Which London Football Teams Are Top Of The Twitter League?
With most league football already under way and the Premier League starting this weekend, we thought this would be an apposite moment to take a look at which London clubs are most successful. But, being a bunch of nerds, we're not interested in striking prowess, club revenues or number of titles. We decided to take a measure of which teams have the biggest Twitter following.
(Updated: 4pm, 10 August 2010, to reflect reader additions.) And here are the results for all London's clubs in the top four leagues:
So what do these numbers mean? The figures are based on the total number of followers for the five most-followed Twitter accounts for each team (where we can find that many). So, for example, Arsenal have 181,907 (@arsenaldotcom) + 28,076 (@arsenal) + 12,887 (@arsenalmania) + 8,748 (@bbcarsenal) + 5,875 (@arsenalfans) = 237,493. Obviously, there will be a large overlap between feeds, with many individuals following more than one account for their favourite team. However, this is true for all of the clubs, so while the absolute number may not mean much, the relative positions may be insightful.
Some might argue that it's no surprise that Arsenal top the league. This north London team has one of the larger fan bases from the middle/professional classes, who are more likely to use Twitter. The only team to punch above their real-world league position are First Division Charlton, who weigh in above Championship club Millwall. Again, not a surprise given that Charlton were a Premier League club a few seasons ago, and Millwall were promoted last season.
Perhaps the most curious aspect is the tiny number of people who follow the smaller clubs. Lowly Barnet claim just 344 followers, a number that will be even smaller when you deduplicate the users who follow the pair of feeds making up this total.
We recognise that the figures presented in this post are contestable. There are other ways one could measure Twitter followings. For example, we could take just the most popular Twitter feed for each club. Or we could include the long tails of smaller feeds relating to a club. Or we could include personal feeds from players. In addition, we may well have missed big feeds if they have a non-obvious name. So we'd like to regard this table as a starting point, and welcome your feedback on how to beef it up. Football is a team game after all. We'll publish the table again at the end of the season to see how things have changed.
Here are the feeds in full, and we've also attached a spreadsheet listing out all the feeds alongside average attendances, in case that's of interest. See if your favourites feeds are listed.
All teams had a presence on Facebook and Twitter, so, to determine who had the greatest influence, social interactions, including Facebook likes and Twitter followers were combined.
QPR’s closest rivals at the top of the Championship were Reading (153,745) and Wigan Athletic (144,345), both of which were relegated from the Premier League last season.
The surprise packages of the “Social Football League” were Portsmouth and AFC Wimbledon. Despite both being in League Two, they had followings of over 55,000 and 35,000 respectively. If you were to order the leagues based on social followings, Portsmouth would be 15th in the Championship and AFC Wimbledon would be Champions of League One – considerably higher than their current League positions.
Yeovil Town, playing in the Championship for the first time in their history, has a combined following of just over 11,500. But when you consider the town’s population is only 42,000, they are seeing a great deal of engagement from their home fans.
QPR is also one of only seven teams to have an official presence on all five platforms. The other six are Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic, Derby County, Nottingham Forest and League One’s Brentford and Port Vale. When it came to YouTube, it was Leeds United, who made the greatest inroads with an official channel attracting over 6,850 subscribers. On Instagram, Birmingham City has built an audience of over 3,200 followers, while Sheffield Wednesday has established a solid following on Google+ with over 1,500 fans.
Abeed Janmohammed, Commercial Director, RadiumOne said: “Teams are doing more than ever to engage with their fans. Getting a clear insight into the digital and social behaviour of their fanbases will provide new areas of growth for teams and also ensures that they can provide content that is relevant at the right time. Put simply, better social engagement brings better fan experience, which means more commercial opportunity.”
Promotions and relegations, based on social (Facebook and Twitter combined), would look like this:
• Champions: QPR • Promoted: Reading and Wigan Athletic • Relegated: Ipswich Town, AFC Bournemouth and Yeovil Town
• Champions: Wolverhampton Wanderers • Promoted: Bradford City and Coventry City • Relegated: Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra and Stevenage
• Champions: Portsmouth • Promoted: AFC Wimbledon and Oxford United • Relegated: Rochdale, Dagenham & Redbridge and Morecambe
Standings as of 15th July 2013
Source: radiumone.com. Related stories: digital companies Digital Intelligence digital marketing digital trends social media and social networking sport UK