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Facebook leads the way for Hammers fans


Filed: Friday, 8th February 2019
By: Staff Writer


West Ham United's most popular social network for engaging with supporters is still Facebook, according to a survey by social media research agency Newton Insight.

The popular platform accounted for 54 per cent of all activity on the club's social media channels in 2017 - more than Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Chinese platform Weibo put together, according to the survey.

Embed from Getty Images


However West Ham's record of engaging online with supporters means the club still has some way to go to match the likes of London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham, who figures reveal are considerably more prolific on Facebook and Twitter.

The survey revealed that West Ham grew their reach on Facebook by some 20 per cent and on Twitter by 32 per cent, as illustrated in the following tables.

Yet whilst that equates to the fourth best ranking for Premier League clubs on Twitter, the Hammers are just 18th with regards to growing their Facebook platform - only ahead of Newcastle and Leicester, the latter of whom experienced a considerable rise in followers across all platforms when winning the Premier League title in 2015/16.


Growth (Twitter)
Figures indicates rate of growth as a percentage and in brackets, total number of followers

1. Man Utd: 72% (16,596,000)
2. Huddersfield: 72% (131,000)
3. Brighton: 50% (162,000)
4. Tottenham: 49% (2,607,000)
5. Watford: 48% (405,000)
6. Chelsea: 46% (11,300,000)
7. West Brom: 46% (792,000)
8. Burnley: 46% (308,000)
9. Arsenal: 45% (10,491,000)
10. Man City: 45% (5,585,000)
11. Crystal Palace: 45% (666,000)
12. Liverpool: 43% (9,382,000)
13. Everton 43% (1,422,000)
14. Bournemouth: 43% (341,000)
15. Stoke City: 39% (897,000)
16. Southampton: 35% (908,000)
17. Swansea: 33% (871,000)
18. West Ham Utd: 32% (1,361,000)
19. Newcastle Utd: 23% (1,196,000)
20. Leicester City: 23% (1,101,000)


Growth (Facebook)
Figures indicates rate of growth as a percentage and in brackets, total number of followers

1. Huddersfield: 80% (113,000)
2. Man City: 30% (29,025,000)
3. Brighton: 27% (209,000)
4. West Ham Utd: 20% (2,297,000)
5. Burnley: 11% (389,000)
6. Bournemouth: 11% (359,000)
7. West Brom: 10% (804,000)
8. Watford: 10% (394,000)
9. Southampton: 9% (1,742,000)
10. Everton 7% (3,056,000)
11. Tottenham: 6% (8,669,000)
12. Crystal Palace: 6% (1,064,000)
13. Newcastle Utd: 4% (2,141,000)
14. Liverpool: 3% (30,406,000)
15. Man Utd: 2% (73,699,000)
16. Swansea: 2% (1,350,000)
17. Chelsea: 1% (47,840,000)
18. Arsenal: 1% (37,911,000)
19. Leicester City: 1% (6,598,000)
20. Stoke City: 1% (1,302,000)


Embed from Getty Images


The number of posts made by West Ham United's constantly-expanding media team on the two most popular platforms Facebook and Twitter also falls considerably behind some other clubs, with the Hammers ranking just 13th on Facebook and 15th on Twitter:


Annual Number of Club Posts (Facebook)

1. Man Utd: 4,817
2. Chelsea: 4.324
3. Southampton: 3,578
4. Tottenham: 3,447
5. Leicester City: 3,309
6. Man City: 3,156
7. Swansea: 3,154
8. Newcastle Utd: 3,032
9. Liverpool: 2,972
10. Arsenal: 2,684
11. Brighton: 2,322
12. Everton: 2,304
13. West Ham Utd: 2,226
14. Stoke City: 2,119
15. Huddersfield: 2,047
16. Crystal Palace: 1,961
17. Burnley: 1,787
18. West Brom: 1,580
19. Bournemouth: 1,256
20. Watford: 926


Annual Number of Club Posts (Twitter)

1. Huddersfield: 14,515
2. Man City: 11,449
3. Chelsea: 11,338
4. Man Utd: 10,362
5. Crystal Palace: 9,369
6. Liverpool: 9,340
7. Newcastle Utd: 9,244
8. Everton: 9,102
9. Tottenham: 9,014
10. Southampton: 8,825
11. Bournemouth: 8,678
12. Stoke City: 8,455
13. Leicester City: 8,433
14. Arsenal: 8,366
15. West Ham Utd: 8,354
16. Burnley: 7,911
17. Swansea: 7,609
18. Brighton: 7,503
19. Watford: 6,454
20. West Brom: 5,935


Interestingly, the figures reveal that only around 12 per cent of West Ham's followers on Facebook come from the UK, whilst nearly as many Mexican-based fans follow the club via the platform - the result of a concerted effort by West Ham to reach out to Spanish-speaking fans following the arrival of Javier Hernandez.

Yet the social media platform on which the club is increasing its number of users more than any other is image-based app Instagram, with a whopping 46 per cent more users following the club's channel in the 12 months preceding the survey..


West Ham on Facebook: top 10 countries (and number of users)

1. United Kingdom: 285,971
2. Mexico: 229,407
3. Algeria: 191,426
4. Egypt: 104.167
5. Indonesia: 87,431
6. Italy: 76,014
7. United States: 69,853
8. Brazil: 67,650
9. Thailand: 56,221
10. India: 46,268


West Ham's growth on social media (and number of users)

1. Instagram: 46% (485,107)
2. Weibo: 33% (84,495)
3. Twitter: 32% (1,360,860)
4. YouTube: 28% (62,566)
5. Facebook: 20% (2,297,186)


Embed from Getty Images


Overall, Facebook now accounts for three in every five fan engagements by Premier League clubs on social media as a whole - beating closest rivals Twitter and Instagram by some considerable margin, as the table below reveals.

Yet Twitter, which recently doubled its maximum number of characters per post (from 140 to 280) is the fastest growing social media platform for Premier League clubs, outstripping closest rival YouTube by nearly 16 per cent.


Social Network Rankings (percentage share and total followers)

1. Facebook: 60.7% (249,365,437)
2. Twitter: 16.7% (68,710,661)
3. Instagram: 14.4% (59,090,108)
4. Weibo (China): 7.3% (29,986,326)
5. YouTube: 1% (3,919,630)


Social Network Growth (percentage share and total followers)

1. Twitter: 49.1%
2. YouTube: 33.7%
3. Instagram: 33.6%
4. Weibo (China): 7.3%
5. Facebook: 5.1%


Finally, West Ham's ratings across all of the five major platforms cited above ensured the club snuck into into the Premier League's top half of overall social media rankings relating to fan engagement, finishing in joint-eighth spot.


Percentage share of Premier League fan engagement

1. Man Utd: 39%
2. Chelsea: 20%
3. Arsenal: 14%
4. Man City: 9%
5. Liverpool: 9%
6. Tottenham: 3%
7. Leicester City: 2%
8. Everton: 1%
8. West Ham Utd: 1%
10. Southampton: 0.4%
11. Crystal Palace: 0.3%
11. Newcastle: 0.3%
11. Swansea: 0.3%
14. Brighton: 0.2%
14. Huddersfield: 0.2%
14. Stoke City: 0.2%
14. Watford: 0.2%
14. West Brom: 0.2%
19. Bournemouth: 0.1%
19. Burnley: 0.1%


The data quoted above was sourced from public APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and official websites whilst rates of growth, engagement and acceleration were calculated by Newton Insight.





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