Man United and Wolves made the biggest splash as the Premier League returned to Twitter
This season’s Premier League opening weekend was separated from the World Cup final by just four weeks. Football returned soon for many, but there was no sign of fatigue amongst fans who were eager to get into the conversation on Twitter over the course of the first round of matches.
This was the second year in a row where the Premier League kicked off on a Friday night in what might well be the start of a new tradition in English football. And that it started off with Manchester United hosting Leicester City ensured that a sizeable worldwide audience was interested, too.
That’s reflected in the numbers from IQUII Sport this weekend, as the Premier League’s opening game of the campaign was the most tweeted match of the weekend.
As you might expect, the very first game is the one where there is the most hype. This would have been true even if Manchester United weren’t the team in question, though the fact that England’s biggest club on social media played in that opening match made this the one most people were talking about over the weekend – even ahead of the game between champions Manchester City and an Arsenal side who welcomed a new manager to the dugout for the first time since 1996.
A new-look West Ham’s familiar capitulation away to Liverpool, who have also made a number of exciting signings, was the third most-tweeted game of the matchday, showing that the biggest games between the biggest clubs on show naturally generated the most engagement.
Indeed, United, Arsenal and Liverpool were the top three most mentioned teams on Twitter throughout the weekend, whilst United’s goalscorers Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw, along with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah were the top mentioned players.
But it wasn’t just the big clubs who were playing at the weekend – all of the clubs were. For those smaller teams it’s not about being top of the table for overall engagement, but rather it is in terms of percentage engagement and growth where those clubs can measure their true impact.
Newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers are a good example of a club who made a splash on their opening weekend back in the top flight.
The hype and excitement surrounding their return to Premier League football after a six-year absence was massive, especially after a summer transfer window which saw them spend big and bring in a number of exciting players. The team are predicted to have a good season, but off the pitch Wolves’ Twitter account grew by 2.57% over the course of the weekend according to IQUII’s data. Their engagement, too, was by far and away the highest in the division, beating Manchester United into a distant second place.
Over the course of the rest of the season, we’ll probably see that the narrative around each game might become more important to the social media conversation but on opening weekend it’s always about the freshness and excitement of a new season where anything’s possible.
This weekend, we saw that as the biggest, newest, and most exciting teams this season were well reflected in the data. In the coming weeks, though, expect to see teams like Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea start to get more and more engagement as the team gets used to their new manager and starts to play an exciting brand of football.
It’s back to normality for football clubs after the World Cup – and it’s back to Premier League weekends for the fans too.
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