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FC Barcelona has become the leading football club on Douyin, the Chinese version of Tik Tok, the main site for short format mobile videos. The Club formalised its presence on Douyin on 25 January 2019 and since then, the acceptance of its community has been spectacular, as evidenced by the total of 2.91 million followers gained in just over a year, more than other teams that were there long before Barça broke onto the scene.
Specifically, in the first five months, Barça gained 1 million followers. Such growth meant the club overtook Real Madrid earlier this week to take top spot in terms of the number of followers, despite joining Douyin nine months later than the all-whites. The top five is completed by Chelsea, Juventus and PSG.
In a little over a year the Barça account has received a total of 56.9 million likes, which, together with video views, is another indicator of fan engagement. FC Barcelona also has the highest average interactions per video published with 210,000 likes per post, ranking ahead of other sports clubs, including those in the NBA.
Committed to creating content designed for each market
This milestone reinforces FC Barcelona’s leading position in the digital ecosystem of social media, as well as showcasing the club’s commitment to creating content tailored to its different markets. One of Barça’s key goals in China is to increase not only the number of followers but also the amount of engagement with the fans, through the creation of content designed especially for the Asian audience and adapted to their digital landscape. To achieve this, since last year the club has had two communication and marketing agencies based in Shanghai that are exclusively focused on this market.
The most outstanding actions aimed at the Chinese audience include creating a video to celebrate the Chinese New Year using motifs and elements from the country’s tradition and the creation of vlogs in Chinese at key moments of the season. Also, last February, when China was at the centre of the Coronavirus pandemic with the highest number of infected patients, the Chinese channels were used as a way for the club to send messages of encouragement and support to the population as part of the Stronger Together campaign promoted by FC Barcelona. In this context, videos were created of both Barça staff and fans around the world expressing their solidarity with those affected, along with news items about the action before the Liga match against Getafe on February 15, when the players were joined on the pitch by boys and girls from the ‘Dracts Units Xinesos pel Barça’ group wearing a shirt with the message ‘Stronger Together’ and the words 中国加油, meaning “Support for China’. The action was very well received with over 30 million views and a million interactions on the club’s different social channels in China.
Barça’s commitment to innovation and digital formats in order to connect with different audiences received major recognition last January, precisely in China, where FC Barcelona was recognised as the best digital club in the country at the Red Card 2020 awards, presented by Mailman, the prestigious consulting company in the field of marketing and sports. The prize was collected on behalf of the club by Dídac Lee, board member and head of the Digital Area.
Statement by Dídac Lee, FC Barcelona board member and head of the Digital Area
“We are very proud of the rapid and solid growth that FC Barcelona has registered on Douyin and how well accepted our content has been among its community. We are convinced that the best way to connect and generate engagement is by being able to know our audience and offer them content that interests them. Our leadership in such a key market for us as China demonstrates that our fans appreciate this effort and how we are working to get close to them at all times, whether during competition or during difficult times like those we are living now. Also, I have to say that on a personal level, I am particularly proud that we are benchmarks in a country and among an audience that represents my origins”.
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