The rapid rise of Football Social Media in Sweden

Twitter is growing strong in Sweden – fast. In the last six months the number of account registered have doubled. There are now approximately 300,000 Swedish accounts on Twitter. The population in Sweden is around 9.4 million, so whilst 3% of the population isn’t a huge stat – the growth is huge.

With this explosion, Digital-Football.com takes a look at what Swedish football clubs are doing to engage with these early adopters?

Number of Swedish accounts on Twitter – growth:

Presence

Of the sixteen teams in Allsvenskan (the Premier League of Sweden), fifteen of these are present on Twitter with a official account. The sixteen clubs in Allsvenskan attract a total of 25,696 followers. Meaning that 8.5% of the Swedish Twitter accounts are now following a football club.

Of these fifteen teams, eight have over 1,000 followers. Eleven of these clubs post more than one (1) tweet per day.

Clubs

The largest club on Twitter (based on numbers of followers) is AIK (@aikfotboll) with a total of 6,453 followers. Second is Djurgårdens IF (@DIF_Fotboll) with 3,802 followers. AIK and Djurgårdens IF are two of the largest football clubs in Sweden based on fan engagement overall. The two clubs, both from the nations capital – Stockholm, have together 22 league trophies and 12 cup trophies on the pitch.

Activity

AIK updates there account with news, ticket info, media updates (web-tv etc.), match updates and training updates. Also, they respond to P2P tweets and retweet mentions of the club account -giving there fans a much richer and authentic experience of following the club. The average number of tweets per day however is still fairly low at 2.78.

Djurgårdens IF – updates there account with news, ticket info, media updates (web-tv etc.), match updates and training updates. Compared to AIK they tweet less frequently. The average number of tweets per day is 1.64.

However, size isn’t everything and the number of tweets per day should not be the goal. The number of followers (volume) has no value if they are not activated or getting any value back from following.

Quantity vs quality

The number of tweets (quantity) isn’t the key factor to success on Twitter – quality is. What constitutes quality is based on who’s following you. The key is to activate and engage the followers, for instance the Olivier Giroud campaign by Arsenal is a great example of engaging with the fanbase. A campaign that’s activates the fans (followers) to produce user generated content is extremely powerful for fostering community, brand advocacy and saves resource for content creation.

Unfortunately clubs in Sweden are yet to reach this level of engagement and instead are using the Twitter account as one way information channels, rather than “activity portals”. However, it’s still early days for Swedish Football Social Media and the appetite is ever growing.

Conclusion

Football clubs in Sweden have a great potential to benefit from the ongoing social media revolution that still grows. After a quick glance at number of followers related to number of tweets there are no correlated trend to be shown. The quantity doesn’t necessarily effect the number of followers but the quality does. A fan will probably not show any engagement if the club isn’t asking for it. There is a huge potential to exploit a loyal circle of followers to increase engagement as an effective source to create a new kind of revenue stream. Instead clubs are acting as a deaf one man show with broadcast marketing messages – very much how he English Premier League first started. Context is everything, Twitter isn’t just a tool to present relevant communication to a loyal target audience. Twitter is a platform to engage, build further loyalty and raise the awareness of the brand on an international level. This can only be achieved with regular, targeted and engaging content.

Tom Flumé

Tom Flumé, digital marketing expert. 27 year old swede. Founder and chairman of Vasastan BK Football Club. Follow me on Twitter: @tomflume, @VasastanBK

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