Manchester United's Paul Pogba has surpassed Mesut Ozil of Arsenal to become Instagram's top user with 218 posts among Premier League players.
According to a social media study by Pitchside, new sports division of Wilderness Agency 27% of Pogba's posts are about his club, 6% about his national team, 39% about performance, 12% to brand and 16% on lifestyle.
The study of social media activity of the top 400 Premier League players’ and clubs’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles was conducted to reveal the most influential accounts.
Pitchside's new metric, the ‘Social Player Index’ (SPI) further revealed that players hold 2.38x more power and influence than their clubs. On the primary channel, Instagram, the aggregate following of the 20 most followed players in each of the 20 Premier League clubs reaches a total of 361.2 million, almost six times as many as the official social channels of the clubs at 62.6 million.
Tom Jarvis, founder and managing director of the Pitchside said: "Social media has played a huge part in the evolution of the beautiful game allowing players to become the most powerful brands in football with the ability to engage directly with millions of fans across the globe on a daily basis. They are showcasing their lifestyle, fashion, training regime and details of the off-pitch lives to connect with fans at a very different level to that of clubs.
"Players are building vast audiences through their personal content creation, driving valuable conversation with fans and increasing their off-pitch value, and the global focus on them at the World Cup will only see this increasing."
Tom Howgate, former commercial director at Manchester United and founder of Pitch side, said: “Our first Premier League Social Player Index is the most in-depth independent social media analysis in football. It proves that Premier League footballers have become brands.
"However, the World Cup goes beyond personal brand identity and our report shows the impact that footballers can have on a brand’s bottom line – particularly when strong and relevant brand partnerships are created. Many brands are now understanding the power that footballers have and the value that is driven through the ability to connect direct to fans through them.”