The Facebook & Twitter Premier League (July 2010)

With the Social Media & Sport Summit only a couple of days away and with all the football clubs attending, I thought now was the perfect time to revisit Ash’s article from back in January (when UKSN first came into being… our 2nd ever article I think!).  

Ash did some great research into which clubs from the English Premier League were currently active on the two main social media platforms with some interesting results.

The results from our two studies do vary, widly in some cases, which is for a couple of reasons.  One will be that a club has made a big push into social media in the last few months and its numbers have shot up.  Another will be that I have concentrated on what I can see are ‘official’ channels and not pages set up by fans, so others will change to zero in some cases from before.

If you know of any official sites I have missed then do leave a comment with a link and I’ll have a look and update. 

Pos Team Facebook Twitter Total Jan 2010 Total Difference
1 Liverpool 1,713,071 87,414 1,800,485 1,165,598 634,887
2 Arsenal 1,002,170 155,990 1,158,160 22,814 1,135,346
3 Chelsea 1,070,007 52,920 1,122,927 22,044 1,100,883
4 Man Utd 866,685 0 866,685 28,220 838,465
5 Man City 114,344 25,446 139,790 82,548 57,242
6 Everton 58,760 3,828 62,588 32,126 30,462
7 West Ham United 54,898 0 54,898 0 54,898
8 Aston Villa 15,969 4,084 20,053 2,242 17,811
9 Stoke City 14,903 2,536 17,439 1,650 15,789
10 Wolves 10,522 2,734 13,256 0 13,256
11 Sunderland 7,809 4,523 12,332 2,668 9,664
12 Fulham 3,746 4,575 8,321 2,523 5,798
13 Blackpool 6,616 0 6,616 n/a n/a
14 Tottenham Hotspur 1,762 1,011 2,773 0 2,773
15 Blackburn 0 1,987 1,987 4,122 -2,135
16 Wigan Athletic 0 1,195 1,195 750 445
17 Birmingham City 0 0 0 674 -674
18 Bolton Wanderers 0 0 0 0 0
19 West Brom  0 0 0 n/a n/a
20 Newcastle Utd 0 0 0 n/a n/a

One thing to note before I start getting into any detail.  This is a quick bit of reserach that makes interesting reading but only looks at the numbers.  It does not account for the amount of engagement, fan sentiment or how it fits into objectives of the clubs that would make this research more meaningful.  Its a bit of fun and nothing more than that 🙂

Back to the table….the differences between the clubs is still pretty staggering I think you’ll agree.  At the top (still) we have Liverpool whose presence keeps growing massively.  A glorious tradition and name that is known around the world is certainly going to help in this development as having a ‘global brand’ is going to put them ahead of most other teams.  If a fan knows they are active and doing it well then the chances of them increasing their reach is only going to grow. 

We will be lucky enough to hear about their social media and mobile strategy on Thursday as they speak for the first time publically at the Social Media & Sport Summit.  If you cannot make it to the event I’ll be posting the slides and some footage on the site in the next couple of weeks.

I said when I wrote this piece a few days ago that I believed Manchester United would come into social media in 2011 in a big way.  Well the same time as I wrote this United came out with an official Facebook Fan Page very quietly and amassed over 850k ‘likes’ in 4 days.  ‘Great success’ I hear you say but if you look at it closely there is no interaction andf fans can only comment and not post.  It is content from the official website being regurgitated which is against everything we try to tell people how to appraoch social media.  Hopefully they will learn soon!

I know through talking to clubs and leagues that there is interest in the sector as online advertising rates slump on the traditional website model, which many are still signed up for.  And this is shown with Tottenham, Chelsea, Coventry, Ipswich, Football League and FA signing up to learn more this week.

Does this mean that the big teams are doing it better than everyone else?  Possibly but then again they will have the budgets to match.  They also have the brand and tradition that means they are global brands these days and can reach all parts of the globe. 

But….and this is a big but….smaller clubs should take note of what is happening in other sports.  In Formula 1 for example the new teams have embraced social media like few others have done.  Why?  Well, they know they are playing catch up on all fronts and are starting from scratch in terms of a fan base.  They have come to the decision that in using the online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flikr and blogs that they can develop a base more quickly and with deeper engagement than traditional methods.  Take a look at Lotus Racing and Virgin Racing as two very good examples of what can be done from a small beginning.

Does this mean they will be as big as McLaren, Ferrari, Williams, Red Bull and the like this time next year?  well… no is the short answer.  Social Media is much like the work being done on the car between each race.  It all helps and defines the image of the team but it takes time (a lot of time), effort and planning to build it up.  Neither Lotus or Viurgin are under any illusions that they will millions of followers overnight just because they are in Formula 1 and use social media.

If your club is still not doing anything why do you think this is?  and if your club is a Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal what do you think they do well and what could they do better still?

About author

Daniel McLaren
Daniel McLaren 820 posts

Dan is the Founder & CEO of Digital Sport. Can be found at sports industry events and heard every week on the Digital Sport Insider podcast. @DanielMcLaren

You might also like

SPORTEL 2021: Day One Recap

This year’s prestigious SPORTEL convention kicked off in sunny Monaco today, welcoming a host of familiar faces as well as plenty of new ones. Doors opened at 8:30am with businesses

Six Founding Riders Set To Bring The Vision Of The UCI Track Champions League To Life

Olympic Champions, UCI World Champions and World Record holders join the new track cycling competition debuting in November 2021 The UCI Track Champions League is delighted to announce that six

Sports related spending to soar this summer as pre-pandemic life resumes

New insights from eBay Ads UK reveal the potential for brands to engage with an excited but nervous nation as sports events get back on track  As pubs and indoor