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As a bit of a Twitter addict, I tend to feel a certain degree of pride when anything to do with Manchester starts to trend in the UK.

This morning was no different when I saw that #ManchesterUnited was the UK’s top trending topic.

As a reds fan through and through, I immediately clicked on the topic to see what all the fuss about. And I have to admit, what I found was somewhat surprising.

Despite talks of a possible Rooney departure and rumours of Ronaldo making a comeback to the squad, this time the news was about the football club’s social media presence – specifically reports that Man U had officially launched Google+ and Instagram pages.

As of 8:30am today, the club has expanded its online profile from simply Facebook and Twitter, to encompass these new-wave networking platforms.

As I type this – not even an hour since ‘going live’ – the FC’s Instagram profile has already achieved 5,956 followers and 1,119 people now have Manchester United in circles on Google+. That’s an average of over 140 news followers per minute!

What’s interesting about United’s social media move is that the club is widely recognised as having the most fans in the world – from the UK to Thailand, and beyond. As a global brand, Manchester United has a value of over £3bn and is one of only two British football clubs to have floated on the London Stock Exchange.

The sports club’s expanding online presence illustrates that no matter how many fans a brand has or how big a household name they are, they have to be online to stay relevant.

The power of social media will bring Manchester United closer to potential fans across the globe and enable them to reach a younger, digitally ‘switched on’ audience.

Although they are a little late to this particular online curve, as of today, we really can follow Manchester United, in the true sense of the word.

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