Manchester United banned its players from Twitter. The accounts of Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, and Darren Fletcher have already been removed as the club attempts to control the flow of news from the locker room and prevent players speaking out of turn. In September 2009, striker Wayne Rooney ranked as one of the football’s most prolific twitter-users, with 22,200 followers….
My thoughts on this personal and brand reputation management issue on this are….
While Manchester United’s decision to ban its players from Twitter will prevent leaking sensitive information and reduce the risk to its reputation from ill-considered player tweets, simply banning everyone from the platform is a myopic, draconian measure.
What Sir Alex Ferguson has failed to realise is the positive impact that allowing players to engage with fans online in the right way can have for the Manchester United brand, especially in light of their current financial challenges. People respond most passionately to other people online, and Twitter provides such a huge opportunity for teams to really tap into their fan-base support. A more progressive approach would have aimed to educate players about Twitter and other social media platforms and put in place common sense guidelines for their usage, harnessing the positive opportunities rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.