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How AS Roma, with 8.8m Facebook fans, generated over 70m video views in five days

By Community | June 5, 2017

by Paul Rogers (Head of Digital and Social Media, AS Roma)

When it was announced that Francesco Totti would play his final game for AS Roma after 25 years, we began to work on a content plan that we hoped would pay a fitting tribute to the player himself, engage the club’s supporters and also allow fans of other clubs to join the conversation.

The content we released broke every single digital record we measure – on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on Snapchat, on YouTube and on our website.

On Facebook, our Totti videos generated over 70m videos views in just over a week.

These videos were shared over 850,000 times and inspired over 170,000 comments.

Our Facebook Live coverage of the farewell ceremony after the match lasted 48 minutes – and has generated 12.4m views, 225,000 shares, 615,000 Likes and a reach of 41m.

On Sunday, May 28, the day of his final appearance for Roma, the Facebook videos we made clocked up 44.5m views – and were shared 644,330 times – with 147,000 comments.

In the same 24 hours, we racked up 1.5m videos views on Instagram, 4.3m views of our dedicated Instagram Story – plus 1.3m video views on Twitter and 817,000 views on Snapchat.

One of our Gifs, hosted on Giphy, was viewed a record 65 million times in a single day.

Roma doesn’t boast as big a social following as many of our rivals – we have 8.8m Facebook followers – some way short of the 102m followers that both Real Madrid and Barcelona can claim as the biggest two clubs on Facebook and still a long way off Manchester United, the third biggest team, with 73m followers.

However, for one month at least, Roma out-performed every team in the world in terms of Facebook videos.

Despite not winning a title or trophy, Roma was the only club to break 10m views for a video on Facebook in May.

In actual fact, we broke the 10m views mark four times in the final four days of May.

15.3m views for a montage of players and fans crying

12.4m views for the Facebook Live farewell ceremony

11.8m views for an emotional montage of Totti’s career

11.6m views for a top 10 goals video

For a club with less than 9 million followers, these are great numbers – and are a clear testament to how well respected Totti is by the football community.

From an editorial perspective, we did three things in particular which we think helped drive such metrics:

  1. We scheduled content like a TV channel – with a whole week of multi-media content planned out – allowing us to be able to push out scheduled content, whilst also being able to be flexible and reactive with opportunities that presented themselves throughout the day and week. We knew on Monday exactly which video we would post at 4pm on Sunday – two hours before kick-off – as we believed that was the prime time to capture fans’ attention. That video ended up generating 11.8m views and 322,000 Likes.
  2. We took a social-first approach – and involved fans throughout the content producing process. Interestingly enough, despite refusing to use social media as a broadcast tool just to drive fans back to our website unnecessarily; we recorded our biggest ever month on the website in terms of both unique users and page impressions.
  3. All of our content was designed to be emotive – we set out to make people feel something – to provoke a feeling of pride or even nostalgia for the football and footballers we grew up with. We set out to make people smile or make them cry. It’s no secret that people are more likely to share emotive content – and as numbers above illustrate, people shared our content like never before – over 850,000 times in fact. More than Likes or Views, its Shares that we wanted – to amplify our content to the biggest possible audience.

All in all, we feel that the small but dedicated team’s hard work paid off. We hopefully delivered a week of content that both Francesco Totti and our fans were proud of and we also engaged fans of other clubs in an open and inviting way.

About the contributor:

Paul is the Head of Digital and Social Media at AS Roma. He’s responsible for developing the club’s digital media strategy – helping the club to communicate with new and existing supporters all over the world.

Formerly Head of International Development at Liverpool FC, where he worked for 14 years, he has experience in creating content and marketing strategies, brand building, strategic planning, social media, digital journalism, TV production, rights negotiations and generating new revenue streams through content.

Stadium of Tears

When Francesco Totti cries, we all cry.

Posted by AS Roma on Monday, May 29, 2017

AS Roma Facebook Paul Rogers Rome Totti