Social Media has become a dominant platform for everything to do with the sport of football.
Millions of fans flock to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube every day to find out what's going on at the club they support, and to hear what others are saying about their team, but while the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Barcelona have staggering numbers of followers, they are still in the dark ages in comparison to what other clubs are offering their fans.
Manchester United in particular have taken stick for their archaic website and lack of content across social media, but there are some clubs who go above and beyond when it comes to letting their fans have a glimpse at what goes on with their team.
Here are five football clubs who have been thinking outside the box when it comes to social media strategies and are reaping the benefits as a result.
Southampton are the masters of social media in the Premier League.
The club were among the first to launch a Snapchat account, capable of reaching millions of fans every day, which has proven to be immensely popular, and they also have a fantastic YouTube channel that gives their fans all the access they could want aside from turning up and walking around the training ground.
They also produced short documentaries around their summer transfer signings in order to make the fans more familiar with the new players, and they were very well received.
Simply put, Borussia Dortmund have the coolest looking website of any big club. Have a look at it. It's just really enjoyable to use.
BVB are also big across most forms of social media, especially Instagram where they are very good craic and worth a follow:
Manchester City's YouTube channel is sensational.
Training clips and moments, candid player interviews, and of course, the brilliant tunnel cam have seen supporters of other clubs subscribing to their YouTube channel due to it's quality content.
Also worth noting is that they have incorporated a City fan-channel into their own, rather than completely ignoring it the way most Premier League clubs do.
With only around 3000 followers, the newly formed League of Ireland side are not dominating the world of twitter or anything, but the marketing team at Cabinteely have to be praised for making international news with their fantastic Football Manager 2016 challenge.
— Cabinteely F.C. (@Cabinteely_FC) November 11, 2015
The news spread around and many undertook the challenge, prompting the creators of Football Manager to offer an additional prize to anyone who could pull it off:
— Cabinteely F.C. (@Cabinteely_FC) November 23, 2015
Aside from Football Manager, their twitter account has received a lot of praise for generally being very good craic and having some fun with their followers, growing the profile of the club in the process.
Arsenal are great fun on Snapchat, as they regularly allow players to take over the club's account and run wild on their day off.
They also can get quite creative with their 7 million twitter followers.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 27, 2015
Bayern are the kings of training ground clips.
The club's YouTube channel regularly offers their supporters a look inside the training ground, and of course it helps when you have the talent on display that they do.
Also, anything with Thomas Muller has a habit of going viral, and they embrace that. Highly enjoyable.
Real Oviedo used twitter to save the club in 2012.
By offering shares to anyone who wanted to buy them and thus offering football fans a chance to actually own a part of the club, they received enough funding to stay alive and have now worked their way back to the second tier of Spanish football, and enjoy a bigger international following than any other non-top tier European club.
Balls.ie are shareholders, funnily enough.
In recent times, they appointed an English fan who is a professional FIFA YouTuber (someone who's job is to entertain their YouTube fans with footage of them playing and commentating on FIFA) as their official virtual manager, and are keeping the club's fans involved by updating them on his FIFA progress.
This has in turn brought Spencer Owen's 1 million + subscribers closer to Real Oviedo, and significantly grown their interest in the club. You can read more about their agreement here.