Man City and Leverkusen show how capturing the mood pays off on social

Tottenham played Manchester City three whole times in April following the UEFA Champions League draw. Some thought City were unstoppable, sure to bypass Spurs with ease. However, after trailing 1-0 from the first leg, City knew they had to win the match by two goals. Following an intense first half, which saw 5 goals go through either net, City were cruelly denied a semi-final place by VAR. In response, the social media account posted an incoherent tweet, echoing a similar reaction from AS Roma a year ago – albeit in very different circumstances.

To make this tweet even more amusing, this was in fact the result of the Man City social media manager hitting his head on his keyboard. It surely wasn’t planned that way, but it garnered more engagements than their tweet of the final score by over 2000%. Talk about capturing the mood of the moment.

There’s always a debate around just how professional a social media account should be. It projects a club to the wider world, and therefore has to be representative. But at the same time, social media – and especially during matchday – isn’t always the place for the most serious commentary.

Football is a sport, but for the most part it’s a form of entertainment – and some clubs have had serious results with this strategy. Especially some European clubs who are ensuring their clubs gets in front of an international, English-speaking audience.

Leverkusen’s success in garnering a large following of fans to their English language page is down to their humorous, meme-worthy tweets such as the one they posted following their game against Bayern Munich, table leaders and defending champions, earlier this season.

Though it must be said that the amount of engagement this tweet got is over 10 times the amount that the majority of their other tweets get, which dwindle in the hundreds – despite the sharp wit.

Increasing fan engagement with quick clap backs has become part of the entertainment, and fans are increasingly checking a team’s social media pages just to see how they’ve reacted to a big match or even a big news story.

Unlike Roma, Leverkusen and the countless other European teams who are increasing their English-language support with pithy social channels, Premier League clubs don’t have that problem – and so they’re arguably being beaten in the creativity stakes. Last week, Manchester City showed what happens when they let loose.

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