The debate over Cristiano Ronaldo or Leo Messi being the better player will go on forever with no clear winner. However, the better Twitter marketer is clearly CR7. This is mostly because Leo does not have his own official Twitter account… It is also because Cristiano has 64 million Twitter followers, making him the most popular Twitter athlete in the world.
How did Cristiano Ronaldo succeed on Twitter?
Being one of the most popular athletes in one of the most popular sports in the world can truly drive some incredible Twitter follower numbers. Many American athletes struggle with attracting followers on a global scale, but that is not a problem for Cristiano. I wasn’t joking when I said he’s the most popular athlete in the world on Twitter.
What people find when they actually follow him is a hard mix of very personal tweets, and very promotional tweets. Here’s an example of something very personal:
And then right before that, the tweet that Cristiano sent immediately before the one above, is this one:
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 6, 2017
That is nothing but an advertisement. It’s not even closely related to soccer, or even his own personal clothing line. Egyptian Steel paid him a big stack of money for his influence on Twitter, and he advertised that on Twitter right next to a tweet of him relaxing on a private plane. His Twitter account is full of this, and his success as an athlete, and his revealing of his personal life, allows him to get away with it… For now.
Effective uses of calls to action
With all of this advertising going on, Cristiano’s account is full of calls to action. He wants you to pay attention to things, click on things, watch things, and generally interact with his tweets in a real way.
He will use calls to action to download:
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 15, 2017
He will urge people to click links:
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 1, 2016
He even asks his fans to press play on his videos:
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 9, 2017
To put it simply, if you want to learn how to directly market something on Twitter, you need to follow Cristiano. Effective marketing, especially considering Twitter’s short attention span, always has some sort of call to action.
Effective use of hashtags to tell connected stories
Cristiano has many things going on. To help organize these different products, and events, he uses a complex hashtag marketing strategy. This allows his followers to click on one of the hashtags and learn everything about it.
This includes everything from his denim line for men and children, with #CR7Denim, and #CR7Junior:
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 8, 2017
The hotel that he owns with #PestanaCR7:
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 27, 2017
As well as challenges and contests which he runs through his Twitter account:
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 13, 2017
Effective use of hashtags, not just trends that come and go, but a planned long-term hashtag strategy is what sets apart amateur Twitter marketers from professional Twitter marketers.
Hashtag marketing tips to be as good as Cristiano
To have hashtag marketing as effective as Cristiano you need to:
- Incorporate your branding into the hashtag. You can see that Cristiano uses CR7 in many of his hashtags. Those are is his initials and his number in soccer.
- Create different hashtags for different products. There’s no use having one hashtag for everything. The point of using hashtags is to create stories for specific aspects of your Twitter marketing. You can definitely have one hashtag for your whole brand, but it will not give your followers the chance to dig deeply into a topic.
- Use them only at the appropriate times. You can’t just use your hashtags every single time you tweet anything. You need to use the hashtag at the time that you are talking about the specific product/story/idea it is meant to advertise.
Cristiano does exactly this every single time he uses one, and you will need to as well if you want to be successful.
What are Cristiano’s best tweets stats
Cristiano is the seventh most popular Twitter account in the world. He is far behind Katy Perry, with over 106 million, who leads everyone. But being the most popular Twitter athlete in the world is still pretty impressive. Here is what else has been impressive about Cristiano:
- Joined Twitter: He joined Twitter in June 2010, and has sent out just over 3000 tweets since then. That works out to about 34 tweets per month, or one tweet per day. That is very efficient (like his goal scoring efficiency!), and more in line with more common marketers than celebrities who can send out 2 – 5 times that.
- Number of followers: Cristiano is far behind Canadian pop icon Justin Bieber, but 63 million followers it’s still very impressive. The most popular athlete in America, debatably, is Lebron James with 39.6 million followers.
- Popular hashtags: As we discussed above, Cristiano is very good at using hashtags. He doesn’t just use his own, he has also popularized #BeThe1Donor to get people to donate plasma, #PlayFree for youth development, and #WorldRefugeeDay.
- First tweet: His first tweet was rather uneventful, but it was surprisingly in English. Cristiano is from Portugal.
Ola Twitter! Welcome to my new official Twitter page…
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) June 15, 2010
- Native language: Okay, let’s be honest and say that not every single tweet that comes from his account comes from him. You can tell when it’s actually Cristiano pulling out his phone and tweeting something when it’s written in his native Portuguese:
A Alana Martina acaba de nascer! Tanto a Geo como a Alana estão muito bem! Estamos todos muito felizes! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/nMT4rYc32U
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 12, 2017
Unsurprisingly, these are the moments that his true fans in Portugal appreciate the most. These genuine moments from him are what truly connect people to his account. They have no advertising agenda as they are there for Cristiano to connect with his fans.
Cristiano’s most popular tweets
Showing that people really care about Cristiano himself, his most popular all-time tweet is this one of him with his brand-new twins:
So happy to be able to hold the two new loves of my life 🙏❤ pic.twitter.com/FIY11aWQm9
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) June 29, 2017
Cristiano comes across as a real family man. He doesn’t get into fights with people on Twitter, he doesn’t start arguments, there are no political controversies. He simply handles his business, and discusses his family when appropriate.
His next two most popular tweets are related to the devastating earthquake in Mexico. The first one pays tribute to a fan named Santiago from Mexico, the second one pays tribute to all of Mexico:
En este momento de dolor, envío a la familia de Santiago y a todas las familias que han perdido sus seres queridos un enorme abrazo. pic.twitter.com/odD28aFPfv
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) September 24, 2017
Un abrazo muy fuerte y solidario para Mexico pic.twitter.com/Jr9FBdEI95
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) September 20, 2017
And what have you noticed about his three most popular tweets? They are all in Portuguese! MUITO BEM!!! KKKKKKKKK!!!!! (That’s how Portuguese speakers type ‘LOL.’ You learned something!)
Final note on his Twitter account
That’s bad. What’s even worse is that the contest ended in May… Of 2013! I can’t even comprehend how this is still on his Twitter. It is the kind of Twitter branding mistake that would cripple the Twitter account of a mortal person.
Cristiano is missing out on a huge opportunity to drive even more traffic to his landing pages, and teach people more about his hashtags. Do not make the same mistake and make sure you optimize your Twitter bio.
Best Twitter accounts: Cristiano scores at marketing
Okay. Let’s be honest for a second here; Cristiano hardly ever tweets from this account. It is largely managed by a marketing team. You can see this with the incredible number of tweets that are sent out purely for promotional purposes, and with the very high level of marketing tactics used. There are still marketing tactics you can learn:
- Effective uses of calls to action.
- Using hashtags to tell stories.
- His genuine interaction driving his account.
- Using his genuine voice, and his native language, for his most personal tweets.
While there is much to learn about proper marketing tactics, the most important thing to learn is, as always, the personal tweets are what resonate the most.
No matter what sort of Twitter account you have, whether it is a brand or personal, it is always going to be your content which resonates with people on a personal level that will do the best. If the most popular soccer player in the world cannot get away with purely promotional tweets, neither can you.