Monday, February 6, 2012

MLS Twitter Engagement

Let's start with some baseline numbers as we track social media stats through the season. Measuring engagement is not easy without using some sophisticated (read: expensive) tools, but there are some crude measures that may give us an idea of how some teams may stack up against others in utilizing various social media platforms to get their team in front of your eyeballs.

To give us an idea of a level playing field we need some baseline to compare different size markets against each other.  You would think if you had more people in your market, say New York or Los Angeles, you would probably have higher gross numbers then a small market like Columbus.   So using the census for American (2010) and Canadian (2006) metro areas (source: Wikipedia, OMB).*

*You may have some objections but hey these are statistically regular so I am not technically including San Francisco-Oakland in the San Jose metro area.

Now lets include their Twitter stats (followers and tweets) for January 2012:

 As you can see the LA Galaxy fresh off their 2011 MLS Cup win, 2nd largest metro area and arguably with the strongest international presence are at the top with number of followers. You would kind of expect that. So are they resting on their laurels?  Also newcomers Montreal are near the bottom, but still doing pretty well for a new club given that Colorado and San Jose have been around long enough to make a splash.  I'm especially looking at you San Jose, with all your tech savvy companies there I would expect a much higher presence.

But let's make local metro population a factor and calculate the Twitter followers per 10k people in the lcoal metro area.  Written mathmatecially as:
Twitter per 10k = (Twitter followers/Metro Pop)*10,000

Now we see a much different picture that drops the LA Galaxy down to 8th, and puts RSL, Sporting, Seattle, Columbus, Portland and Vancouver far ahead of the pack given their metro population.  One could make a solid case that in a large metro area there are more opportunities for other sports and non-athletic interests, but it does show a different side of things.  Especially seeing New York and Chivas way at the bottom in another class.  So why the stark differnce?  One hint might be the number of tweets.  Some of the better performing clubs on Twitter engagement by this metric have considerably more tweets posted.  But then even Chicago has a pretty high volume of tweets but lacks the following per 10k.

Largest drop in position:  
-14! New York Red Bulls going from 4th by Followers to 18th when adjusted for metro population.
Biggest gain in position: 
+14! Real Salt Lake going from 15th by Followers to number one when adjusted for metro population.

So if you are in the relegation zone of MLS Twitter accounts, you may want to start paying attention to the top 5 here because they are doing something you are not.

Here are the two charts side by side for easier comparison:

Do you see any other trends here?  More to come on Facebook and YouTube later this week.


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