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Don't know what the LFC Trial is?
Football fans all over the world have been closely monitoring the current situation with Tom Hicks, George Gillett and Liverpool Football Club. For those who aren't aware, Hicks and Gillett have been trying to sell Liverpool FC, and on October 5th 2010 they received two bids, one from New England Sports Ventures (NESV), the parent company of the Boston Red Sox, and one from another consortium. Shortly prior to the board meeting to discuss the bids, the owners - Tom Hicks and George Gillett - sought to remove Managing Director Christian Purslow and Commercial Director Ian Ayre from the LFC board. This sparked legal action and the beginnings of the LFC trial.
The trial has had mass media coverage the world over and Twitter has been going crazy, with tweets by top journalists from The Daily Mail, ITV, The Telegraph and Sky News and SSN.
Setting up @LFCtrial
I began my little 'test' on the evening of Monday 12th October after the first day of the trial. I saw that #lfctrial was trending and just for kicks I thought I would check if the username was available, because I knew that there was a lot of talk about it on Twitter, and that the climax would be on the 13th when the trial 'should' have concluded. It was available.
Below are some of the hashtags people were using for the trial and Liverpool FC:
I am a big Liverpool fan so I follow some of the main players on Liverpool news from my own Twitter account (@keirgibson), including @empireofthekop @liverpool and @RBuxton_LFC. I saw that @liverpool were running a stream of updates about the trial on their website that fed through to their Twitter account, and they were getting regular followers and mentions because of their trusted background of LFC news. I jumped on the bandwagon and set up a Twitterfeed to pull through all the updates from the website into @LFCtrial. After that I changed the background to a popular image being used in the news and added a LFC Twibbon. Shortly after I did this I began to see a trickle of followers from following people back, using LFC related hashtags, and following users that I could retweet a useful tweet from. The account began to take shape.
Other users started to RT my own personal comments on the LFC Trial account and the tweets from my feed, although at this point there were still just 17 followers. Not bad considering it had only been set up the night before and had made 10 tweets, but I was no Twitter celebrity.
After some more time on the account, which I spent engaging with people, the followers, mentions and RT's increased:
When the verdict was announced at around 10.30am, Twitter was the place to be for the breaking news and because I had set up a news feed to @LFCtrial and was following the right people, it was among the first to break the news:
This sparked RT's and mentions and helped to increase the awareness of the account:
How to sustain it?I had seen that @empireofthekop had RT something I sent them through from my personal account the week before, so I thought, why not have a go at getting them to RT something @LFCtrial was tweeting and build up some awareness of the account?
It worked! They RT'd my tweet and my followers almost doubled within a few minutes. After being mentioned by such a trustworthy source the followers and mentions became much more regular:
I knew the Twitter account would go stale if I didn't keep up the tweets and the RSS feed would only do so much, so I had to keep talking with fans and find a way that would encourage followers and mentions.
I tweeted that I would be giving further updates because I knew there was a board meeting later and a statement would be released from LFC. This continued the interest and people started to RT the message:
When the court case ended the conversation was still rife, what does this mean for LFC? How much budget will there be in January to spend on players? Things to know about John W Henry... Loads of stuff to carry on with and @LFCtrial was getting involved!
The Telegraph posted an article on their website about the LFC fans on Twitter and @LFCtrial got a mention! This was highly unexpected but the tweet of 'Just seen Tom & George getting in line at the Job centre. Benefits. #lfc #YNWA' is shown below the tweet from the potential new owner of LFC, John W Henry:
The Trial continues...
Unfortunately for LFC fans the trial is still ongoing, although Liverpool FC won the case against Hicks and Gillett, they have obtained a temporary restraining order from a Texas district court against the RBS and NESV to prevent the transaction being completed. This has led to more talk about it on Twitter and as a result the mentions and followers for @LFCtrial continue to grow; as of 12.00pm October 14th:
This LFCtrial continues...
One hour later... 515 followers!