The Zlatan Effect Part 1: The Surge on Social Media
The city of Los Angeles was abuzz Saturday with LA Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC in what fans dubbed El Tráfico.
But this game was anything but ordinary, as Zlatan Ibrahimović, the second-most decorated active soccer player in the world who signed with the Galaxy a week earlier, made his MLS debut.
Ibrahimović, LA Galaxy, and MLS
From March 22 through April 1, Ibrahimović has gained more than 374,000 followers across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
With his star power, the LA Galaxy and the MLS followed suit — the Galaxy have increased followers by more than 320,000 and the MLS by more than 100,000.
Take a look at the charts below. The spikes in follower growth are no accident.
March 23: Ibrahimović signs with LA Galaxy
March 31: LA Galaxy v Los Angeles FC (Ibrahimović MLS Debut)
El Tráfico Winners
While the LA Galaxy won El Tráfico and Ibrahimović scored the game-winning goal for his new team (plus one other amazing goal), it’s hard to ignore the two other winners this past weekend: the MLS and Instagram.
Of the more than 100,000 followers (on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) gained by the MLS since Ibrahmović joined the Galaxy, 78,000 followers were earned from Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1. For comparison, during the MLS season opener weekend of March 2, the league gained about 4,500 followers.
Instagram was the other winner of El Tráfico. The social channel usually receives the most engagement compared to Facebook (4-5x more) and Twitter (10-12x more) — from daily average engagement to average engagement per post.
The MLS averaged 283,500 daily average engagements on Instagram from March 30 – April 1 compared to 100,500 daily average engagements during Friday, March 2 – Sunday, March 4 of the MLS season opener. The LA Galaxy had almost 545,000 daily average engagements on Instagram (with 633,100 followers) this past weekend, compared to 24,000 daily average engagements during their home opener weekend of March 3.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of The Zlatan Effect where we’ll break down game day coverage of LA Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC as it relates to each team’s jersey sponsor: Herbalife for LA Galaxy and YouTube TV for Los Angeles FC.