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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronalda in second place in social media league.

Real Madrid midfielder Kaka with 5.5 million followers heads the Twitter league followed by teammate Cristiano Ronaldo with 3.8 million and Manchester United Rio Ferdinand 1.3 million followers.

Manchester United do not have an official Twitter presence, their 18 million Facebook fans are clearly highly engaged with the club via this channel but are well represented on Twitter thanks to players such as Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney.

As Football Trade Directory Commercial Director John Booth explains "In a recent study that looked at nearly half a million remarks on social media platforms Manchester United had a 43.7 per cent share followed by Liverpool a distant second with just over 18 per cent and Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City."

Premier League champions Manchester United are the most talked-about English football club in the world of social media. New research by The Drum and Steak Digital discovered Sir Alex Ferguson's team are mentioned more than any other club on social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, forums, forum replies, blogs and comments.

Booth explains " A Social media presence is key to an online marketing strategy to enhance a club's brand and to forge bonds with its supporter base."

"Social media going forward will represent a good way for players to leverage more value from commercial deals and also create a genuine personal brand."

In 2010, 30.1 million adults in the UK (60 per cent) had access to the Internet and social networking sites will continue to grow as a communication channel.

George Moss

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