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How football clubs are approaching to TikTok?

Strategies, figures and new trends

How football clubs are approaching to TikTok? Strategies, figures and new trends

The past 2020 has made us open our eyes to the importance of bridging the gaps with any means we have. Internet and the social networks are among theme, and the experiences from the various lockdown periods made that definitely clear. A social media above all exploded during the pandemic, and it's TikTok. After a 75% growth last year, the Chinese social network has become fundamental for the communication of the brands. Also, football recognized the relevance of TikTok.


Despite all, it seems like just the top clubs realized how enormous is the potential of the social network. The first ones to went through were the Spanish clubs - in fact, every club of the Iberic top league are on TikTok -, and Barcelona is on top of them, having reached 7.2 millions followers, standing out as the football club with the biggest following on the social network, after Real Madrid (4.5 millions) and Paris Saint-Germain (4.4 millions). All these three clubs don't differ in fantasy, the majority of the videos are highlights of the matches or moments extracted from training which have been revisited with specific filters or music to make them more interesting. Even the arrival of the players at the stadiums has some space dedicated, while the TikToks that show the players in promotional or entertainment activities are fewer. This video of De Jong playing with an orange is just an example. Moreover, there are some videos with the fans, like this, in which the freestyle skier Andri Ragettli makes some acrobatics in a merengues' kit. So nothing revolutionary, but also capable of keeping the three clubs on top of the list of the most followed teams on the Chinese social network.


Si les joueurs du Paris Saint-Germain étaient dans ##BrawlStars... If Paris Saint-Germain players were in @@brawlstars ..

son original - psg

Then, La Liga promotes challenges and events to approach the supporter and allow him to interact with his favourite club since the dawn of the past season, showing great foresight. About the rest of Europe, Premier League is the big absent (all the other four top leagues have an account) on TikTok, although 17 clubs on 20 have a profile. Very strange, considering how the Premier League is always pointed at new horizons and is also the most attractive on the market. Those 17 clubs with a TikTok account know this, see how interesting are their profiles. Highlights from the matches, moments from the training sessions or from the interviews, videos in which players have fun using the filters: the Premier League's teams have surely understood how TikTok works, which trends to follow and what to post to distinguish themselves from the competition of the other leagues.


Love these two

In Italy, Juventus, Milan and Inter are the most active and interesting team to follow on TikTok, although the Italian league has arrived really late on the competition. For example, Juventus have arrived on the social network this past July, taking advantage of its boom during the lockdown, while the Lega Serie A reached it just some weeks ago. It's proper to notice that just a half of the clubs of the league have a profile on TikTok, making us clear that there are some superficiality and indifference towards the social network. TikTok is a huge opportunity for football clubs because it's a fertile and unexplored land. In addition, its management is almost cost-free, despite the endless potential of the social network. Probably, at stopping the social media managers of the smallest clubs, there's the need for creativity and attention to dedicate to the trends of TikTok. In this sense, Instagram is way more simple to be used: posting the match results and some shots with the new buyings from the transfer market don't request some particular attention while producing original contents for the most exigent public of all - the youngsters -, requires fantasy and lot of attention, which is often lacking in the media departments of some clubs. It's not casual that Inter, which have a real Social Media House at their back, is active on TikTok, while Crotone isn't.

What contents do teams bring on TikTok? And how are the interactions going? 


First of all, we gotta make a premise: watching in our house, just the top clubs use to post frequently on TikTok. For example, clubs like Hellas Verona and Fiorentina have a minor presence on the social network. Talking about what is posted, the gap between Inter and, just to name one, Cagliari is evident. The nerazzurri are more creative in their videos, proposing highlights from the matches but also funny moments with the players struggling with a filter, or also using the most popular background music on TikTok, or even backstage moments with the players involved in photoshootings or in promoting some merchandise. On the other hand, the Sardinian club just post less frequently, publishing videos with some plays from the game. 


Another very focused team is Roma, that use the social networks in a distinguished and entertaining way since ever. We can see it in some videos in the giallorossi account, in fact, they surf the wave of the trends of the moment too, taking the distance from a static and out of context communication on a place like TikTok. There are also moments of interaction with Romolo, the club's mascot, and videos that recall moments from past matches. And there is also some space for the supporters, as we see in this video.


##asroma ##ohno ##fyp ##foryou

original sound - Mr zinkswift

Here are some numbers: 2.3 millions are the followers on the Juventus' TikTok profile. The likes and the views depend on the hour in which the videos are posted, just like the hashtags used. For example, the video in which Juve announces the collaboration with Fortnite counts more than 1 million views, taps the number of 212.000 likes and passes 8000 comments and 3000 sharings. The Serie A's club with fewer followers is Atalanta, which is still at 16.900 followers. In this case too, we go from the over 200.000 views on a video of a play from a match, in which Gollini launches the ball in a very accurate way (and Ilicic touches the ball with style), to the 7500 views for a just a little more interesting play, the very first (and beautiful) goal of Lammers with the orobici's jersey. The merit of this difference, as mentioned, is to be attributed to the time in which the posts go online and to the hashtags used. In the caption of the first Atalantine TikTok, in fact, there is the hashtag #perte, which has almost 160 billion views. 

In short, the TikTok port seems to be the most coveted by the sharks of European football, and perhaps this is why the smaller teams, at least in Italy, seem to stay away from it. This behaviour clearly denotes little attention to the dynamics of communication. On the other hand, even on Instagram, many Italian clubs move in a very distracted way, with posts and a purely institutional activity, related to the results of the matches and the training sessions performed. So why not take an example from brands that immediately understood how to have an impact on TikTok? Like Crocs (almost 332.000 followers), which works a lot by involving its followers, creating filters or challenges, the best way to get noticed on the social network. Red Bull Italia is also focusing strongly on TikTok (over 2 million followers), and it's also doing it in a simple way: combining the breathtaking evolutions of its athletes with funny captions, to create contents that can entertain easily.


Abbiamo le vertigini solo a guardarlo! ##redbull ##timetteleali ##volley ##climbing ##volleyball

Remember The Symphony - Mingaling 2.0

TikTok is the key to renew the communication of our football clubs, but, at the moment, it seems like just a few teams noticed this. As usual, while the other big European leagues are always a step forward, in Italy it seems to be three steps behind.