Engagement on Liverpool’s social media channels in 2020 has seen them place second among world football’s elite.
With the past 12 months in football impacted enormously by the coronavirus pandemic, with fans unable to attend games live since March, social media engagement has never been more important to clubs in maintaining and growing their brands and reaching their global audience.
Gone are the days when a Twitter and Facebook account would suffice as fans across the world engage with their football clubs through a variety of different means with dedicated social media teams making sure that the right kind of content flows through the channels.
Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have been joined in recent years by Instagram, TikTok, Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) and Sina Weibo, with clubs wise to the fact that a strong social media presence and large engagement can be monetised given its appeal to sponsors and prospective partners keen to reach as wider audience as possible.
Data from Blinkfire Analytics, a platform that measures sponsorship valuation, states that Liverpool trailed behind only Spanish giants Barcelona when it came to social media engagement across platforms in 2020, nudging ahead of Manchester United.
The Reds registered 1.48bn fan engagements across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram, the biggest five social media platforms globally. Barcelona led the way with just over 1.6bn.
Engagement is measured through the amount of likes, comments and shares posts receive on their platforms, with United in third place on the list with 1.45bn engagements.
Liverpool feature in the top three of all five platforms, with 1bn on Instagram, 302m on Facebook – the largest globally, 238m on YouTube, 87m on Twitter and 35m on TikTok.
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Football finance expert Łukasz Bączek told the ECHO: “All professional clubs focus heavily on communication and using their social media, trying to stay one step ahead of the competition.
The number of followers and interactions is a huge media value. TikTok is something that is mainly used by the younger generation.
“For Generation Z-those born in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it is not enough to only serve up the latest challenge or goal celebration, you have to let them behind the curtain.
“Football has gone from people only seeing the 90 minutes players play on the pitch to being more about the game off.
“Especially Gen Zed and the younger audience, they watch less of the real game than they watch everything else.
“I’d estimate clubs are getting more engagement and views on their social media for behind the scenes than matches.
“TikTok represents an opportunity for clubs and companies, especially international ones. Thanks to its original content, in fact, it contributes to increasing brand awareness of brands and gaining consumer confidence.
“With TikTok the club can be an essential part of their fans’ everyday lives.”