How the World’s Leading Football Clubs Are Using Twitter

A recent blog post showed that the world’s leading football clubs were becoming more proactive in their use of Twitter. However, with only a few exceptions, they were using it mainly as a broadcast rather than engagement platform -see ‘Walking Alone: Top Football Clubs use Twitter for Broadcasting’

This conclusion was derived from analysing a small sample of 40 tweets from each club.

Since publishing these initial findings, we have come across a new and very useful online resource at www.twtrland.com – a site that allows a more detailed evaluation of twitter use by any company or organisation.

Attached to this post, you will find a table providing a detailed breakdown of the way in which the world’s top 20 football clubs are using twitter. Key points to note are as follows:

  • Over half of the 20 clubs (13) set up their twitter accounts in 2009, with 4 being later adopters in 2010. Only 3 clubs – Real Madrid, Chivas (del Club Deportivo Guadalajara) and Manchester City – can be described as early adopters having set up their accounts in 2007 0r 2008
  • The combined number of twitter followers for the 20 clubs is 8.4 million. However, the ‘Pareto Rule’ applies with the top 5 clubs accounting for 60% of the total (based on the number of followers on the 18th August, 2011)
  • The 20 clubs have posted a total of 180,214 tweets; an average of 11 per day per club
  • The most interesting part of the table is the percentage breakdown by type of tweet. A full 82.4% of all tweets posted were ‘plain’ tweets or tweets providing ‘links’, mainly to the official web site of the clubs. By contrast, only 5.1% of tweets were ‘replies’. For 16 out of the 20 clubs examined, the percent of ‘reply’ tweets was less than 5%. For 11 clubs, less than 1% of all tweets posted were replies

The above data reinforce our earlier findings that the world’s top football clubs are using twitter for talking AT, rather than WITH, their fans. The only exceptions to this appear to be Liverpool, CF America (Mexico) and Chivas with a higher percent of ‘reply’ tweets.

For comparison purposes, we examined the Twitter account of @polishturnstile – the ‘unofficial’ twitter account of Glasgow Celtic FC managed by Tony Hamilton, Digital Director. Compared to the list of 20 clubs shown in the table, almost 80% of tweets on this account are ‘replies’.

How is your club using Twitter?

We will continue to use www.twtrland.com to evaluate the way in which organisations across different sectors are using twitter; naming and shaming those who are using it as a broadcast or PR channel 🙂

As usual, comment and feedback are very welcome.

Jim, Alan, Vincent

Football Twitter TWTR Table

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