Follow Football

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Athletes and teams have some of the most followed accounts on Twitter - like @FCBarcelona, with close to 5 million followers, and @Kaka, who has more than 10 million. It has been an especially exciting month for English football. The Chelsea match against Barcelona broke our Tweets Per Second record for a sporting event, with 13,684 TPS, and the final Premier League games of the season were followed closely - on TV and on Twitter. So what can we learn from the way these teams and their players, use Twitter?

Get engaged
Twitter lets people get in touch directly with the athletes and teams they care about, and the best way to reward fans and followers is to engage. That could be through a simple @ reply from a star player, or a more formal Q&A where questions are answered live on Twitter. A great example of this is the recent #askvincent Q&A with Vincent Kompany from Manchester City, which was filmed and later posted on the @MCFC Twitter page.

Engagement can also come in the form of exclusive insight that fans otherwise wouldn’t have access to - like coach Patrick Vieira live-tweeting the hugely anticipated Man City game against Manchester United.

Organise the conversation
Hashtags are an easy way to organise conversations that might otherwise happen independently of each other. Manchester City brought its fans #together throughout the season with one very effective hashtag - which they promoted online and offline.

And when they were crowned champions of England for the first time in 44 years, the team and the fans celebrated, #together.

On Saturday, @ChelseaFC will compete in the Champions League final in Munich. The game will play out on the field, but it will also happen on Twitter. And fans who want to get involved, or just follow along, can do that through the hashtag #ChampionsLeague. Fans have been able to tweet encouragement for the team this week using #CFCMunich, with players and the manager viewing the words of support.

So if you love football, follow along on Twitter.