Analysis of European football clubs social media impact in China
Source: Mailmangroup Redcard
A recent study, carried out by Mailman Group, has looked into the impact of European football clubs’ presence on social media in China. The “14 top European football clubs” that were analysed have a collective following of 15.6 million people in China, on the Twitter-like service Weibo.
The categories used for the analysis were; total followers, official presence, engagement, localization, and popularity index. The top three in terms of followers are Manchester City with 4.35 million, followed by Chelsea and Real Madrid with 2.1 million each. When you put these figures against the findings from the engagement category, which scores the clubs on a system of 1 point = 25 Retweets/replies per 100,000 followers, the results show that Manchester United and Bayern Munich scored highly on engagement ratings after receiving on average 200 Retweets/replies for each post. Manchester City were heavily penalised due to a huge gap between “supposed followers” and the amount of interaction they received. This category shows that China based fans of Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and AC Milan are either consistently quiet or have a lot fake fans registered to them, as they did not meet what is described as the minimum level of interaction for successful engagement, defined as “the new currency for social marketing effectiveness”.
The next section in the study shows the reasons why Chinese fans follow the team they follow. The top reason, with 40% of the vote, is ‘superstar players’. This is further endorsed by showing that Lionel Messi’s Weibo fan page has 14 million followers, while Cristiano Ronaldo has an official account with 10 million followers. The next reason is ‘performance in the league’ with 26%, this represents a large number of “glory supporters” who will switch allegiance due to a club’s current success and even “support” multiple clubs. This is shown earlier in the engagement ratings with many Chinese fans wearing Manchester City support as a badge of honour without actually engaging in any of the clubs social media activity. Surprisingly the lowest stated reason, with just 1%, is the clubs’ visits to China. So as many clubs’ chairmen laud their pre-season tours, these stats would show that they have little effect in the grand scheme of things.
If you would like to see the infographic of the entire study, then please follow this link http://www.mailmangroup.com/red-card-2013/#