Premier League Instagram followers surpasses 40 million


Recent data acquired from acuity digital shows that the combined total of all followers on Instagram for every Premier League has surpassed 40 million. More surprisingly, Instagram is just 2 million followers away from becoming the 2nd most popular Social Network – a crown currently held by Twitter.

Data from the digital marketing consultancy based in Leeds showed that as of November 5th, there are 42.1 million Instagram users following a Premier League account. On Twitter for comparison there are a total of 44.3 million users following a club. However, this pales in comparison to Facebook that boasts an accumulated total of 236 million Likes.

Instagram Followers by Premier League team (November 2016)

Club Followers Photos/Videos
Manchester United 14,419,455 5,217
Arsenal FC 8,188,395 3,595
Chelsea FC 7,737,400 2,429
Manchester City 3,963,201 4,478
Liverpool FC 3,513,405 5,601
Leicester City 1,384,313 2,340
Tottenham Hotspur 919,495 2,241
Everton 324,400 1,820
West Ham United 313,143 2,860
Southampton FC 246,564 3,515
Stoke City FC 204,070 765
Crystal Palace F.C. 152,027 1,046
Swansea City AFC 135,371 1,048
Sunderland AFC 124,201 3,070
Watford FC 110,876 1,432
AFC Bournemouth 105,536 1,292
West Bromwich Albion 105,518 1,446
Burnley FC 69,470 1,089
Hull City 51,956 815
Middlesbrough FC 48,206 1,020
TOTAL 42,117,002 47,119

Unsurprisingly Manchester United dominate the table with 14.4 million followers on their official Instagram account, just as they top both the Twitter and Facebook league tables. What is interesting is that the Red Devils have some 5 million more followers on Instagram than they do on Twitter.

Noticeably, the United team have put substantial investment into Instagram with only Liverpool FC beating them on the sheet volume of media content posted on Instagram. On Twitter in comparison, Man United appear third from bottom for volume of tweets – though they were notably the last Premier League side to join Twitter in July 2013.

In the coming months we can expect to see the Facebook owned platform overtake Twitter. With a focus on rich media across mobile devices, Instagram has allowed the Manchester United social team to communicate to their fan base with historical footage, photos of what players used to look like and repurpose imagery and video shared by past and present members of the squad.

In addition, the team at Old Trafford have done a great job of monetizing the channel to just the right level. This season saw them quite heavily promote the launch of EA Sports FIFA 2017 game through Instagram. The marketing however was quite subtle and allowed EA Sports to piggy back on United’s enormous marketing platform. As Instagram continues to grow, more and more sponsors and brands will look to ways to leverage their commercial agreements with football clubs to amplify their own marketing activity.

Sean Walsh

Founder of and leading Football Social Media expert.

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