Behind the Headlines: More Stories From The Premier League Social Network Rankings

Manchester United are the #1 Premier League team in social networks but behind the headlines there are many more stories to tell.

This week we launched Premier League Social Network Rankings 2018, a comprehensive examination of the performance of the Premier League’s twenty clubs on social networks.

The report contains detailed performance data for each club on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Weibo. As well as considering the value of these networks to the clubs, we have looked at how the Premier League clubs are boosting levels of participation for the networks. Twitter benefits hugely from the global appeal of English football.

Media reaction to the report has focused on Manchester United’s dominant position in social networks.  United has more fans than anyone else and the club is ranked #1 in every network apart from YouTube which it only joined last month.

Our report acknowledges United’s achievements and the manner in which the club keeps pressing forward. We have looked for other stories throughout the league. We know Manchester City are growing rapidly overseas on Facebook and the club has a very engaged subscriber base on YouTube. In China, Arsenal are adding more new followers on Weibo than any other club, United included.

The smaller clubs are performing well too. Huddersfield Town has a high rate of fan engagement and the club has the fourth highest output of official content in the league.

To provide as much detail as possible, we have separated out the different social networks and used eight distinct measures to assess the performance of each club. We have also tried to explain what this data means in the real world. We identify and explore a range of opportunities and challenges for the clubs in social networks. Every club has a dedicated profile page.

The clubs can combine the data for audiences, output and engagement to calculate their efficiency in each social network. The clubs can understand where they are making gains and also where a change in approach might yield better results.

For future growth in social networks, we need to be realistic about how far the clubs can go. Few clubs are likely to match Manchester United, but that isn’t the point. Every club has the potential to improve its performance and to be in a better position in a year’s time. We will be back to measure their progress in 2019.

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