Twitter Growth Rates for Premier League Clubs for the Last 6 Months

July 2, 2018 Posted by Sean Walsh Football 0 thoughts on “Twitter Growth Rates for Premier League Clubs for the Last 6 Months”
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Sean Walsh
Director at Intelligency

Sean is a Director at Intelligency heading up our digital marketing and client services operations. Sean has 15+ years experiencing working both in-house and agency with brands including Lloyds, Alstom, Hitachi, Lufthansa, Viaplay, DFDS Seaways and Mercedes-Benz.

The English Premier League is the pinnacle of European league football, with the highest attendances, astounding transfer fees, revered managers such as Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho as well as TV deals which net the EPL nearly €2bn more than any other European league. This has given the clubs in the league the opportunity to expand their profile and therefore one would expect this to be reflected in a growth in their followers on social media and in this case Twitter. social media growth.

Therefore the analyst team here at fiacuity, decided to do a little digging and take a look at the growth for these hugely lucrative clubs on Twitter and determine who was seeing exceptional growth rates versus those who below the league benchmark. Understandably, growth rates aren’t the only metric for measuring the success of a club’s social media as engagement is also a key method of assessing success. However, audience numbers and growth reveal an interesting story about a brand’s ‘reach’ which can play a pivotal role in galvanising content in sponsorship.

Who has seen the best Twitter Growth over the last 6 months?

As you can see the growth rate for the Premier League in 2018 so far has been 1.74%, the highest of Europe’s top four leagues, with nine clubs achieving growth which was above this benchmark:

The Top 4 in the league this season all performed above benchmark, suggesting that positive league performance correlates to strong growth, whilst Arsenal & Chelsea fell short. However, it’s worth noting that all four of these clubs were also incredibly inventive with the Twitter strategy this year with content ranging from updates on Tottenham’s stadium to City’s moving piece charting Gabriel Jesus’ journey from struggle to the World Cup. Success can breed growth, but it’s imperative that clubs also take advantage of it.

Which club has maintained consistently great growth?

Clubs managing to sustain above league benchmark growth continuously is a telltale sign of an excellent social strategy, however it is difficult to achieve. Growth consistency, is challenge for a club and our analysts used Everton as an example of this. The club signed striker Cenk Tosun in January and produced some reactive, high quality content to announce this which led to their growth rate jumping to 5.63%. 

Clearly this was well above the monthly benchmark for January of 2.66%, however this was a short term spike, rather than a long term increase and the following month saw a drop to 1.33%.  Arguably, a new signing energises unknown fans and can create short term results but organic growth is more preferable as it is more likely to result in longevity.

Period Everton Growth League Benchmark
Jan – Feb 5.63% 2.66%
Feb – Jan 1.33% 1.81%
Mar – Apr 1.33% 1.53%

Importantly, there is nothing wrong with boosting growth in the short term, however Tottenham’s Twitter strategy has been exemplary in achieving constantly high growth.  It’s currently a very exciting time to be a Spurs fan, with a radical young manager, an entertaining youthful team made up of world class English player such as Harry Kane, establishment in the Champions League as well as new stadium due for completion early in the 2018-19 season. Consequently, the club would expect to naturally see their profile rise, and yet they haven’t taken any chances and have produced excellent content for social media, which has supported their exceptionally consistent growth on Twitter:

Arguably there’s been a few methods by which Spurs have taken advantage of their on the field success to leverage it on Twitter. Primarily fans will follow an account to show their support, get updates on matches and transfer activity as well as interviews. Therefore it’s important to engage with fans regularly to maintain relevancy and ensure the club run account, is the hub for knowledge. Tottenham do this extremely well by tweeting daily and posting ‘Twitter-friendly’ video content, usually between 1-2 minutes’, such as Mauricio’s Minute. Furthermore, even during the World Cup, the  account is still informing their fans about their players’ exploits in Russia which keeps them invested in the postseason, in spite of the natural decline during this period hence the club’s ability to remain above the benchmark between May & June.

Moreover, producing behind the scenes material is a powerful tool in maintaining consistent growth and creating a sense of trust with the supporters, with the stadium updates offering a level of transparency that connects with fans and invites them to join the club on this exciting journey.

Finally, Spurs also have a Twitter account that is infused with personality rather than just being a outlet for data. They do this by posting about matters outside of football, ranging from Mother’s Day well wishes to a ‘Jokes Battle’ between Moussa Dembele and WWE wrestler Finn Balor. Additionally, humour is derived from  posting GIFs to liven up the feed, for example replacing the football in Wanyama’s goal against Liverpool with a fireball. Fans and casual viewers alike, want to be entertain when they are on social media and therefore providing alternative content is an easy way to engage a wider audience and entice more followers.

So how do clubs improve their Twitter growth? How do they beat the benchmark?

The fiacuity platform specialises in analysing a brand’s digital footprint to help identify threats, ROI and opportunities.

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