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Study: Manchester United and PSG top social media rankings for 2021/22

Soccer giants dominate audience and engagement metrics during European season, according to Conviva data.

16 June 2022 Ed Dixon

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  • Instagram accounts for 82% of all post engagements and 74% of all video engagements during 2021/22
  • TikTok sees surge in popularity as leagues and teams increase activity
  • Video content deemed number one for engagement

The 2021/22 European soccer season saw Instagram dominate when it came to leagues and teams engaging on social media, accounting for 82 per cent of post engagements and 74 per cent of video engagements, according to data from Conviva.

The streaming media measurement analytics platform’s ‘2022 European Football Social Report’ found that English giants Manchester United and French champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) led the way with engagement. Both clubs dominated in terms of audience size and engagement for their respective leagues. Conviva cited the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as key engagement drivers.

TikTok also saw a surge in popularity during 2021/22, with most teams and leagues increasing their activity on the platform. Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, as well as the Uefa Champions League, all grew their following by more than ten million followers over 2021, according to Conviva. PSG are now the most-followed team on TikTok with 25 million followers.

Leagues and clubs are also leaning more heavily into video, with Conviva regarding it as the number one source of content. The report states that it draws viewers in and drives higher engagement rates, especially on video-first platforms like TikTok. Conviva also noted that even on text heavy platforms like Twitter, video content garnered more engagements per post than static content.

The report also highlighted that while clubs used to primarily post highlights, score updates and other traditional content, that formula no longer works for teams looking to boost engagement. As a result, clubs this season experimented with memes, behind-the-scenes content, player spotlights and other unique formats to stand out from the crowd.

“The 2021/22 European football season was full of exciting transfers, upsets and intense finals that, in turn, drove high social media engagement across teams and leagues throughout the season,” said Nick Cicero, Conviva’s vice president of strategy.

“It’s clear that European teams and leagues recognise the value of social media and are applying their competitive mindsets to winning fans over on social in addition to on the field.

“However, as more and more teams flock to social to build their brands and expand their fanbases, the competition for fans’ attention has only gotten more intense and we expect that trend to continue next season as well.”

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