How are football accounts topping the table on TikTok?
It’s an inarguable truth that football consumes the lives of millions around the world and has for decades. Watching your team at the weekend, playing as them on FIFA or reading every inch of news related to them, it's an obsession. An obsession that has in recent times found a new arena, TikTok.
So how are teams showcasing their skills in short-form?
Now I swear, there’s no bias here (okay maybe a little bit). Arsenal FC are a great example of how to score on TikTok, having the highest engagement rate across football teams on TikTok right now with around 15%*. Through match highlights, archive footage and behind the scenes content they are giving fans everything they could ever need to cure their non-matchday blues. So, let’s look at a few examples of what they do and why it’s worked out for them.
Match highlight videos are the simplest form of content for football teams, in this case Arsenal added a little flair to raise engagement. By adding a popular track along with a very simple editing tweak, this video goes from a normal match highlight to one of the most viewed videos on the whole account, hitting 12.2M views and over 1.2M likes.
They do a similar thing with archive footage, showing clips of players that fans once loved, or a classic moment in the club's history. This is a great practice for football accounts, reminiscence is such a powerful tool and football fans love a reminder of a great player they used to watch on a weekly basis, bringing back memories or emotions of those times and often they want to share that with others - “Remember him, how good was he?”.
1M Views 91K Likes
Arsenal also do behind the scenes content really well, whether that’s the bench cam reactions from big match moments, or candid training clips. But, the most impactful content comes from player interaction, showing a different side to what we see on the pitch can really grow the fans love for a player or team.
This TikTok captures some interaction between teammates, showing their personality in an informal environment.
1.4M Views 151K likes
Again, this is great practice for any football team’s account, with many other accounts doing this well too, often using q & a style videos which Arsenal used to great effect in 2022.
Austrian giants RB Salzburg are another example of a Champions League level club showing form on TikTok, but with rather different methods to that of Arsenal. Their primary focus is on humour, and strangely enough for an Austrian team, their content is clearly made to reach a global audience as it’s more or less all in English. By using trending sounds, cap-cuts and football related humour – poking fun at themselves and other teams, they are bringing in audiences that don’t even really care about the team itself but the sport overall. Comparing it to Arsenal, even visually, you can see a huge difference. Arsenal post mostly clean, high-quality content while Salzburg are more focused on cracking into meme culture.
42.8M views 528K like
3.5M views 323K likes
This is another great way to increase engagement and awareness for a football team TikTok as there is no need for fans to have a pre-formed connection to the club.
A Bunch of Amateurs
Okay, okay, this one is kind of cheating because this account covers a view different clubs, but it gives a great example of behind-the-scenes content and how lower-level football teams can still score on TikTok.
Grass roots or lower league football is something that’s became really popular on the football side of TikTok. Although mostly from clips of terrible tackles in Sunday League games, there is certainly an interest in seeing how these smaller teams work. Wrexham being bought over by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney has brought even more spotlight to the lower divisions of football in the UK as they look to take Wrexham from Non-League to the peak of the football pyramid. As part of this takeover, TikTok became a shirt sponsor for Wrexham in the first two seasons, further strengthening the bridge between non-league football and short form social media, bringing a new berth of football fans to the platform.
A Bunch of Amateurs’ most popular content focuses on the journey of Dorking Wanderers and their head coach Marc White, he has really become the face of the account and arguably non-league/amateur football TikTok as a whole. Marc is a rather outspoken character, but that really does draw in the audience watching this content more because it feels so real and grounded.
The major reason this account is so successful is because it just gives a true insight to the world of amateur football with all the passion and fire that comes along with it. From the pitch side to the dressing room, this content is making this bunch of amateurs look like TikTok pros.
1.8M 151K likes
1.6M Views 138K likes
It’s time for you to score
To wrap up here, the success in football team TikTok comes from giving your audience a taste of something that most football TV broadcasts can’t really give them. Whether that’s behind-the-scenes action, edits of the latest game’s highlights or getting in on the classic football fan banter, your fans and the wider football fan-base want to see beyond the pitch. The platform also gives clubs the opportunity to find an on-screen star, someone the fans will really engage with and continue watching the content just to see, finding your own Marc White could be the key to hitting your stride on TikTok.
So, if you’re reading this from the TikTok dugout, then it’s time to lace up your boots and put these learnings into action, but if you need an assist, Hydrogen are here to help.
From training to strategy, creation and advertising, our team of experts are on hand to help you create viral-worthy content for your club! Get in touch.
*Arsenal’s engagement rate was 14.9% in 2022 as reported by https://www.rivaliq.com/blog/tiktok-benchmark-report-2022/ and according to Hype Auditor it’s currently 14.2%.