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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Sports in Chinese social media – How to measure success? Beware of the BIG numbers!

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

Over the summer several of the top Premier League clubs joined the hunt for fans in China.  Manchester United and Liverpool are still leading the way in terms of market share and established fan groups across China’s key cities, but Manchester City and Chelsea have entered the market with a bang, attracting vast numbers on the two largest social networks in China:  SINA and Tencent Weibo.

However, huge numbers can be deceiving.  So how best do we measure which club has the strongest foothold in the Chinese market?

It is common knowledge that Chinese social networks are flooded with thousands upon thousands of fake accounts, floating around cyberspace available for purchase by the latest brand or club looking to boost its followers.  Everyone does it…accept it.  Big numbers are the norm in China.

Let’s take a look at some figures:


 (Av. forwards/comments calculated from 25 consecutive posts.     (Results taken on 14th Sept 2012)

The Takeaway

So whether you are taking on China’s social media landscape single handedly, or whether you’ve hired the experts (the Mailman) to do it for you….one thing is certain……big numbers aren’t everything.  Of course they are important, however there is one other set of figures which must be taken into account.  Those are fan engagement: how many people are interacting on your page every day, commenting, sharing, and discussing your club?  Conquer this, and you’re half way there to hitting the big time in China.

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