New guidelines on the use of social media, issued by the Premier League, have highlighted what it sees as the considerable benefits social networking affords both individual players and the teams they represent.
Chief among the advantages cited in the new guidelines is the capacity for social media to serve as a platform, building a rapport between players and their supporters.
This potential benefit of using social media to help secure greater engagement with fans had already been alluded to by the Premier League’s chief executive, Richard Scudamore, when he said during an interview recently:
‘Social media is doing a good job of allowing fans to feel closer to the players. There is a more human side now to some of the players and the public can communicate more directly with them.’
The new guidelines are also said to aim to give players a greater insight into the types of subscriber likely to use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook – and the motivations these subscribers have for regularly visiting these sites.
The guidelines are also said to spell out what players have to consider when deciding whether or not to use social media as a vehicle for endorsing particular products or services.
However, a cautionary note is also included in the guidelines, reminding players of the possible perceived offence – and potential criminal action that might follow – when making certain types of comments on social media.
Players are also advised to avoid revealing details on social media sites which might be deemed confidential, such as team tactics and selection decisions.