EURO 2024: Who is the European Social Media Champion?

Which soccer star is in the lead on social media? We analyze Europe's national players and determine the European Social Media Champion 2024.

We are right in the middle of the UEFA European Football Championship 2024. European national teams are competing for the title of European Champion. But which EURO 2024 soccer player is actually ahead on social media? 

We took a closer look at soccer stars’ profiles and analyzed the Instagram and TikTok accounts of all European national team players. Which celebrity soccer player has the most followers? Whose account is growing the fastest. And who can generate the highest engagement with their posts all over Europe?

Portugal Wins the Race for the Most Followers

EURO 2024 – Portugal Wins the Race for the Most Followers

Looking at the follower numbers on TikTok and Instagram, we have one undisputed winner. With more than 630 million Instagram followers, Portugal’s captain Cristiano Ronaldo leads the rankings by a long distance. French captain Kylian Mbappé comes in second with more than 118 million followers, while German midfielder Toni Kroos takes third place with just under 48 million followers.

In general, Instagram seems to be the platform of choice for all major soccer stars. Although most national team players – with the notable exception of Cristiano Ronaldo – are also active on TikTok, each of them only has a fraction of the followers there. The TikTok leaderboard is headed by Toni Kroos with 9.6 million followers, followed by Belgian captain and midfielder Kevin de Bruyne with 6.2 million followers. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer comes in third with 6 million TikTok followers.

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Germany Achieves the Highest Follower Growth

EURO 2024 – Germany Achieves the Highest Follower Growth

When ranking Europe’s top soccer players by the number of followers they have gained this year, Toni Kroos tops the list on both analyzed platforms. With an 8.6% growth on Instagram and a remarkable 23% increase on TikTok, the German midfielder takes first place. 

Kroos announcing his return to the German national team earlier this year is likely to be responsible for parts of his follower growth. Additionally, TikTok’s For You page is known for displaying content even to non-followers who might be interested in the post, leading to greater content visibility and consequently, faster follower growth compared to Instagram.  As a result, Toni Kroos was able to gain an above-average number of followers on TikTok.

The Portuguese forward João Félix takes second place in our ranking with a growth of 7.4% followers on Instagram and 12% on TikTok. Captain and striker of the English national team, Harry Kane, achieves second place in the TikTok ranking with a 14% follower increase. Kylian Mbappé, French captain, ranks third in our Instagram leaderboard with a 6.8% increase in followers.

Portugal Scores with the Highest Engagement Rate

EURO 2024 – Portugal Scores with the Highest Engagement Rate

Where do the soccer players stand in terms of engagement? In this category, one particular player emerges as the undisputed winner. With an average engagement rate of 6.3% on Instagram and 8.9% on TikTok, Portugal’s João Félix takes first place in both rankings. However, his impressive overall performance is mainly due to individual posts with a particularly high engagement rate. In February 2024, for example, one of his TikTok posts achieved 5.9 million impressions and resulted in an engagement rate of 29%. 

If we calculated his average engagement without this isolated incident, João Félix would still take first place in our TikTok ranking – but with an average engagement rate of 4.8%. In this case, the difference between him and the runners-up would be significantly smaller. Large parts of the Portuguese forward’s overall success on both platforms is most likely due to frequent outfit posts and vacation snapshots, resembling the content posted by influencers more than that of soccer players.

The Belgian captain Kevin de Bruyne comes second in our Instagram ranking with an engagement rate of 4.9%, with the French captain Kylian Mbappé taking third place with a 3.3% engagement rate. On TikTok, João Félix is followed by German midfielder Toni Kroos with an average interaction of 4%, while English captain Harry Kane ranks third in the leaderboard with 2.7% engagement rate.

Conclusion

In all three categories – follower count, growth, and engagement – each European country and its soccer players perform quite differently. In all of our rankings, however, the national team players of Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, and England consistently come out on top.

Portugal takes home the overall title of European Champion on Social Media. Their captain Cristiano Ronaldo boasts the largest following by far, while the young forward João Félix encourages the highest amount of engagement on Instagram and TikTok. As for whether this also indicates that Portugal will emerge victorious from the European Championships, we will have to see.

If you are interested in conducting similar analyses for your favorite sport or your area of business, you can now try Fanpage Karma free of charge for 14 days. Furthermore, Fanpage Karma also offers a free weekly webinar teaching you how you can improve your overall social media performance with its all-in-one social media tool.

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