With the Premier League season at its half-way point, RadiumOne has compiled the social Premier League to scout how the clubs are performing off the pitch- with Cardiff and Aston Villa biggest gainers.
Arsenal and Manchester United would take the top two spots in the Premier League if it was decided on social media performance.
If social media performance determined league positions, the Premier League would look as follows:
RadiumOne analysed the number of stories shared about each team on popular sports news websites, combined with how effectively each club has been interacting with its fans in the 30 days leading up to the 20th game of the season.
Meanwhile, Everton has fallen off its perch at the top of the league and would now miss out on European football if league positions were determined by social media performance. Instead, Liverpool and Tottenham would join Arsenal and Manchester United in the Champions League next season, with Chelsea competing in the Europa League.
Aston Villa (8th) and Manchester City (7th) have gained the most places in the Social Premier League in the 20 games since the start of the season, both having jumped eight places. Chelsea and Southampton follow closely behind with both jumping seven positions to 5th and 9th respectively.
Over the last ten games the biggest winners were Aston Villa and Cardiff, both gaining five places in RadiumOne’s league. Both teams have invested more time in creating content with their post rates on Facebook increasing by almost 46 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.
RadiumOne found that not only was there more content, it was also clearly designed to engage fans. Similarly both clubs enjoyed a lift in mentions on Twitter with Cardiff increasing engagement on the platform by 64 per cent, while Aston Villa’s Twitter mentions exploded by over one thousand per cent.
Towards the bottom of the Social Premier League Newcastle, following a brief bounce to 11th after 10 games, has dropped to 18th and the relegation zone despite picking up six wins in ten games on the pitch. This in part is due to it having the third smallest Facebook following in the league (with just Crystal Palace and Stoke City behind them in 19th and 20th place in terms of Facebook fan numbers) alongside only achieving a modest increase of nine per cent in new posts against the league average of 23 per cent in the last month.
At the same time, RadiumOne’s analysis showed that the vast majority of the club’s new posts were designed to drive traffic to the club shop and sell tickets, rather than build the community and encourage conversation.
The research showed that the clubs that worked to create conversations were able to improve or maintain their social ranking. Arsenal, league leaders after 20 games both in social media and the Premier League, ranks highly in both Twitter and Facebook performance with content that encourages fans to interact with the club.
The rankings were calculated* by the number of stories shared about each team on popular sports news websites, combined with how effectively each club has been interacting with its fans in the 30 days leading up to the 20th game of the season.
Abeed Janmohammed, Commercial Director at RadiumOne comments: “It’s fascinating to see how the amount of work a club puts into its social presence is translating into performance in our Social Premier League. In general, those teams doing well or rising are creating a lot of engaging conversations, but it’s not just the amount of content that matters – it’s telling that clubs successful on social media are using content that encourages responses from fans.
“The clubs whose performance is falling are typically using their social channels primarily as news feeds and sales channels. This can be seen particularly with Newcastle, which is largely using its Facebook page to advertise products from the club shop – the impact of which is clear from the results.
“Quite simply, our research serves to prove that it’s not just the quantity but the quality of content and engagement that really matters for brands. Clubs that have regular conversations and actively try to involve fans in their communities have better quality engagement and relationships with their fans on social platforms.”