Being late is a typical Italian attitude, and is the national sport following this tradition? Nowadays it‘s clear that Italian Clubs are considerably behind the Top European clubs from countries such as Spain and England. As it is shown by the UEFA rankings, the revenues, the stadia, and even in the fan engagement from all over the world, the Italians performance is not satisfying as well as their social media activities.
An interesting research on the latter topic was carried out few weeks ago by Blogmeter, a social media monitoring and analytics company. Blogmeter has analized the official Facebook profiles of 16 international football clubs involved in main European competitions for two months: from December 2014 to January 2015. The results showed Italian Football is chasing Spain, England and Germany when it comes to social media activity.
The best performance, as Blogmeter reported, is represented by Barcelona F.C., the most followed team with the highest engagement rate. Other clubs showing best practices are Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea, while Italian clubs are falling behind in the ranking. It’s difficult for Italian teams to get close to results such as the ones obtained on Facebook by the top three clubs in the list: Barcelona (with 81,9 millions fan), Real Madrid (81,4 millions) and Manchester United (64,6 millions).
WHO IS THE ITALIAN LEADER?
Milan A. C., the Italian leader, is at 8th place, having “only” 30% of fans the top Spanish Clubs have. Juventus is the next Italian club in the ranking at 11th place, with less than 16,3 millions fans at the end of January. Inter, Roma and Napoli are standing at the bottom, 14th, 15th and 16th respectively with less than 6 millions fans.
It goes without saying that the gap between the Top European clubs is noteworthy. Furthermore, the distance within Europe is increasing day by day. On Facebook, Real Madrid is gaining popularity with an average of 50.000 fans a day against 19,000 by Juventus and 11,000 by Milan.
Nevertheless in the research mentioned above, additional interesting data came out : some of the Italian clubs are in the top ranking if we analyze social networking activity. In this case, Inter F.C. is the leader, with an average of 25,1 daily posts on Facebook, while the bronze medal goes to Juventus with 22,3 posts.
To conclude we could say that Italian Football clubs still do not have the ability of improving their social campaign through social media activities to follow their European competitors, but at the same time they are not that bad at it; we could consider this slight “delay” as a result of a previous activities.
THE MAIN ISSUE
It took a while before Italian Football has been able to assimilate the new “business” concept, but fortunately we are slowly getting back, even if late (as shown in the second part of analysis). The lack of creativity is definitely the main issue for social media development in Italy. Social campaigns indeed look like a revisited example of international good performance, and it’s quite difficult to “go viral” and engage through imitation. Moreover, the clubs are still suffering from the presence of old management, people who will never get used to social media environment and have trouble dealing with it. On the other hand, young staff who has deep knowledge and understanding of new media and communication field is barely present. Italian Clubs have good community potential and a strong basis to improve social media practice. Maybe they just need to steer all of that in the right direction.
Youth and creativity might be the keywords for progress!