di Cristiano Toni
Un interessante post di Dominik Walters, appassionato di sport ed esperto di Social nel mercato tedesco, sulle differenze di utilizzo dei Social da parte delle squadre della Seria A e quelle della Bundesliga.
The German national team played an amazing World Cup campaign this summer, including finishing off Portugal 4-1, Brazil 7-1 and finally defeating Argentina 1-0 in overtime to win the Cup. The same cannot be said about the Italian national team, which, despite an opening win, did not manage to qualify for the knockout stage. Even though the Italians would probably like to forget the trauma as soon as possible, we want to pick up the World Cup spirit again, with a head to head comparison of the success of the German and Italian first leagues on social media.
Being active on social media can bring various benefits to a modern soccer team. The Club can grow its fan base, reach existing fans easily, promote its brand, and finally increase its sale of tickets and merchandise. The money through the increased sales can be invested into the club, thus improving its performance and making its fans happy, which, ultimately, should be the goal of every soccer club.
The data used to analyze the social media activities is taken from the links each team provides on their website to their official pages on the various social platforms. Likes on Facebook, Followers on Twitter, Subscribers on YouTube, and their equivalents on other social media platforms are combined under the term “connections.” Analyzing this data leads to very interesting insights into the state of social media in the German and Italian soccer leagues.
The Italian Seria A consists of twenty Clubs that on average generate 3.1 million connections each. They are active on eleven different types of social media including the usual – Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube – but also some that are less mainstream, such as Pintrest or Foursquare. The page with the most connections of the Seria A teams is that of AC Milan. The club has a total of 30.5 million connections, of which 22 million originate from their Facebook page. Milan is also the only team to have an account on the Chinese Facebook equivalent, Weibo. Even though (or maybe because) they are the only Italian team on Weibo, they have an impressive 2 million connections. It seems as though the other Italian teams, especially the famous ones, are missing out on a good opportunity to gain supporters in Asia. The teams with the most connections following Milan (Juventus, Roma, Internazionale) are clubs with a long history and an established brand in and outside of Italy. However, the percentage of the total connections falls sharply after the top few teams. AC Milan, Juventus and Internazionale together account for 80.6% of the total connections (adding AS Roma and Napoli account for 92%), whereas on the other end the three teams with least connections (Empoli, Cesena, and Sassuolo) make up for only 0.3%. The team with the by far least connections (1,882) is Empoli, which was promoted to the Serie A for the 2014/15 season.
The Bundesliga, standing at eighteen teams, has a somewhat lower average number of connections, at 2.3 million per team. The German teams also use much a smaller variety of social media platforms; they are active on five compared to Italy’s eleven and only include the big names of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus, and Instagram. The team with the most connections (21.2 million) is Bayern Munich, which, like AC Milan, has a long and successful history in national and European soccer. Together with Borussia Dortmund and Schalke, they account for 80.4% of the total leagues connections. The teams with the least number of connections are Paderborn, Hoffenheim, and Augsburg.
Before comparing the two leagues directly, we can state some general insights about the use of social media in soccer. For one, most teams in the two leagues have between 100.000 and 1 million connections when combining all platforms. Any team whose connections are above or below this range are exceptions and usually have specific reasons for their success or failure on social platforms. One of these reasons can be its performance. Predictably, there is a direct connection between the success a team has had on the field in the recent years and connections it has on the various social media platforms. A nice indicator of this is that each of the five teams with the most connections in both the German and the Italian league has been in a Champions League final in the last twenty years (the only exception is Napoli, which won the cup in the 1988/89 season and have not advanced past the round of sixteen since). It is also evident that there is a huge difference between the top teams and the teams on the bottom of the list concerning the share of the total connections of the league. As mentioned earlier, the top three teams in both leagues make up over 80% of the total connections.
When comparing the Bundesliga and the Seria A it is quite clear which of the two is more active on social media. The Italian league has more total connections, a higher number of connections per team, and the Italian clubs use more than twice the number of different social platforms to reach their fans. The Italian leader, AC Milan, has 1.5 times as many connections as Bayern, the most active German team. And between Juventus and Milan there are more connections than in the entire German league. However the matchup might not be quite as devastating for Germany as it appears. The earlier mentioned gap between the top teams and the teams at the bottom of the table, in terms of engagement on social media, exists in both leagues, however it is much smaller in Germany. The twelve teams with the least connections in the Serie A have a total of 2.48 million connections, whereas the bottom tweleve teams in the Bundesliga total 4.87 million connections. This means that the majority of the German teams are in fact more engaged in social media than their Italian rivals.
Based on these results it would be wrong to declare one league a certain winner. On the one hand, more than half of the German teams have more connections than the Italian clubs. On the other hand, the overall numbers give the Serie A the lead in this head to head competition. And maybe this win on overall numbers is already enough to somewhat reduce the Italian grief about their early World Cup exit.