#9 – Improving Sales & Brand Visibility With Followerwonk

Since the beginning of the English Premier League (1992, no football didn’t exist before…) the battle for fans & their disposable income has mainly been an international one with ‘brands’ like Manchester Utd, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal & even Liverpool looking to gain fans by playing high profile friendly matches abroad during the pre season.

Over the last 20 years advertising a teams style or brand has become vitally important as sport has combined with technology to become more accessible, professional and financially motivated. For examples of this check out ‘mes que un club‘, Arsenal’s brand values or Bayern Munich’s facebookfacepalm.

That’s all well and good Sean but what does this have to do with Followerwonk and or selling stuff?

Good point. Lets get too it.

For today’s example I will be looking at Manchester City Football Club and how they can increase shirt sales, brand visibility and/or match tickets when they play abroad during pre season. As you may have gathered from the title I will be using Followerwonk to find regional twitter followers for Manchester City.

Find the handle – First things first lets find the brand twitter account. For this example the Manchester City Twitter account is @MCFC

Grab some data – Next login to Followerwonk and copy and paste the twitter handle into ‘Analyze Followers’ before choosing to ‘analyze their followers’. Run the report, this should take around half an hour. Due to the large number of followers Followerwonk use a random sample of 100,000 out of the 630,047 current followers. This isn’t perfect but we should still get some decent data (I think this requires a twitter account and SEOmoz pro account, not 100% sure.)

Review your report – Once it’s ready check out your report. Followerwonk aims to approximate the geographic location of up to 5,000 followers (as you can see below.) Unfortunately we don’t have the fixtures for Manchester City’s next pre season so we will base it on where they played last year. After a bit of research I’ve found out that they played Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Lets check out the followers for that region of the world (the red 262…)

Drill down – And again… (yellow 53…)

Choose your location – So now we have regional twitter followers that we know will be interested in Manchester City games and merchandise. As the majority of the fans are in the capital city (Kuala Lumpur) and that is the most likely location for any future games we will drill down there (yellow 25…)

Keep drilling – So below we drill down again (yellow 10) and we get a couple of options. Lets check out @yandiimaulana


Potential customer? – I think it’s safe to say he’s a brand advocate… It might be difficult getting him to buy the first kit though. Might try and see if he likes the 2nd kit. 🙂

Even if the rest of the local followers don’t show the same enthusiasm & zeal as Yandi you still have a great opportunity to get in contact with fans and offer memberships, discounted merchandise and/or show some thanks for their support. Imagine how many local social shares/word of mouth your brand could get within a certain region if you offered specific discounts to specific followers?

For example I’ve just seen the Manchester City Twitter feed tweet the following.

But wouldn’t it be a great opportunity to do the following?

O.k. so the tweet is a little formal but I think you get the picture. I think this idea has legs particularly for smaller businesses looking to undercut large businesses within competitive sectors (review competitor followers, offer their customers a better deal…)

TL;DR = Use Followerwonk, find fans, offer unique deals, increase brand visibility & sales.

You can thank me below.

Actually don’t. Go and get your daily muse on. Anthony is once again talking sense about tweet curation and bubbly content.

Go on now…


  1. Reply

    This post is #winning, and shows a bit of guerrilla marketing, which i think the bigger dudes don’t have the balls, resources, or care to implement. There is a lot of opportunity for small businesses to be keen in a variety of manners.

    This expresses one way to build brand advocates, which big business does so fucking wrong. CARE and ATTEND to consumers. People notice if they’re just dollar signs; they also notice if a brand takes interest in them.. one small sentiment can create an advocate, who then speaks well of your brand to others.. in this day of social media.. ‘word of mouth’ takes on a whole other definition, which can benefit smaller businesses.

    • Reply
      Sean December 18, 2012

      It sure is!

      The more I think about it the more I like it as an idea for small business. If a large company has 90% of the market get in touch with their fans/customers – Make it personal, sell it cheaper than other people will and do it with a smile 🙂 Watch business boom.

  2. Reply
    Gareth December 18, 2012

    Great Post Sean, agreed its a great idea for small businesses.

    p.s. Yandi Maulana Yusuf is likely to be one of MCFC bot accounts, created to give the illusion of an international fan base

    • Reply
      Sean December 18, 2012

      Hey Gareth, thanks for the kind words. Do you really think that the account is fake? If it is then bots have got a lot better than the ones that follow me on Twitter! It brings an interesting point though. I wonder what % of City, Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool followers on Twitter are real? I might look into it at some point.

  3. Reply
    Patrick Hathaway December 19, 2012

    I wasn’t into football as a child, until I started playing at around 10 years old (happily coincided with the 92/93 season…). When I then started watching it, I decided I needed a team to support.

    With no local influence coming from my father, who wasn’t bothered about football, I had free reign to choose any team I liked. But how to go about choosing? Not unlike most kids, I figured, ‘who do the cool kids support?’

    Manchester United you say? Top of the league you say? Eric Cantona you say? Sold.

    Yes of course the winning was good, and some of the players from that era were a delight, but the main driver for me (at least at first) was being ‘in’ with the cool kids.

    Everybody is influenced by others – whether based on popularity, knowledge or perceived authority on a subject – and this influence can most definitely affect buying decisions. It is wonderful that through the types of tools and processes you’ve covered here ANYONE can identify and connect with the influencers they want to find.

    Big brands have been doing this for years (see P & G’s ‘Tremor’, for example), and lovely little tidbits like this allow the little guys to join them. Nice work Sean.

    P.S. A few years later I must have been re-influenced that supporting Man Utd was a cop-out and that real fans support their local team, so I wearily accepted my fate as a Leicester City fan. That, Mr Anderson, is the sound of inevitability.

    • Reply
      Sean December 19, 2012

      Yo Patrick 🙂

      I didn’t start playing football until I was 8 and similarly I supported Man Utd first. For some reason I decided to support another team and the first time we got sky sports I saw Newcastle (coincidentally) thrash Leicester 5-0, glory supporter eh? From then on I’ve experienced the lows of Souness, Owen and Roeder & the horrific lows of The Championship, Marcelinho and Xisco.

      Like you said there has never been a better time or opportunity to make sales/money and be seen as a cool brand as there is now. So many companies are still waking up to the idea of social media and how it can influence their business. Get in there first! Would Ideasbynet ever look to do this sort of thing?

      By the way, big fan of the image of Louise and the “This is Louise, she really works here!” Very amusing and original 🙂

      • Reply
        Patrick December 20, 2012

        Let’s just get one thing straight – in their entire history of professional matches Newcastle have never beaten Leicester 5-0.

        Realistically, and unfortunately, Ideasbynet couldn’t ever really make something like this work – at least not for a long time. Social media in B2B is tough – particularly when you are delivering physical products – this sort of thing would require massive community development so that people ‘love’ our brand (although we get lots of amazing testimonials from customers). It does feel like there is a missed opportunity – or at least a potential resource that remains untapped – so if anyone has any ideas or case studies for driving brand advocacy in B2B then please let us know in the comments below!

        Thanks for the praise, although most of our ideas were…erm…*borrowed*. That said, we’ve got more to come on that front (our own ideas this time) so loads more exciting and interesting content going up on the site in the new year (I can hear you waiting with baited breath!).

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