We first look at the battle for social media fans back in March 2011 when the AFL reached the magical 1M milestone on Facebook with the NRL in close pursuit we looked at the social media fan numbers again in September 2011. Both Leagues have smashed through the 1M barrier are are in a race to reach 2M Facebook fans across the league.
The AFL & it's clubs have maintained a strong following on Twitter with a far more Twitter followers than in the NRL shown by the stark gap in the club averages 19,398 compared to the NRL 13,012. However on Facebook the NRL holds a lead in the club averages lead by Broncos with a whopping 260K Facebook fans with Collingwood & Essendon both joining the 200K club recently & the top 10 split evenly but the AFL teams are getting slightly more engagement via Facebook's “Talking About This” metric. AFL does have 2 more teams with Gold Coast & GWS Giants joining the AFL in the past 2 seasons.
Given 5.8M people on on Facebook in Australia, it will be interesting to see what numbers both leagues can grow to. Thanks to SportsFanGraph for helping us compile these numbers, you can check our live rankings for NRL & AFL and other sports.
We discussed the Social September with Francis on ABC Grandstand on Saturday as well as the “Talking About This” number and the mysterious Facebook Edgerank.