Working with fan influencers
An influencer in Fan Engagement terms is the same as any influencer: they have a degree of power to change people’s minds about something, be that an opinion, a decision or a purchase.
When it comes to fans as influencers, it’s important that we acknowledge that whilst the views of all fans should be listened to, some have more influence than others amongst the fanbase (being more listened to or particularly respected). In many ways, similar to the influence a fan organisation can have.
Some clubs fear dealing directly with individual influencers, and prefer to see no particular fan as deserving of an insight or contact that another can’t have. However, clubs that recognise their influencers and work with them can have a better success in communicating generally, or clearing up misunderstandings, than those who don’t.
One club we’ve recently spoken with use this approach very successfully: Bradford City. Throughout the Covid-19 public health crisis, as he does during normal times, Communications Director Ryan Sparks has communicated regularly online with fans of many types, and recently spoke with Bradford City vloggers Tom and Dom about the issues that the club is dealing with as a result of the crisis (video below). Not only is this an effective method during extraordinary times, but should be something club officials seek to do during normal times.