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Red Devils take to Twitter

Graeme Parton

On Wednesday morning, Manchester United became the last of the current Premier League clubs to officially join Twitter.

The account was launched at 8:30 am, with the first Tweet reading:

“New era, same spirit. The season starts here. Let’s do this.”

By 3:00 pm, the club had around 250,000 followers.

Alongside Twitter, Manchester United has also started to use a Chinese micro-blogging site called Sina Weibo. Using this, the club’s fans in the Far East will have access to exclusive content and regularly updated news feeds.

The Twitter account – @ManUtd – has launched in English only so far, but more languages are expected to be covered in the coming months. It is hoped the move will help it to further cement its place as the most famous football club in the world.

Despite having nearly 35 million followers on Facebook, the club’s bosses had, until now, decided to hold off from using Twitter. It is thought the change of heart is down, in part, to the arrival of David Sternberg, United’s new head of media.

Sternberg was appointed earlier in the year and was expected to work with a focus on boosting the club’s online presence, particularly on the social media platforms. With the addition of Twitter, the club will no doubt be in a better position to capitalise on opportunities to advertise with its commercial partners, perhaps using sponsored posts during games.

Given the club’s stature, some experts have suggested that its follower-count could hit one million within the next seven days. It is also expected to overtake Chelsea and Arsenal, which have 2.4 million and 2.5 million followers respectively. Spain’s Real Madrid and Barcelona have the biggest followings in the football world, with 8.1 million and 9.4 million.

The sharp rise in the number of followers on Manchester United’s Twitter page puts focus on the wide reach the site’s users can have. While there are few businesses that will have an appeal like that of the Premiership’s most successful team, a significant impact can certainly be made with the right strategy in place.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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