In the digital era, it’s common to measure one’s popularity among peers by comparing how many likes a picture or status update gets, or the number of followers we have. It is the same for footballers and other celebrities too.
The Star recently revealed the most followed Liverpool players on social network Twitter, ranking the top 25 players in terms of largest follower base.
The full list can be seen here, but below are some of the more interesting rankings:
25. Ragnar Klavan – @Ragnar_Klavan17
Coming in at number 25 is Ragnar Klavan. The 31-year-old Estonian defender arrived at the Anfield club in July 2016 from German club FC Augsburg. According to the poll, Klavan had a rather low follower base of 1,545. For a professional footballer at the top level, this is surprisingly low, so I doubled checked the count by looking at his profile and at the time of writing, he had a follower base of 5,657. This total is some way off 24th place Ovie Ejaria with 35,500 followers.
20. Adam Lallana – @officialAL20
In 20th place is one of the fans’ favourites, Adam Lallana. Ranking in the position that corresponds to his squad number, Lallana is relatively new to the platform, joining in April 2017. In the three months that the player has been on Twitter, he has accrued 65,300 followers.
5. Phillipe Coutinho – @Phil_Coutinho
Brazilian midfielder Coutinho is one of the most popular of the current crop of Reds in the eyes of the fans, so it is surprising to see the 25-year-old at number five. At the time of writing, Coutinho, dubbed the Little Magician, had a following of 1.06 million people.
4. Mamadou Sakho – @mamadousakho
It is perhaps surprising that Frenchman Sakho ranks so highly on the list, having fallen out of favour with Liverpool’s backroom staff and being sent out on loan to Crystal Palace. Despite this, Sakho boasts 1.37 million followers.
1. Mohamed Salah – @22mosalah
Salah joined Liverpool just two weeks ago, and has a follower base of 2.47 million having played for a number of Europe’s top clubs. This may have been boosted by the clever way the club announced the signing by playing on the hashtag #AnnounceSalah.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 22, 2017
What about missing players and former players?
There are some notable absences from the list, with club vice-captain James Milner not featuring. This is because the Englishman does not have an account on the site – or does he?
Boring James Milner is a parody account for the player and is well known to many both inside the world of football and outside of it thanks to tweets such as the below:
Just went to drink my cup of tea but it was too hot so I left it to cool and when I went to drink it again it was too cold.
— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) January 8, 2017
Here's a list of all the Christmas presents I received yesterday: pic.twitter.com/bZfakcVmEz
— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) December 26, 2016
Really disappointed to concede a penalty today so if I'm not back too late tonight, I'm going to hoover the house to take my mind off it.
— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) December 4, 2016
The account has 569,000 followers and would put him at number 7 on the list, just ahead of Jon Flanagan.
Club legend Steven Gerrard is not on Twitter, but his Instagram account has more than 6 million followers. Should the former player set up an account on Twitter and get anywhere near that figure, he would be well clear in first place.
Controversial Uruguayan Luis Suarez was a fan favourite at his time at Liverpool for being a goal scoring machine. Now playing for Barcelona, he is never out of the spotlight and this has translated into social media followers, with the player approaching 10 million followers.
There are many different factors to take into consideration as to why certain figures are more popular on social media than others. All of these players are in the public eye with playing for a club at the top level of the British footballing hierarchy, so why is there such a difference in the follower count?
Factors such as engagement, how long they’ve been on the site, and content quality are just some of the points that attract followers, and you don’t have to be a footballer to boost your follower count using these methods.