Digital Strategy Director at LaLiga Alfredo Bermejo discusses 100m social media followers

Last month, LaLiga surpassed 100 million followers across all its social media platforms. Over six years of work has seen the organisation consolidate its presence on 12 different social media platforms, producing content in over 15 languages.

The organisation currently have 22 profiles on 12 different social media platforms, including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, four platforms in China (Weibo, WeChat, Douyin, Toutiao), two platforms in Russia (OK, VK), and Line (in three countries: Japan, Thailand and Indonesia). Notably, LaLiga is the first football league in the world to reach 5 million subscribers on its YouTube channel as well.

Having seen the success of La Liga’s growth on social media, Digital Sport reached out to Alfredo Bermejo, the Digital Strategy Director at La Liga, to get an understanding for how the organisation was able to build such a successful following away from just its position in football, and how it plans to grow further.

Speaking at the time of the announcement of these huge figures for LaLiga, Alfredo said: “Passing this digital milestone is an achievement which should be framed within LaLiga’s wide-reaching international growth strategy.

“We’ve gone from having 3.9 million followers at the end of the 2013/14 season to over 100 million today, a record figure reached with an average of 47,000 new followers per day.”

The achievement is very impressive, and Alfredo broke down the big figure for us and explained where the main bulk of that following is coming from and how they achieved this: “We have over 59 million fans on Facebook which makes it our biggest individual channel.

“We have more followers here than other major sports competitions like the Premier League and NBA. But our presence on all channels, relative to their number of users, is significant and growing.

“We have a fantastic product to offer but you still have to give people a reason to engage. Our success comes from our ‘glocal’ strategy with which we have created specific profiles, in local languages, with content designed for specific audiences.  Being relevant in local markets is the only way to be truly global.

“Our digital team works closely with our international offices and the LaLiga Global Network to create the best approach for each individual country. This can involve new content, opening new social media profiles or organising local events with clubs or LaLiga ambassadors.”

We’d noticed that LaLiga’s tone is quite neutral compared to that of many social media accounts, who typically go for a more trending style of discussion with their followers, and this style is something Alfredo was happy to address.

“Every brand has to find its authentic voice. Perhaps the joking approach [on social media] works for some brands but in our case, we think it is best that the football does the talking. Ultimately our aim is to win more fans for LaLiga worldwide we do this through creating great entertainment content rather than making the wittiest remark.”

Alfredo would advise anyone looking to grow their social media platform to get to know their audience, study them, and understand them and find your own voice. He says studying audience data is essential for understanding what people want from their online interactions. But all this is the past for LaLiga – they’ve done it and will continue to do it. As for the future, we wanted to know what’s to come for the organisation’s social profiles.

“We will continue to add new languages and accounts, according to local interest and demand, and in terms of new platforms are appearing all the time and we will continue to join those that make sense for our organisation. The most recent examples are TikTok and Line. We will never join a social network for the sake of being there, but because we see a potential audience of fans that we can engage with,” he concluded.

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