Twitter Relevance Rankings: Canadian NHL Teams

The medium for the message.

Social media is an integral part of the NHL fan experience. As fans we use it in so many ways. To get up to the minute updates. To find the latest highlights and videos. To engage in online fandom. I can’t seem to go a day without it.

Who does it best?

A strong social media presence can help a sports franchise best leverage its fanbase. It can also help a franchise distinguish itself from its peers. But how would you compare peer against peer? Without any internal data it can be hard to look at a post or an ad and determine how that is performing against expectations. I’ve created a simple ranking formula using two objective numbers: 1) Twitter followers, and 2) metro population. This allows me to calculate the number of followers per metro population: an outcome I call Followers Per Person. I’m aware this isn’t a sophisticated metric but it does allow me look beyond basic follower numbers. In my opinion it gives me a small window through which I can see how effective a franchise has been among its native fan population. Let’s get on with it, shall we?


Twitter Relevance Rankings:
Canadian NHL Teams

1: Winnipeg Jets


0.55 Followers Per Person
Twitter Followers: 403,000
Metro Population: 730,018


2: Edmonton Oilers


0.53 Followers Per Person
Twitter Followers: 612,000
Metro Population: 1,159,869

3. Calgary Flames

0.39 Followers Per Person
Twitter Followers: 479,000
Metro Population: 1,214,839

4. Vancouver Canucks


0.37 Followers Per Person
Twitter Followers: 865,000
Metro Population: 2,313,328

5. Ottawa Senators


0.34 Followers Per Person
Twitter Followers: 423,000
Metro Population: 1,236,324

6. Montreal Canadiens


0.29 Followers Per Person
Twitter Followers: 1,210,000
Metro Population: 4,127,100

7. Toronto Maple Leafs

0.25 Followers Per Person
Twitter Followers: 1,370,000
Metro Population: 5,583,064

What does it mean?

On first analysis, there is some indication that the smaller cities are punching above their weight when it comes to impact on Twitter. It brings a few questions to my mind. Does a smaller town mean equal more hardcore fans? Are bigger markets more diverse and therefore lack the widespread support seen in smaller markets? What is each team doing on Twitter and social media generally? I’m not sure what the answers are but I look forward to digging into these topics in future post.

Comments improve the discourse so please share yours with us on Twitter @SportsBizCanada.

Jeremy Reynolds

Jeremy is a Broadcaster and Correspondent with Bell AliantTV1. Previously, he was a post game interviewer with the St. John's IceCaps of the AHL and Co-Host/Producer of Netcrashers Hockey Podcast.