Arsenal are apparently the most talked about Premier League team on social media, followed by Manchester United, Liverpool, and Tottenham.
The rankings were calculated by RadiumOne based on 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.
Personally I’m just pleased to see Spurs back in the top four, but it’s also worth investigating further to assess how each club approaches social media.
As such, here’s a quick look the Twitter feeds of the four clubs that top RadiumOne’s rankings. And for more information on this topic, read Ben Davis’ in-depth post detailing Manchester United’s strategy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Sina Weibo…
It’s no major surprise that Arsenal was the most talked about club in the first half of the season, as the team has enjoyed an excellent run of form and looked like strong title contenders.
But it will be interesting to see whether the online buzz continues when the club inevitably drops down the league thanks to its thin squad and lack of strikers…
That aside, Arsenal currently has 3.3m Twitter followers and generally tweets upwards of 20 times each day. It provides a lot of interesting and shareable content, such as club news, links to media reports, interviews, competitions, and images of players.
The feed also live tweets matches and press conferences, so overall it gives an excellent view into the club and helps fans to feel connected with what’s going on with their team.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 9, 2014
But though it shares a lot of interesting content, I couldn’t find a single example of Arsenal’s feed responding to another Twitter user.
Even on the occasions when it posts questions, the social team sticks to retweeting people’s responses rather than actively engaging in conversation.
This must be part of Arsenal’s social guidelines, but it seems misguided as it’s missing an easy opportunity for rewarding fans and driving additional engagement.
Manchester United is relatively new to Twitter as the feed was only established in July 2013, however it has already attracted 1.6m followers.
The club took advantage of its players’ existing fanbases to drive up follower numbers in the early days, hosting an #askrio Q&A with defender Rio Ferdinand. Maybe he’d now like to host one with the club to ask why he doesn’t get picked anymore.
As with Arsenal, United has a very active Twitter feed and posts a decent mix of content that largely focuses on team and player news. It also live tweets press conferences and match reaction, though leaves live blogging the games to the official club website.
Much of the content includes images of the matches or the stadium, which makes it eminently more interesting and sharable.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 11, 2014
In keeping with the club’s corporate image, Manchester United fails to interact with its fans on Twitter and simply uses the network as a broadcast tool.
It doesn’t respond to other users and only retweets United players or official Premier League feeds.
This comes as no big surprise but reveals that the club is only interested in using Twitter as a one-way marketing channel rather than as a way of conversing with its fanbase.
Liverpool is another club that uses Twitter as a broadcast tool and fails to interact with its followers on any level.
It seems an odd tactic for a club that prides itself on having a close relationship with its fans, but obviously the corporate image is more important than fan engagement.
Nonetheless, the feed is extremely active and post a range of content including match reports, interviews, images, player quotes, news and videos.
Liverpool’s feed is particularly image-heavy and includes frequent photos of matches, training sessions, youth teams, the manager and archive images.
PHOTO: Steven Gerrard converts a penalty to put Liverpool 3-2 ahead at the Britannia Stadium pic.twitter.com/2NaLs94EVF
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 12, 2014
Finally, the club live tweets the important moments from all of its matches, including photos, which is a great way of driving engagement.
There’s certainly enough to keep Liverpool fans interested, and the club has attracted some 2.2m followers.
Tottenham’s official feed is largely the same as the others in the Twitter top four – it posts regular updates featuring club news, player information and match reports.
However it’s noticeable that Spurs tweets slightly fewer images than its rivals, though it does deign to retweet its followers occasionally.
Tottenham’s match coverage is also more comprehensive than the other teams, with minute-by-minute updates detailing the action on the pitch.
In fact it could be suggested that the match coverage is too in-depth, as it clogs up your Twitter feed and some of the tweets verge on being bland.
Even so, it’s good to see such a commitment to keeping fans up-to-date, as the club also tweets travel information so its followers can make their way home quickly.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 11, 2014
Finally, Tottenham posted a Vine of the players warming up before the most recent game against Crystal Palace. I’m an advocate of this type of content as it gives fans a glimpse behind the scenes and is a reward for following the club.
I’ve previously highlighed seven Premier League clubs that use Vine, and hopefully we can expect to see a few more (better quality) Vines from Spurs in the near future.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 11, 2014