England’s Facebook Performance During Euro 2012Written by: Liam
England’s campaign in Euro 2012 ended thanks to a familiar 12-yard enemy and a frankly superior Italian team. The Three Lions, however, left the tournament unbeaten in normal time, chalking up two wins and two draws.
Thanks to our tracking system, we at Football and Social Media have been able to discover how the support for England’s official Facebook page changed during their spell in Euro 2012.
THE GROUP STAGE
The England team’s page saw a gradual rise of fans during the group stage of Euro 2012. The most interesting finding from our graph is that the page took a sharp increase of new fans on two occasions – the twenty-four hours after England’s victories over Sweden and Ukraine.
England’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Sweden, which saw them periodically trail before Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck secured a victory, was reflected in the influx of new likes. In the twenty-four hours following the match, the England Facebook page saw the sharpest increase of new followers in a one-day period (15,016 likes) up until that point of the tournament. Similarly, the page received another spike of new likes (13,162) in the day after they defeated Ukraine 1-0 in Donetsk, the second sharpest increase of new fans during the group stage.
Quarter-Final and Knock-out
England’s first European quarter-final for eight years brought about a lot of points to discuss, including whether they could overcome the penalty hoodoo which has plagued them for years. These points of discussion, as well as general excitement for England’s chances, led to steady increase of new likes as kick-off approached. The culmination of this gradual rise was another spike of 12,838 followers in the day before the match.
England’s Euro hopes were dashed thanks in no small part to an Andrea Pirlo masterclass in their Quarter Final with Italy. In fact, two of the top Twitter trends in Britain following the game was the thirty-three year old Italian, and his audacious ‘panenka’ penalty.
Following England’s departure, the rate in which their Facebook likes increased slowed down. The page accumulated just 4,289 new likes in the day after their exit, three times less than they had received the day earlier.
So what does this tell us?
Social media sites like Facebook act as a forum for sports fans to relay their opinions about their team. In this case, the sharp increase in new likes following each group game indicates that a lot more people wanted to get involved in discussing the nation’s performance in the previous evening’s match. Also, aside from acting as a platform of discussion, the simple act of ‘liking’ a nation’s page announces to all your friends your support for the team, something which a lot more England fans would want to do following a victory.
Also, England’s Facebook page managed to consistently gather new fans by being so active during the tournament. A variety of content was posted to the page, including links to watch live training sessions and press conferences, behind the scenes footage, and action shots of the team during the games themselves. Each one of these posts can be shared on to a fan’s page, opening up the possibility for all of their friends to ‘like’ England too. When the England page posted the line-up for their quarter-final clash, the image was shared over 4,000 times. If each user had 100 friends, there is the potential for this image (and it’s source page) to be seen by over 400,000 people from this function alone.
In reflection, England’s Euro 2012 campaign may have been halted at the last-eight, but their Facebook fan-base was successful in gaining an additional 110,747 new fans during the tournament. England, as the leading football nation on Facebook, represents how football fans now utilise the social media site, whether it be to join in on discussions, comment on one of many interesting posts or even just to show their support.
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