The use of twitter by highly paid football ‘superstars’ has once again become headline news – see for example, ‘FA reprimands Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney for Twitter rant’; also the ongoing Ryan Giggs affair.
This has resulted in Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of the two players involved, stating publicly that twitter is a waste of time:
‘I don’t know why anybody can be bothered with that stuff. How do you find the time to do that? There are a million things you can do in your life without that. Get yourself down to the library and read a book. Seriously, it is a waste of time.’
The thought of educating his players in the proper use of twitter does not seem to be on his agenda.
Attached to this post, you will find the first of our Twitter League Tables for the Top 20 Football Clubs in Europe. The table suggests that it is not only football ‘superstars’ that need advice in this area, but also the Marketing Departments of most Clubs.
Compared to their use of Facebook (see our monthly updated Facebook League Tables), the top 20 Clubs in Europe are much less proactive in their use of twitter.
As shown in the table, the top Clubs have 2.8 million twitter followers. This compares to almost 68 million Facebook ‘likers’. 84% of all twitter followers are accounted for by just two Clubs – Real Madrid and Barcelona. The top three Clubs (including Chelsea) account for 92% of total twitter followers. Three Clubs do not have an official twitter page. One of these, not surprisingly, is Manchester United.
The lack of twitter activity by the top clubs in the UK is particularly worrying given that UK Sports Fans are the Most Prolific Tweeters in Europe according to a recent study.
We are very aware of the fact that the number of followers is only one measure of how well organisations are using twitter. Our monthly updates of the table will also discuss the level and depth of engagement. Based on the evidence presented in this post, the major clubs in Europe still have a long way to go before they are fully leveraging twitter for fan engagement.
As usual, comments and feedback are very welcome.
Jim, Alan and Vincent
* Data based on the official twitter page of each club