The DFB women recorded a huge follower growth on Instagram during the World Cup in France. But why was that exactly?? We interviewed digital expert Finn Clausen, who looks after the players in social media.
At the Women’s World Cup (WC) in France, the German Football Association failed (DFB) while already in the quarterfinals against Sweden. On the Internet, the national team celebrated great successes.
Theself-deprecating commercials of the DFB women, numerous shared Instagram postings and a separate video series of the DFB gave the athletes plenty of media attention and an enormous follower growth in the social web.
For example, 20-year-old Giulia Gwinn is one of the top instagrammers in June 2019 alongside actress Milena Tscharntke. But in turn.
Finn Clausen: TheExpert in digital communication in an interview
Some DFB women are not solely responsible for their social media presence. Finn Clausen is an expert in digital communication, strategy and social media. He advises female players on social media and did so during the World Cup.
In an interview withBASIC thinkingHe explains why the athletes’ social media channels were able to record the enormous growth, what his work with the DFB women looked like, and what really matters when reporting on the net.
BASIC thinking:Finn, you are an expert on digital communication and take care of soccer national players like Sara Dbritz, Linda Dallmann and Lina Magull in the field of social media – also for the last World Cup in France. Why are social media so important to athletes?
Finn Clausen: Almuth Schult complains again and again that the players get too little attention. This is funny because she is the only player in the German World Cup squad not an Instagram account recorded. If she does not even want to talk about her life as an athlete, why should others do it?
For a long time, it will no longer be necessary to have gatekeepers in the form of journalists in 2019 to bring content to the users. Dbut the players themselves are responsible.
Personal and external media are important for DFB women
The self-deprecating commercial of the DFB women gave the players much attention before the World Cup. A prime example of how the media presence is in your own hands today?
The Commerzbank and its agency Thjnk have hit the zeitgeist with their clip: In international comparison, no German national player can be found in the top 25 of the Follower-strongest players.
Of course, a boom always involves a combination of different components, including TV and other media. But the Commerzbank has proved that the starting signal can always come from one.
Do you have an example?
For example, Sara Dbritz, with her partner Nike, deliberately approached many modern media in order to open up new target groups. This is not only about own posts, but also about the presence on other channels.
Sara was not only in the Bravo Sport, the kicker and the Vogue, but also in the Instagram account offootball heroesor represented by 15-year-old YouTube star Leonie Balys. This is also evident in the general awareness: Most people have searched Google for Sara Dbritz.
Commitment is more important than the number of followers
What about players who have fewer followers? Can they somehow match the engagement rate of players like Sara Dbritz?
If you look at the accounts of Caro Daur with two million followers or Farina Opoku with one million followers on Instagram, they currently come to an average of 25,000 likes per photo.
That’s exactly the league in which Sara Dbritz also plays. But many companies always look at the number of followers. That’s a big mistake!
In times of declining organic reach, engagement is much more important. The number of followers in itself says nothing, because over time many fans the contributions of the influencers do not get displayed. However, prices are often calculated based on the number of followers.
Finn Clausen: “Sport is always in the foreground”
What was your operative work with the players? How did you go about setting goals and creating an individual strategy for the World Cup?
Before the World Cup, I sat down with them and talked about ways to improve. Sara Dbritz, for example, does not always post regularly during the season. After the game, there are more important things for you than worrying about a post for a few minutes.
The sport is always in the foreground. We’ve decided to pick out three or four matching photos during the match, which she has on her phone with the final whistle.
For this we have a cooperation withDAZNclosed, who delivered us the pictures in a timely manner. Sara just had to decide on a photo and a description and I was able to drop the mail for her.
No less than 30 minutes after the match, her emotions were shared across the platforms with all fans worldwide. And Sara was able to use the time gained in the stadium to talk to extended family, friends and fans.
Most of the time she checked the first 100 to 200 comments in the bus on the way back to the hotel, while many players were still looking for matching game photos.
So it’s an advantage to drop a post as soon as possible?
