The first ever index ranking British professional football, rugby and cricket teams according to social media performance has been launched with Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur topping the tree.
The Sport Social Media Index is a league table of 148 British professional football (English Premier League, Championship, Leagues One and Two; plus the SPL) rugby (Super League and Premiership) and cricket (County Championship Divisions One and Two) teams, ranked according to the best use of social media by their official club channels.
To be published annually, The Sport Social Media Index, produced by PR and social media agency Umpf with partners William Hill, was four months in the making. The table is compiled by measuring the performance of each team based not just on an algorithm, but research from a team of nine people who looked at eight social networks, as well as a panel of four judges who presided over the results.
It includes an overall table of 148 teams ranked first to last, plus nine additional tables showing rankings based on each sporting league.
The leading professional team in the inaugural Sport Social Media Index is Tottenham Hotspur with a score of 69.9 out of 100, more than two points ahead of second-placed Chelsea (67.6) and almost three points ahead of Leyton Orient in third (67).
According to the judges, Spurs generated a strong data score with excellent levels of community engagement, offering a great breadth of social media channels, which it used to their potential.
Michael Sheehan, Social Media Customer Experience Manager at William Hill, said:
“Tottenham deserved to be crowned this year’s winners as they have truly mastered the art of engaging with their fans on multiple platforms. Their content is fresh, engaging and resonates well with their supporters.
“Leeds Rhinos were another notable winner in their respective category as they have also demonstrated a clear understanding of social media. Their use of clever hashtags and stunning imagery has shown the importance of social media for educating and engaging with fans and potential supporters alike.”
Full league tables, methodology and judges’ bios available at :www.sport.socialmediaindex.co.uk
So, how did the judges decide upon the final results? Be way of an insight, below are three case studies covering Premier League, League 1 and Rugby League. It shows what types of content and interaction saw them being picked out as examples of the best there is. Do you agree with the judges?
Tottenham Hotspur generated a strong data score with excellent engagement. The club not only has a great breadth of social media channels – including official pages on Vine, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Google Plus – but uses them to their potential.
Judges acknowledged the variety of content available across all channels, praising the platform-by-platform tailoring of content, noting that material was used when it was appropriate for that channel. Judges were also impressed by the strength of video content.
The availability of unique, behind-the-scenes footage was another highlight, and it is no surprise that this activity receives very high engagement as it taps into fans’ curiosity.
Match day coverage is also excellent and the club provides detailed coverage of the first team, U21s and U18s.
This image generated in excess of 12,000 likes and more than 1,000 shares.
Leyton Orient is the highest placed non-Premier League football team in the Index. The East London club – which averages home attendances of around 5,500 – had one of the highest data scores of all 148 teams.
Its ratio of community growth, engagement, responsiveness, plus range and depth of activity enabled the club to achieve high scores in the algorithm. Orient scored well with judges who praised their excellent breadth of official channels, use of media and noted their high levels engagement.
Judges said Leyton Orient showed a great understanding of what content their fans like to see and were generally in tune to the wants and needs of their communities.
The use of archive material, such as the ‘on this day’ stories, plus Q&A sessions with high profile figures such as the manager and chairman and use of hashtags to monitor and collate questions, were noted by the panel for generating large reach.
Jonny Davies Media & Communications Manager at Leyton Orient said: “Our social media channels are hugely important to us. Not only do they allow us to break news to fans as soon as it happens, but they also allow us to give fans a more 360-degree view of the club and make them feel at the heart of everything we do.”
Rugby League side Leeds Rhinos finished fifth place in the overall Index, the highest placed non-football team. The Yorkshire club received a very strong data score, good marks for the amount of official channels available to fans, and for the content that was used on each.
The judges highlighted the excellent use of hashtags across the board as well as clever use of visual assets such as their Facebook cover picture to advertise upcoming games and player achievements.
Also noted was the impressive use of fan photos from home games, the constantly changing cover photos, as well as behind-the-scenes access – although not groundbreaking, the panel agreed that it showed a willingness by the club to put time and resources in to creating content which can be consumed by fans for free.
As well as the timeliness of distribution and the responsiveness of moderators, judges were generally impressed with the club’s understanding of social media and how their staff fostered and developed communities.