Social media in football survey: The results

Social media in football survey: The results

Back in December I posted a blog about the launch of The Online Rule’s social media in football survey for 2017. Inspired by Buffer’s State of Social report, I wanted to see how the sports industry compared (an industry which didn’t have its own category in Buffer’s survey).

In total there were 22 responses to the survey from all over the world. The findings are below, and there’s a link to the results spreadsheet too in case you would like to take a look at the raw data.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the survey – it’s really appreciated.

Marketing teams are small

This probably won’t surprise many people, but marketing departments at football teams are small. In response to the question “How many people work in your marketing department?”, 86% of respondents said there were five or fewer in their teams. One lucky respondent had a team of 11-20 to call on.

Snapchat saw the biggest growth in 2016

In news that will surprise no-one, Snapchat was the most-launched network in the past 12 months. 12 of the 16 respondents’ teams had created Snapchat profiles in 2016, with Instagram following in second place. This reflects the trend for photo and video content, with Medium – the home of longer form content – not featuring for any of our respondents.

Everyone has Facebook

Again unsurprisingly, all of the teams were on Facebook. Twitter and Instagram followed, with Snapchat and YouTube behind them.

What’s coming next?

WhatsApp is the network that our respondents are planning to launch on in the coming year, showing a commitment to building a more personal relationship with fans.

Also, if our marketers have their way, we’ll be seeing a lot more video content across channels in 2017 (yeah the live question was technically asked twice).


As part of the next section, I asked all of the respondents to assign a score of between one and five to several emerging trends in the industry. I was interested in knowing which trends they were going to be prioritising over the next 12 months.

Of the three trends, live video is by far the biggest priority. Both messaging apps and VR don’t feature as highly, but also appear to be in the minds of teams.

Get the data

The full spreadsheet of responses from the social media in football survey can be accessed here. Feel free to draw your own conclusions from them, and share them with me on Twitter @onlinerule.