After progressing against Nigeria in the second round 16 hours after the final whistle only four players had posted a photo. I feel that this is a missed opportunity if attention is required on the one hand, but at the same time opportunities are ignored.
Instagram and Co. count as modern media work for me and are just as important as the obligatory mixed zone after the game. I worked with the players on this mindset so they could understand the impact of their communication.
DFB women: An authentic social media appearance counteracts prejudices
Although women’s football works differentlyas the men’s football, many fans make direct comparisons. This often results in prejudice. Do you think that an authentic social media presence can work against it?
I am convinced of that. Linda Dallmann filmed dancing Lina Magull in an Instagram story and shared that with her followers.Mirror onlinehas integrated the scene into an article to show how the players are ticking.
Those who follow them on Instagram know how funny they are. Linda has a sponsorship deal shortly before the World CupSc.24.comcompleted. In particular, toobecause the brand liked their personal Instagram insights so much.
The DFB also did a good job during the World Cup and accompanied the team with their own YouTube series #IMTEAM. InThe clips speak a lot to the clips. Just Caro Simon got off very well. She was only herself.
Many people have noticed by the format, how incredibly sympathetic the players are.
What about players sitting on the bench? Are they at a disadvantage because they can not post active content from the field?
Yes and no. Of course, players like Sara Dbritz have a tremendous advantage because of their outstanding performances, their goals, their two-time election as players of the match. Every important goal has brought a boost of a few thousand followers.
Giulia Gwinn recorded over one thousand percent follower growth. That would not have been possible without her goal and subsequent reporting.
But also Linda Dallmann was able to win 43 percent new followers, although she had only short stakes. That’s a very good value compared to the rest of the teamIn particular, the fact that she shared good insights into the inner life of the team between matches.
Only Melanie Leupolz shared more with 33 posts than Linda with 28 posts.
Giulia Gwinn wins the most fans
Giulia Gwinn has recorded an incredible follower increase of more than one thousand percent since May 23, 2019. She is clearly in first place in the national team. Is the enormous growth just a consequence of your sporting achievements or is there more behind it?
Of course, this has a lot to do with the associated reporting. Also otherwise Giulia has played – especially for her age – an absolutely convincing tournament.The follower growth is out of all proportion to the athletic performance of players.
It’s very clear that the prettier a player is, the easier it is for her to win new followers on the visual medium of Instagram. Some deliberately play this card, others deliberately limit themselves.
Giulia was Germany’s top-of-the-line account with her follower explosion in June. Sara Dbritz has grown in the tournament by 68 percent and could win over 30,000 new fans. This makes it Germany’s top ten.
In the end, it’s the mix of good work in social media, media relations and marketing, as well as the athletic performance that leads to Instagram’s success. For example, Sara is integrated into major Nike and Coca Cola campaigns.
The DFB women benefit from their newly won followers
How can players now benefit from their new Instagram followers?
A look at the insights is important. It would of course be fantastic if thePlayers can encourage young girls to pursue their goals.In reality, women’s football but also many men look. This is reflected in the followers again. Mostly over 50 percent are maleat the age of 18 to 34 years.
Apart from that, the players can of course also profit from the new followers in monetary terms.Most accounts are still almost free of advertising and therefore interesting for sponsors.
Smaller campaigns often do not require thousands of dollars. The Commerzbank clip has shown that the players working with partners are very straightforward. They also see partnerships as appreciation for what they do physically.
What do you advise the players after the World Cup? Can you take the hype by continuing to post diligently?
You should not pretend, but act as it is acceptable for them. The Instagram algorithm rewards diligent posts when the content is relevant. But that does not fit with every player.
Ideally, they can take on social media the role that play in the team. After all, it’s about more than just posting photos: If, for example, I want to be a leader in the club, then I also need to deal with fans and the media.
The players should definitely have learned one thing from the focus: There is a public interest in the team and the individual players. Nobody, who was #IMTEAM, still acts privately on social media.
Finn, thank you for the interview!
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