The Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets on Twitter as well as in the World Series.
The Royals had about 479,000 followers on Twitter as of this morning, 15,000 more than the Mets had — even though New York City’s metropolitan area has nearly 10 times the population of Kansas City’s. In fact, the Royals had 8,000 more followers than the 2014 population of Kansas City, Missouri.1 The Mets were winning on Facebook, though, with 1.3 million fans to the Royals’ 1.1 million.2
One reason most people who live in or near New York City aren’t following the Mets’ tweets and Facebook statuses about ticket sales, merchandise and, the day after the team’s World Series exit, bittersweet musings: Their region also has the Yankees and seven other major pro sports teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL. Residents of Kansas City have only the 3-5 Chiefs.
The Mets and Royals are far from the top of the social-media leaderboards in the MLB. The Yankees and Red Sox have the most Twitter followers and Facebook fans of any MLB team, according to data as of Oct. 25 compiled by Socialbakers, a company that analyzes social media followings. (The Royals already led the Mets in Twitter followers on Oct. 25, even before the World Series began, though both follower counts rounded to 450,000.) The Yankees couldn’t make it out of the wild-card round in the playoffs, but their Facebook page has 35 percent more fans than MLB’s page does. The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, rank fourth in Twitter followers but much lower in Twitter interactions and were the only team to lose Facebook fans over the past 12 months. Here’s how MLB teams compared to a year earlier:3
|NAME||FANS||FAN GROWTH||INTERACTIONS||FANS||FAN GROWTH||INTERACTIONS|
Even the Yankees and Red Sox can’t compete with the online following of top NBA teams. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls have more than twice the number of Facebook fans as each of the Yankees and Red Sox — and Lakers followers on Twitter outnumber Yankees and Red Sox followers combined. Some of that support comes from outside the U.S., where the NBA is far more popular than MLB. The popularity extends to the league as a whole. The NBA’s Facebook page has 27.5 million fans, more than the NFL’s (12.5 million), MLB’s (6.3 million) and NHL’s (3.9 million) combined. And while Socialbakers hasn’t run the numbers yet for this year’s World Series, Facebook and Twitter activity around last year’s Game 7 fell far short of activity around the end of conference championships in the NBA and NFL. The Royals won the World Series — in a sport that has a lot of work to do to capture the attention of the social-media world.