When I started looking at the social media efforts of NHL teams last year, I wondered whether the Original Six teams would had an advantage in attracting fans to their Facebook and Twitter efforts. Would their long histories, established organizations and multi-generational fan bases transfer over to success on social media.
For those who are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, the Original Six NHL teams; Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins; made up the NHL for 25 seasons from 1942 to 1967 when the league expanded to 12 teams.
On Facebook the gap is huge with Original Six teams averaging 895,000 page likes per team from a high of the Detroit Red Wings 1,207,807 to a low of 477,081 by the New York Rangers. The remaining 24 teams averaged only 273,156 page likes.
On the Twitter side the gap was a bit smaller, but still the Original Six teams have more than double the amount of followers at 156,768 than the other 24 teams’ average of 72,644 followers.
What does it mean?
What I believe the numbers say is simply that long established franchises have built up solid fan bases over their history, and that that fan base is solidly reflected even in social media.
Follower, Page Likes numbers are current to February 26, 2012.