And then there were 20. Welcome to Twitter, Manchester United (@ManUtd). All 20 Premier League (@PremierLeague) clubs are now on Twitter after the last remaining team, Manchester United, opened their official account today (there’s a handy page here to find the other Premier League teams on Twitter).
The club’s press office previously had its own account for club news, @ManUtd_PO. That has now been renamed @MU_Spokesperson, and the club has launched its first official presence on Twitter at @ManUtd. Their first tweet went live at 0830 UK time on Wednesday, acknowledging the new era under manager David Moyes.
New era, same spirit. The season starts here. Let’s do this. #mufc— Manchester United ( @ManUtd) July 10, 2013
United leave for their pre-season tour of Asia and Australia today, and the new @ManUtd account will be using its unparalleled access to deliver exclusive content to fans during that tour.
The official hashtag the club will use is #MUFC. Fans should also use that hashtag to join the global conversation about the club. For tweets about the pre-season tour specifically, the club will use #mutour.
One of the most powerful uses of Twitter is to break news, and United already have experience of that having broken the announcement via their press office Twitter account that legendary ex-manager Sir Alex Ferguson would be retiring in May. That tweet had more than 35,000 retweets and faves.
There were 1.4 million mentions of the story in just one hour after United tweeted it, and their official hashtag (#ThankYouSirAlex) was a number one global trend. It was used more than 100,000 times in the hour after the announcement, and was later used on the team bus which paraded the Premier League trophy around Manchester.
Twitter is also a great way for fans to get close to their heroes, and United already boasts the two most-followed sportspeople in the UK: Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) and Rio Ferdinand (@RioFerdy5) with 6.7 million and 4.4 million followers respectively.
Luis Nani (@luisnani) and David de Gea (@D_DeGea) each have more than 2 million followers, Chicarito Hernandez (@CH14_) is almost at that number. Tom Cleverley (@tomclevz23) has more than 1 million, and the likes of Phil Jones (@Ph1lj0nes), Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha), Michael Carrick (@carras16) and Antonio Valencia (@7AntoV) are also on Twitter for fans to follow.
Right across the Premier League clubs and players use Twitter to get their fans closer. Arsenal (@Arsenal) have the most followers, having just become the first team to pass 2.5 million. Chelsea (@ChelseaFC) are chasing them down with almost 2.5 million, and Liverpool (@LFC) have 1.8 million. All three of those clubs are among the Premier League teams to have opened non-English language accounts to reach fans around the globe.
The Premier League itself (@PremierLeague) is approaching 2 million followers and treats its fans around the world to live tweets, score updates and news throughout the season. Outside of the UK, FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) and Real Madrid (@RealMadrid) are the most followed teams in world sport, with more than 9 million and 8 million followers respectively on their main accounts. The two most-followed sports people in the world are both footballers - ex-Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) and Kaka (@KAKA) have 19 million and 16 million followers respectively.
Whoever you support, search Twitter for your club’s name and your favourite players’ names, look for the blue verified badge, and get following!
Good luck to @ManUtd and all the other teams for the 2013/14 season.