Social Media followers: No one near Aston Villa in Championship

16 April 2019

championship social media
Photo: Getty Images Villa is a clear leader of total social media followers largely thanks to over 2.6 millions likes on Facebook. Pictured is Aston Villa-fans watching their team away against Rotherham.

Stoke City a convincing number 1 on one social media.

Some big clubs are struggling on social media despite on field success.

Henrik Lønne loenne@offthepitch.com

While the players are battling it out on the field in the weekends, the media teams at the various Championship sides are working to inform, entertain and engage their fans on the clubs’ social media profiles on a daily basis.

A count performed by offthepitch.com on the morning of April 12, 2019, shows there is little relationship between the current position in the Championship and the number of social followers on the clubs’ domestic language social media profiles.

Top 4 clubs are Villa and the three teams relegated last season from the Premier League: Stoke, Swansea and West Bromwich.

Remarkable interest

Largely thanks to over 2.6 million likes on Facebook Villa is, however, in a clear lead of the total number of social media followers. With over 1,300,000 more followers than 2nd place Stoke City, the club show that there is still remarkable interest in the club, even though the Birmingham-side playing its third straight season in the Championship after the relegation in 2016.

While relegation partners Stoke and Swansea are battling it out in the middle of the table on the pitch, on social media they are top of the table.

Meanwhile, Stoke stands out with most Instagram followers in the Championship outperforming Aston Villa by over 100,000 followers at 380,038. While relegation partners Stoke and Swansea are battling it out in the middle of the table on the pitch, on social media they managed to reach the top.

Large differences in Twitter and Instagram following

The next block of clubs comprises Hull City, Norwich, Queens Park Rangers and Leeds which all fall within a span of 1 to 2 million followers. Thanks to close to a million Facebook-likes, Hull City is comfortably ahead of both Norwich and QPR, despite Norwich having more than 180,000 Twitter followers compared to Hull City.

In the range of 500,000 to 1,000,000 followers you find big clubs like Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Derby, Birmingham City, Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton and Reading. Bolton stands out with less than 30,000 followers on Instagram compared to the over 180,000 profiles that follow Derby.

Many points - but not that many followers

The 250,000 to 500,000 range proves that on-field success cannot be directly linked with the number of social media followers. In spite of Sheffield United and Bristol City currently ranking 3 and 6 respectively, they rank 18 and 19 in the social media table of followers in the Championship.

With less than a thousand fewer followers than Bristol City, you find already relegated Ipswich Brentford, which are known for using statistics and data to improve the on-field product. Nevertheless, this has not increased the number of social media followers, as the club hit just below 300,000 followers. The last club in the section is Millwall with 323,694 followers.

With less than 250,000 followers are Preston and Rotherham, where the latter finds itself as the absolute SoMe bottom-dweller with +80,000 fewer total followers than Preston. There is room for improvement on Instagram where fewer than 8,100 are following the club (Preston: 22,579). On Facebook the club have just surpassed the 50,000 follower mark (Preston: 109,264).