Only Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have more online supporters in German football. For Holger Tromp, communications director at Bayer 04, this position is confirmation of the route taken: "We've been investing in the digital world for years and are following a clear plan with a focus on growth and building the brand. We are happy that this strategy, with its creative and valuable content, has succeeded and thereby shown constantly increasing numbers and support. It also serves as inspiration to continue to win over our supporters regionally and internationally for the long term."
On 20 August 2010 it was a case of 'Bayer 04 goes Twitter'. That was the start of the Black and Red social media journey. Bayer 04 started the club’s Facebook channel shortly after that and now have over 2.8 million fans on it. Instagram followed in 2014 and we broke the one million mark in the Bundesliga in 2020 and now have 1.8 million followers. The social media landscape for Bayer 04 was completed two years ago with the addition of Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn and most recently TikTok.
Above all, Bayer 04 developed a clear digital strategy internationally early on and has now been communicating to specific target groups for years in four languages – German, English, Spanish and Chinese (Sina Weibo, Douyin, WeChat). The Werkself English-language Twitter channel now has almost 400,000 subscribers and counts amongst the most quoted in international football online. The creative and bold content plus strong community management has seen Leverkusen develop a USP in North America.
Across all platforms and channels, Bayer 04 now has a billion digital contacts per year. 40,000 items are produced each year in the newsroom in Leverkusen and through international partners – including high-end productions like the TV documentary on Kai Havertz (now up to 2.3 million viewers on YouTube). Viral highlights including the flag quiz with Lukas Hradecky or short videos of players like Florian Wirtz, Jeremie Frimpong and Bayer 04 Legends have now been seen millions of times. In addition, Bayer 04 regularly creates and posts content on social media channels with almost all partners and sponsors.
The Bayer 04 social media channels including followers:
- Facebook: 2.84 million (since 2010)
- Instagram: 1.86 million (since 2014)
- Sina Weibo: 1.71 million (since 2018)
- TikTok: 685,000 (since 2020)
- Twitter DE: 429,000 (since 2010)
- Twitter EN: 398,000 (since 2015)
- Twitter ES: 145,000 (since 2015)
- Douyin: 77,000 (since 2020)
- YouTube: 57,000 (since 2018)
- Snapchat: 63,000 (since 2016)
- WeChat: 50,000 (since 2018)
- LinkedIn: 7,500 (since 2020)
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