Premier League clubs failing to respond to Twitter users

English Premier League clubs are massively failing to respond to their followers tweets according to new data. Mashable recently called the 2011/12 season the “Social Media  Season” due to the significant growth and engagement enjoyed by Premier League teams. However, despite increased activity from teams, many are still failing to understand the true nature of football social media – engaging with the fans.

Data from UK company – EngagementIndex – measures brands responding to their customers. Using Twitter monitoring, the company records the number of ignored tweets direct to @officialclubaccounts sent from customers to brands. In a special report for the Premier League, it has become apparent that clubs are ignoring thousands of tweets sent to official club accounts every day.

Ignored Tweets

As the graph above shows the ratio of ignored to replied to tweets is massive, with Chelsea (15,341 @chelsea tweets ignored), Arsenal (8,066 @arsenal tweets ignored) and Manchester City (7,488 @mcfc tweets ignored) the biggest culprits. However, it should be remembered that these 3 clubs do command a global following and therefore the sheer volume of tweets sent to them will be considerably larger than the average EPL club. Furthermore, it should be noted that Manchester City engage and interact with their  fans better than no other club in Britain.

Another notable insight from this data is that Liverpool FC seem to have a much smaller percentage of “ignored tweets” to @LFC despite having a significant global brand and Twitter following. Perhaps, these differences can be explained by the factors such as the date the data was recorded? We are told the data is from over a 30 day period so it is very possible that competitions such as the UEFA Champions League may distort these figures – especially if Chelsea or Arsenal had been involved in “talked about” games.

Whilst we couldn’t get the raw data to verify – it does appear (if you look very closely) that Wolves have the best response rate of any club and made the most replies to tweets directed to their official account.

EngagementIndex CEO Mark Shaw urged clubs to better consider their customer service on Twitter and explained:

“Football clubs like businesses are going through a tough time financially. Great customer care may not help the players score more goals or win more matches, but it will certainly keep the fans motivated, interested and if done correctly buying more products from the shop & perhaps renewing that season ticket…”

Whilst managing huge volumes of tweets can be difficult does this excuse major football clubs from doing so? After all, these are multimillion pound companies and fans deserve a certain level of customer service. Airlines, banks and retail organisations are set up to receive this kind of demand – so why not football clubs?


Sean Walsh

Founder of and leading Football Social Media expert.

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1 Response

  1. Interesting post Sean as always. Doesn’t paint a good picture of ‘fan engagement’ and as I’ve felt with clubs up here too, twitter is treated as a broadcast medium.

    Couple of things came to mind for me:

    – abusive tweeters: we all know that most of us use social media responsibly but there are users out there (claiming to be football fans) who use social media as a vehicle for unnecessary abuse or vitriol aimed at clubs and players. These may account for a significant % of the ignored tweets. Whilst its important to highlight these users to bring accountability for their actions, I can see why those in control of the accounts would choose to ignore abusive/inflammatory/inappropriate tweets. The alternative is to report and/or block them.

    – resource: as you’ve mentioned, I would wager a lot of the tweets that Chelsea ignored (ironically) were submitted during the time period before/during/after the greatest moment in the club’s history – the UCL final. Same for City. I’ve seen the stats for the UCL final and I just wonder if those working on the club account in the lead-up/during/post final simply couldn’t respond to the sheer volume of tweets coming their way? That doesn’t excuse it and I agree with your point at the end of the article – want to be a business? Start acting as one and resource these communications.



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