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Big Ten Football Twitter Follower Rankings

Big Ten football programs are increasingly using Twitter to reach fans directly.

Big Ten football programs are increasingly turning to Twitter to share news, pictures and manage issues.

But which schools have the greatest reach? Is it purely a function of the biggest fan bases? Or the best use of Twitter? Or a combination of both?

As you see below, it’s a combination of both – with usual suspects Michigan, Nebraska, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Penn State at the top, though Ohio State is conspicuously missing:

School Twitter Handle Followers
Michigan @umichfootball 92,860
Nebraska* @Huskers 51,825
Michigan St @MSU_Football 36,980
Wisconsin @BadgerFootball 32,932
Penn St @PennStateFball 21,698
Iowa @HawkeyeFootball 20,656
Ohio St* @Brutus_Buckeye 20,078
Illinois @IlliniFootball 18,857
Purdue @BoilerFootball 17,853
Minnesota @GopherFootball 9,388
Indiana** @HoosierFootball 1,637**
Northwestern @NUFBFamily 1,365

* Neither Nebraska nor Ohio State have official football Twitter accounts, instead using the athletic department account for their Twitter purposes.

It’s particularly curious for Ohio State, whose athletic department has 20 separate official Twitter accounts – but none for football. The Buckeyes do, however, have Twitter accounts for both the men’s and women’s golf teams, men’s and women’s hockey teams, men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, and the compliance office (insert tattoo joke here).

And poor Indiana and Northwestern. Very few people care about the Hoosiers, and the NUFBFamily appears to be pretty small, at least in the social media world.

**Update: A commenter notes that Indiana’s account was created July 23. So there’s that. (Northwestern’s was created in September 2010.)

**Update 2.0: From commenter Duck: “The original @iufootball account was converted into @IUCoachWilson in March 2011. Currently that account has 12,638 followers.”

Note: In future posts, we’ll take a look at what these accounts do well – and not so well.

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5 Comments on “Big Ten Football Twitter Follower Rankings”

  1. Blake Says:

    Just a heads up, the IU Football Twitter account was made about five days ago.. Haha

    Reply

  2. Duck Says:

    The original @iufootball account was converted into @IUCoachWilson in March 2011. Currently that account has 12,638 followers.

    Reply

    • Tony Says:

      Thank you, Duck. Noted as well.

      Seems odd that Indiana would have gotten rid of an official account and put it under the coach’s name (especially since coaches don’t last forever in Bloomington).

      Reply

  3. Duck Says:

    Not altogether unusual in the context that there is no official twitter account for IU Basketball, but @TomCrean has 81k followers. I believe every other IU team has it’s own Twitter feed.

    The IU Twitter neighborhood is wildly diverse, populated by official accounts, those of the head coaches, assistant coaches, players, bloggers, superfans, and parody accounts of all of the above. The real Cody Zeller has 31k+ followers while the fake Cody Zeller has 11k+. The attention paid to IU football online is proportionally smaller as you’d might expect, but just from a quick look, the fake Kevin Wilson account is the third most followed account amongst fake B1G football coaches with close to 2,000 followers. So at least Hoosiers have a sense of humor about IU football….

    Reply

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