your following. That makes Cologne and Leipzig’s tweets perfect sense, and Borussia Mönchengladbach – or ‘A German Team’ as they like to call themselves now – followed suit.
The Billy Goats, however, went one better to offer one of their first 1000 followers a personalised kit. Union Berlin, though, decided to launch with a joke offer of ‘no season ticket for the 100th follower.’ That of course followed by a humble ‘good day’ as they took their first Twitter steps.
Guten Tag. Der 100. Follower gewinnt keine Dauerkarte! ;)— 1. FC Union Berlin (@fcunion) September 9, 2010
Translation: Good day. The 100th follower does not win a season ticket! ;)
Does anyone remember the original use of the # symbol? Perhaps I’m too young, but a certain online encyclopaedia tells me it had to do with numbers. Nowadays, the hashtag is synonymous with Twitter and social media – and Freiburg and Hoffenheim appeared intent on getting as many into their first tweet as possible.
Translation: SC Freiburg: First game of 09/10: http://tinyurl.com/mwam3y; Live pictures at http://tinyurl.com/lbq8g8 #sc_freiburg#bundesliga #zaplive
The big announcement
Of course you cannot just expect your followers to be there from the moment you first tweet. It makes sense then to send out a little warning post and let any potential followers know in an official-sounding tweet.
Or you can follow the route taken by Hamburg’s recently launched English account and go for the full, passionate commentator’s announcement.
To the point
Why beat around the bush with your first tweet when you can just declare your outright support for your team like St Pauli? Short, sweet, to the point, one hashtag and even grammatically correct. They’re ticking all the boxes in Hamburg.
The big build-up
Already have an English Twitter account? Want a second for your US market? Well, send your mascot on a ‘top-secret’ trip and start building up the suspense…
We’ve been at this for years
Why make a big entrance to the world of Twitter? Just dive straight on in there and tweet like you’ve been doing it for years. Maybe no one will notice you’ve not even said hello…
BVB startet mit Kantersieg: Kehl und Feulner— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 12, 2010
treffen doppelt beim 9:0 gegen Hohenlimburg: Für die deutsche Fußbal... http://bit.ly/bDDQQW
Translation: BVB start with a comfortable 9-0 win over Hohenlimburg. Kehl and Feulner score twice. For German football... http://bit.ly/bDDQQW
Team training: Di Santo and Obraniak return: Neither Franco Di Santo nor Ludovic Obraniak were fit enough to p... http://t.co/sAeyqwYge4— SV Werder Bremen EN (@werderbremen_en) August 20, 2014
Eintracht looking to keep up form http://bit.ly/9jCoSk— Eintracht Frankfurt (@eintracht_eng) August 10, 2010
Mannschaft trainiert im Stadion. Gute Bedingungen. Außer Meichelbeck und Ilicevic alle Mann dabei. Nachmittags Pressekonferenz— SpVgg Greuther Fürth (@kleeblattfuerth) February 20, 2009
Translation: The team is training at the stadium. Good conditions. Everyone except Meichelbeck and Ilicevic there. Press conference in the afternoon
Trotz Sturm und Regen: Das gestrige Abendtraining lief ohne Probleme und weitere Verletzungen.— DSC ArminiaBielefeld (@arminia) November 19, 2009
Translation: Despite rain and a storm, yesterday evening's training went by without a problem or injuries.
Pick something and somewhere that makes you happy and tweet it. Add a picture of that thing and place with a link to your Instagram, and you have Mainz’s first step into the world of Twitter. Simple yet elegant?
Did you know it’s OFFICIAL?
Of course, we can’t end this trip down memory lane without a look back at our own debut on the Twitter stage. We’ve moved on a bit since the days of GOAL, but still Enjoy using the Odd CAPITAL Letter from Time to Time!
Welcome to the OFFICIAL Twitter site of GOAL - The Bundesliga Magazine!— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) July 30, 2009