I recently praised F1 for its renewed efforts on social media and proactively defended the sport’s efforts on Twitter as miracles cannot be achieved overnight, but today I fear I must once again join the legions of fans frustrated with F1’s lacklustre approach.
Today marks Formula 1’s 65th anniversary – a momentous day that is cause for celebration and reflection of all that has been achieved. Scores of fans have taken to social media to mark the occasion, sharing their personal stories with one another, teams and F1 itself.
And yet F1’s official account only marked the anniversary with a handful of tweets, using a number of different hashtags to accompany the posts – which does not send a clear message to fans of which one to use to participate in the celebration.
Most frustrating and infuriating of all was that many fans shared their stories as comments on these posts, contribution personal tales of their involvement and love for the sport. None, not a single one, of these was shared, commented on or recognised in any way by F1!
Few brands ignore their fans on social media, recognising them as the great assets that they are – both in the good times and the bad. The majority of those that have turn their back on fans have seen sales decline and increases in customer complaints.
F1 actively pursued fans over the winter break, asking many to close their accounts if they included ‘F1’ in their Twitter handle or bio. Can you imagine a brand such as Innocent doing that to people that love its products? No, because they know that advocates of their product will be more loyal and return for more.
Sadly I fear this will not be the case for much longer in the case of F1. With declining TV viewing figures, falling attendances at races and rapidly increasing costs for fans to follow the sport, actively turning its back on fans on social media could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.