UPDATE: For more current figures plus links to all the MLB team Twitter profiles and Facebook Pages, see MLB Teams on Twitter and Facebook: Two-Year Growth Rates.
A new baseball season is underway and we are in that wonderfully brief period when fans all over the country still believe this could actually be the year for their team. Enjoy it while you can.
But while major market teams have a big advantage in the real game, social media is the great equalizer online, so I thought I’d see which teams have attracted the largest following on Twitter and Facebook. After getting good response to the posts I did on NFL and NBA teams I wanted to add MLB to the mix.
So without further ado here are the 30 Major League Baseball teams ranked by total number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans:
|Twitter followers||Facebook fans||Total|
|1||New York Yankees||272,665||1,249,555||1,522,220|
|2||Boston Red Sox||10,127||1,052,128||1,062,255|
|5||San Francisco Giants||16,742||321,164||337,906|
|6||St. Louis Cardinals||3,976||305,230||309,206|
|10||Chicago White Sox||1,524||226,825||228,349|
|12||Los Angeles Dodgers||18,371||171,098||189,469|
|13||New York Mets||6,916||181,531||188,447|
|19||Kansas City Royals||7,361||112,616||119,977|
|20||Tampa Bay Rays||4,677||107,636||112,313|
|23||Los Angeles Angels||4,701||98,922||103,623|
|24||Toronto Blue Jays||4,775||98,513||103,288|
|27||San Diego Padres||3,996||77,636||81,632|
I’ll add the usual caveats: these numbers change very quickly but I find taking a snapshot at various points useful for comparison (perhaps I’ll update this at the All Star break and the end of the season). And of course social media is not a popularity contest; it’s how you engage your followers/fans that really matters. But reach has value too and I like to see which teams are faring best in that area.
Baseball is a game of statistics after all, so looking at numbers seems fitting. I could take it further and come up with analogies for batting average and on-base percentage like average tweets per day or retweet percentages, but maybe another time.
Not surprisingly the Yankees and Red Sox are at the top of the standings, although Boston is far behind the Yankees and Phillies in Twitter followers. I believe that playing in the World Series got the Yankees and Phillies added to the previous version of Twitter’s Suggested Users list, which is likely why their numbers are so much higher.
In looking at the figures above, it is clear that teams are attracting much larger audiences through Facebook than Twitter at this point.
Brett Rudy says
I just read today’s Sports Business Journal blasting the Red Sox for 36% loss in TV and 17% loss in radio viewership.
What was OMITTED from the story (likely overlooked entirely) is that the TV loss equates to 150,000 viewers and the radion equates to a loss of 22,000 listeners. Yet, the Facebook Fan total has increased by 261,000 in the last 3 months alone. The number of social blogs in Boston providing real-time game updates is also plentiful.
Fans are NOT less enthusiastic. And these results do NOT have to do with the Team missing many of their starters due to injury. The reality is that in Boston, fans are migrating from TV/Radio to Social Platforms to get their real-time game updates. I know I do.
Big miss by SBJ, in my opinion.
Also, the Boston Globe printed an article today about Sox declining radio viewership. See boston.com – the same points are missed by the masses who don’t have a holistic understanding of marketing and how impressions are measured. Interestingly, newspaper readership at the Globe is also down 12% as their readers go online. That too is a migration – not a decline as a whole!
BTW, I’m not saying seeing a Facebook feed and watching an entire game broadcast on TV are equal impressions. Clearly they are not.
Surely the Red Sox injuries have played a role, of course. But my point is really that people absorb sports differently now than they used to. Facebook has DOUBLED in a year to 500 Million users, so why is it surprising that people leverage it now to get their real-time news on ballgames?
Adam Sherk says
Great points Brett, thanks for sharing. I haven’t come across any coverage of this myself, so it does seem like it has been largely overlooked. I agree too that it’s not an apples to apples comparison, but social media is certainly having a big influence on the ways that people follow team news and support their teams in general.