It seems Leeds United may – at long last – be getting to grips with the 21st century, starting with the launch of a YouTube channel.

The first video on the official Leeds United YouTube channel is the Gary Speed tribute shown at Elland Road this weekend. Pure speculation here on my part, but one suspects the channel will be used to promote LUTV from here on out, and possibly contain the news updates seen on the official site.

The move follows a heated debate between fans and Paul Bell on Twitter. Fans criticised the club, via Bell, for the poor state of the clubs official site, highlighting the lack of a social media presence as a particular concern.

Fans cited Manchester City’s website as an example of what a 21st century professional football club could (and should) be aiming at. The new Man City site, like most of the bigger clubs, gives fans various opportunities to get involved with their own dedicated section.

But it was Manchester City’s Facebook and Twitter presence that drew the most plaudits with the club using social network features to both interact with fans, and post news their supporters may be interested in, as well as updates during their matches.

It seemed for a while that Leeds United had simply failed to see the benefits of a social media presence, both in terms of interacting with customers and the marketing benefits they can yield.

Every big business, and most football clubs, have been taking advantage of social media to grab peoples attention and boost their customer base for many years now. It’s a proven strategy that has spawned new businesses dedicated to getting your brand noticed within the world of social media.

Yet despite proven success for companies and football clubs alike, Leeds United have been incredibly slow on the uptake.

How does a club expect to attract younger supporters when they have no presence on services today’s youth spend 90% of their lives on? Leeds United have been out-of-step with an entire generation for the last decade almost, and that’s noticeable on match days where the percentage of younger fans seems to have dwindled.

Let’s hope the YouTube launch is merely the beginnings of a modern Leeds United FC, more in touch with the modern football supporter.

  • Arthur Graham

    God i find myself agreeing with tss on something. Worrying!

  • MarkBilly

    They do track if people get to articles on the website through twitter. I though this might be a precursor to joining twitter if they felt the numbers were good enough… but maybe not!

    • TSS

      @MarkBilly Every site tracks that kind of data – we can view all sources, whether users are coming from NewsNow, Google News, other Leeds United sites etc. and social networks are a big contributor.

      • MarkBilly

        @TSS@MarkBilly Fair enough. I just notice it on the LUFC site cos it has http://www.abc/xyzmedium_twitter (or something similar) whereas on here (for example) it doesn’t have any of that gubbins.

        • TSS

          @MarkBilly Depends what software is used to track visitors, but that extension is more to do with the short URL provider than LeedsUnited.com

        • MarkBilly

          @TSS@MarkBilly Fair enough. You know better than me!

  • Gryff

    I really doubt it IS the start of anything, but a presence on stuff like Twitter would be a smart way forward for a board that haven’t regained the trust of the fans in over a decade.

    It’d be nice for Ken to have a twitter account. Get the propaganda from the horses mouth!

    The Man City website is a perfect example of a decent website. Whoever oversaw the current LUFC design needs shooting. The whole site is completely cluttered.

    Less is more.

    • MarkBilly

      @Gryff I think it’s out-dated more than anything. Back in the day, when it was debuted it was pretty snazzy but now it’s just old. It does need an overhaul.

      • TSS

        @MarkBilly@Gryff It was never particularly special because they used the same company that everyone else did to make the site – that’s why 90% of them look exactly the same.

  • leeds lad leeds

    good job we’ve got you eh?

    • TSS

      @leeds lad leeds Not even slightly comparable, but the various fan sites (The Square Ball, The Beaten Generation etc…) have become the club’s biggest presence on social network sites – surely businesses should be representing themselves, if only to ensure the correct image is being portrayed?

      • leeds lad leeds

        @TSS 100% agree, but what they say will be censored by the big man (literally) above- these types of sites are much better in my opinion.

  • Colin

    I think there was a bit of pressure on LUFC to get the Gary Speed tribute video on YouTube, but not sure what all the fuss was about, it was available to everyone on the leedsunited.com website on the front page long before it made it to YouTube.

    As for a social media presence, don’t think there’s a need for any changes myself. Aren’t we already the 3rd most ‘clicked’ club in England? And what’s the point, all the information comes out on sites other than the official one anyway. The main site has occasional good bits on it, but to be honest, I reckon any updated official site would just mean bigger adverts for 25% off an overpriced shirt that will be out of date in 6 months. It’s a bit like England – I get all the news I need on England from various sites, but never TheFA.com.

    And at the end of the day, any upgrades would cost money, and we have to concentrate on funding Executive boxes rather than some fancy social media presence, Aidy White’s contract, Jonny’s contract etc. etc.

  • Matthew

    Speaking of social media, the club needs to change its no twiter allowed policy for the players. Why ban players from twitter when they can use other mediums to communicate with the fans? Never did like this policy, so what if Somma posted that he will be out for half a year, christ its his right as a player to post how he’s doing.

  • Andy Flynn

    @ Matthew
    Totally disagree. Somma was bang out of order announcing it to the world. He disrespected his employer.

    In business, you need bargaining power. He told the world we needed a new striker and reduced our bargaining power.

    Social media is fantastic and has lots of benefits, but needs to be carefully managed.

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  • Pete Mck

    lol. Wish they,d let merchandise be sold in town .embarrasing seeing chelsea,scum & l,pool tops everywhere in leeds shops