Spartak and Zenit compete not only for influence in the RPL, for points in the table and for the right to be called the most popular club in the country. The battle is also taking place on social networks. The methods are different, the goal is the same – to attract active Internet users to promote the brand and win new partners and sponsors.
By July 30 of this year, the two main clubs of the country have practically broken through a unique figure – 10,000,000 people with a total audience in social networks. Spartak is still a little behind: the number of Muscovites’ subscribers in different accounts is 4,979,140. Zenit has 5,001,354 users. This is how it all was considered.
Main team accounts
VKontakte: Zenit (1 119 648), Spartak (1 185 207)
Twitter: Zenit (797 842), Spartak (655 082)
Youtube: Zenit (543,000), Spartak (285,000)
Instagram: Zenit (721,000), Spartak (569,000)
TikTok: Zenit (425,300), Spartak (1,200,000)
Facebook: Zenit (960 442), Spartak (702 515)
Odnoklassniki: Zenit (111,153), Spartak (29390)
Telegram: Zenit (13159), Spartak (0)
Viber: Zenit (0), Spartak (217,000)
Weibo: Zenit (133 796), Spartak (0)
The general audience of the academy in different social networks: Zenit (45324), Spartak (71200)
Women’s team: Zenit (25372), Spartak (0)
Shop: Zenit (55443), Spartak (0)
Stadium: Zenit (49845), Spartak (64746)
Which club in Russia is the most popular on social networks. Research “Championship”
The main misconception is high-profile posts about the number of subscribers. Such raw numbers (or numbers of club partners: Spartak has this agency Blinkfire Analytics, which analyzes exclusively their audience, without covering others), sponsors generally do not pay attention to. For them, the most valuable thing is coverage. The most important aspect in 2021.
“Everyone who works with a brand to one degree or another, whether it’s the owner or the marketer, is most concerned with the reach of the brand — in this case, the football club. Content creators are focused on how many views their content gets, rather than the total number of followers a community has. The number of subscribers is also important, but very often the number of views for a post in a community with one million subscribers and one hundred thousand is the same. It all depends on how interested the subscribers are in the content and how active they are, “he confirmed to the Championship. Mutaz Shehad, curator of affiliate programs and content manager of media projects 4-3-3.
Spartak and Zenit still live in a relatively classic paradigm for a modern user. For example, they actively use VKontakte to interact with the audience. Zenit and Spartak have approximately the same number of posts per day – five or six with the main club news. The interaction of the audience with the content is also roughly similar – 300-500 likes and about 50 comments on minor news items and 2000-5000 likes, about 1000 reposts and hundreds of comments on important news. But I will note again: the number of subscribers can be measured as many clubs as they want, but this only brings moral satisfaction
“The number of subscribers is definitely an overrated indicator,” continues Shehad. – Communities often try to cheat by winding up subscribers. Such “users” do not give anything to the community other than quantity. I would also like to point out that the content always needs to be changed, refreshed, since the set of your subscribers is changing all the time – and what was interesting to them five years ago will not be of interest to them or to the new audience that you have recently. “
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Interaction can be positive, or vice versa. But hate is not a monetized phenomenon. It mainly exists for the scandalous promotion of the brand.
“For my taste, the same skirmishes between admins are a bit overrated,” says Shehad. – You need to understand the difference between trolling and the desire to be fun. Trolling is when your club acts like a teenager, showing disrespect for other teams, their fans and the audience in general. It damages the brand image. Admins should understand what this or that post will lead to. The less narcissism on the part of the admin, the better for the brand. We see many such examples on Twitter, where clubs troll each other, creating a toxic atmosphere.
On the other hand, when clubs exchange really funny jokes, try to amuse the audience, it’s great. But if you troll other teams and players hard on behalf of the club, that’s bad for football in general. “
It is already clear that club partners need a base audience that consumes most of what is offered to them and what they are already accustomed to. That is, her own and loyal.
“There are two ways by which you can directly monetize content – this is a paid subscription to goals and video reviews, as well as to what happens to the team outside the football field: flights, the locker room, the internal kitchen. If we talk about the second way, then this is a story about involving a fan inside the club. I’m sure this is exactly what will make people spend their money. It can also be archived matches – experienced fans will definitely want to watch a conditional game between Zenit and Spartak from the mid-eighties.
Interviews with the players also immerse the fans in the life of the team, thanks to them they get the opportunity to learn every detail, feel the atmosphere and become even more attached to the club, “Shehad said.
Club Instagram is good for marketing projects – they have long gained a solid audience from Russian tops. In addition to the usual posting, occasionally there are challenges made specifically for the insta format. Zenit, for example, held a Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament at the training camp and published it on Instagram. The number of likes and comments here is also similar: on average, a post is liked by 8-12 thousand people. The number of comments is about 200-400.
On video platforms, the clubs have gone different ways: Zenit creates creative on Youtube, makes weekly programs there, quick reactions and legendary hidden cameras. Spartak has a more classic approach there and, accordingly, fewer subscribers.
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Spartak has made a big bet on TikTok. Right now, the brand of red and white is being promoted there better than any other brand of a sports club in Russia. The number of subscribers also speaks for this, but the engagement is huge. With 1.2 million viewers, Spartak videos rarely get less than 500 thousand views. And there are those that collect two, five and even almost 11 million. Fresh from the fresh – the played joke about the invitation to “Spartak” Leo Messi. The club posted a fake screen of the correspondence with the Barca player and an invitation to go. The video has 10.8 million views, 1.7 million likes and more than 13 thousand comments. Including from an international audience. Zenit is also gradually bursting into TikTok, but so far more cautiously.
“TikTok is the fastest growing platform right now, the most used application among a young audience. If you look at the statistics, then there is the highest percentage among the audience under the age of 15-20 years. They are not your fans yet, but by becoming subscribers and starting to follow your content, they may possibly become them in the future. If we talk about monetization, it is not direct – after seeing a lot of content with a conventional Malcolm, subscribers can go and buy his T-shirt, ”Mutaz said.
Considering the number of partners and sponsors of the leading Russian clubs, they are on the right track. But it is far from maximum efficiency: the same Barca has accounts in almost all existing world social networks. Everyone knows this brand, and the number of partners is huge. In Russia, Rubin can compete with the two top clubs in terms of content. In Kazan, it is funny and interesting, but the audience is still much lower. And in the post-Soviet space, the reference point can be Shakhtar and its Youtube project. Perhaps no other club from the former USSR brings fans closer to the team like they do.