Manchester United hit 1 million Twitter followers after 70 days

Manchester United today celebrated their 1 millionth Twitter follower 70 days and 962 tweets exactly since they joined the micro-blogging platform. The Mancunian side were expected to break the million mark much earlier but the growth has been slower than expected for a brand with over 35 million Facebook fans and universal brand recognition. However, the speed of growth is still something special and has catapulted the Red Devils to the 13th largest Twitter following for a football club worldwide.

Just twelve other clubs have more Twitter followers, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all sitting higher than United. La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to dominate with some 19 million followers combined, with Galatasaray sitting third with just over 3 million followers.

However, in terms of engagement Manchester United have been king – with over 798,863 retweets and 636,857 mentions on Twitter – the highest of any club in the English Premier League (data from SocialPundit.co.uk).

Follower figures might be important to brand managers or directors, but ultimately it is engagement that counts in the Social Media world and undoubtedly United have been incredibly successful at nurturing engagement from their fans with behind the scenes photography and interviews. Last month the side also held it’s first Google+ Hangout interview with Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverly as the club are clearly trying to take on (or at least keep up with) Manchester City in the Social Media sphere – who have the highest Klout score in the EPL according to statistics gathered by Sports Social Media company Social Pundit.

Manchester United were notably slow to adopt Twitter, originally preferring to delay joining the platform,

“There will be no official Twitter site until we have satisfied ourselves that we have determined a role for Twitter.” – Jonathan Rigby, Head of Marketing at Man United

Data sourced from the brilliant folos.im website shows the current worldwide Twitter follower standings:

1 Barcelona Spain FCBarcelona Verified account icon 10,056,798
2 Real Madrid Spain realmadrid Verified account icon 8,855,594
3 Galatasaray Turkey GalatasaraySK Verified account icon 3,095,335
4 Arsenal England Arsenal Verified account icon 2,792,326
5 Chelsea England chelseafc Verified account icon 2,784,344
6 Fenerbahçe SK Turkey Fenerbahce Verified account icon 2,394,219
7 Liverpool England LFC Verified account icon 1,989,797
8 AC Milan Italy acmilan Verified account icon 1,466,502
9 Corinthians Brazil Corinthians Verified account icon 1,425,222
10 Manchester City England MCFC Verified account icon 1,190,176
11 Chivas CD Guadalajara Mexico Chivas Verified account icon 1,125,650
12 Flamengo Brazil CR_Flamengo Verified account icon 1,106,309
13 Manchester United England ManUtd Verified account icon 993,377
14 São Paulo Brazil SaoPauloFC Verified account icon 923,540
15 Paris Saint-Germain France PSG_inside Verified account icon 813,660

Sean Walsh

Founder of Digital-Football.com and leading Football Social Media expert.

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