With the Euro 2012 football championships kicking off on Friday, most of the competing teams still have work to do when it comes to interacting with their fans on Facebook. While the Russian team is best engaged with its Facebook community, the average participation by fans on the national football teams’ pages in general is relatively low.
LEWIS PR and Facebook Page analytics tool Statilizer examined how many people the national teams and key players in Euro 2012 reach through their official Facebook Pages and how fans engage with the Euro 2012 teams and players on Facebook. The latter was determined by measuring fan activity on the pages using Statilizer, over the period January 1 until May 31 2012.
The research shows having a large number of fans does not necessarily mean national teams and their players are able to connect with their fans. While England has the highest number of Facebook fans – more than 1.4 million – out of all the competing countries in Euro 2012, England fans have a relatively low amount of interactions with the team.
Fan activity says more about how football supporters are interacting with their teams than number of fans for the official team page. Therefore, we made an analysis of fan activity on the teams and top players participating in the tournament. This resulted in a score called the Real Engagement Rate, which represents the average amount of interactions – posts/comments/likes – by fans on the national teams’ and key players’ Facebook Pages.
Russia was followed by tournament favourites the Netherlands and Germany as best performing teams in terms of engagement with its Facebook community. Denmark finds itself at the bottom of the table when it comes to fan interaction.
One of the biggest European football stars on the pitch, appeared to be the top player on Facebook as well. Reaching over 44 million fans on his Facebook page and being most engaged with his fan community, Cristiano Ronaldo is by far the best performing player that participates in Euro 2012, just before the start of the tournament.
Where Cristiano Ronaldo scores high on both general fan reach and engagement, most of the tournament’s players and especially national teams have trouble engaging with fans on their Facebook Pages. This lack of interaction means national teams and players miss out on an opportunity. As we have seen in several national football leagues and during the Rugby Six Nations Cup, fans have turned to social media more and more to support their national teams and players. Interacting with fans on Facebook instead of using the social networking site as a broadcast medium gives a whole new form of support to players and teams.
Whether teams and players will be able to improve their community engagement on Facebook during the tournament will be decided at the beginning of July. An updated analysis by LEWIS PR and Statilizer will than make clear which team can call itself the real Euro 2012 Facebook champion and which players are the Facebook stars of the tournament.