Manchester United top Premier League social media rankings
The study ranked the social media performance of all 20 top-flight English soccer clubs according to eight indicators, including the size of their fanbase, growth of fanbase and engagement.
United top the list with more than 91 million fans on their Facebook and Twitter pages, while the club’s new YouTube channel amassed 1.3 million subscribers between its February launch and December.
However, the Red Devils’ cross-city rivals Manchester City accounted for more than half of the total Premier League growth on Facebook, where the Premier League champions gained seven million new fans.
‘As a club, City is growing on Facebook because it is investing in ways that very few other clubs are able to match,’ the report says. ‘City has a clear strategy to build a global brand, similar to that of rivals Manchester United, and much of the club’s growth on Facebook is coming from Africa and Asia, where other social networks have less penetration.’
In total, Premier League clubs recorded 2.7 billion fan engagements on social media platforms throughout 2018, while their heightened activity across a range of channels saw their cumulative social following grow by 13 per cent, with 140,000 new fans added on average each day.
The study shows that Facebook continues to lead the way as the most influential social media platform for Premier League clubs globally, although teams are now experiencing a major shift towards Instagram in terms of fan engagement, which has seen the picture-sharing site overtake Twitter as the Premier League’s number two social network.
Clubs are also reaping the rewards of expanding their efforts globally, with Burnley adding 100,000 Chinese followers after launching on the Sina-Weibo social media platform.
Commenting on the report, Newton Insight managing director Philip Lynch said: “Social networks are critical to the global ambitions of all clubs and we’re seeing important changes in how fans engage with their teams. The good news for clubs is that overall fan responses are increasing, but fans are switching their activity from Facebook to Instagram and YouTube.”
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