Our beloved game is finally back and social media platforms have been buzzing with opening day excitement.
Here’s what caught our social media attention at NineteenEightyFour a couple of weeks into the new season.
Social media interaction throughout the professional game increased in line with the start of the new season.
Facebook saw a 15% increase in club mentions and a 90,000 upsurge in number of club ‘check-ins’. And the frenzy was felt across the pond. Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing reported that the English Premier League had the second most mentions on Twitter for its first weekend, topped only by the NFL.
The Social Premier League remains unchanged with the exception of Cardiff City’s commendable six place hike up the Facebook league.
Cardiff City has really upped its social media ante, boosting Facebook likes by 193% after gaining 64,000 likes in a single day on launch of a pre-season video diary. And if that wasn’t enough it went way ahead of rival clubs in terms of Twitter growth – increasing followers by 39% for the period. All of which contributed to NineteenEightyFour awarding Cardiff City ‘July Social Media Champions’ in the August edition of FC Business magazine.
Also worthy of a mention is Manchester United’s 93% Twitter follower increase reflecting its recent move to Twitter, but only bumping it one place up the Social Media League.
And Fulham FC removed the address from their Facebook page, which means users can no longer ‘Check in’ to Craven Cottage… which seems a shame to us!
In the championship Yeovil Town’s Facebook likes increased 44% having launched a ‘Fan-Tastic’ Facebook app. And if you haven’t heard already, Yeovil Town’s signing announcement stunt in the style of the royal baby turned out to be a viral hit! Of course, they are still new to the Championship and so their ‘Likes’ are still relatively low, but they are certainly making up for a lack of quantity with great quality.
Leicester City’s Facebook Likes were up a staggering 177% causing them to move 8 places up the Facebook Championship League. Whilst Doncaster Rover’s Twitter followers surged 155%, resulting in a mighty ten place leap up the league to steal the number four place.
A surprise was to be found in the drop in the number of check-ins at Sheffield Wednesday. And we think this may be a result of holding five of their six pre-season friendlies at away grounds.
League 1 Walsall FC proved fan-interaction matters after its Twitter followers shot up 192% once it started tweeting and retweeting fans.
Also, Preston North End has been slowly growing their newly launched Facebook page at a higher than average 25% growth rate.
However, neither were quite enough to make any difference to their League 1 Social Media table positions.
As we move down the leagues the social media buzz dies down a little. However, Burton Albion’s ‘fan-forum’ approach to their Facebook presence provides a novel idea, and we’ll be watching the effectiveness of this with interest.
* Figures correct 23/08/13
Emily Barker (@1984_emily) is Social Media Executive at NineteenEightyFour (nineteeneightyfour.co), a digital business. NineteenEightyFour consult, develop and deliver digital solutions for brands in sport and entertainment.