As a newcomer to any office the first priority, after formal introductions and handshakes, is always to find out the demographics of supported football clubs. When I joined PushON earlier this month that was exactly how my first day panned out, and it wasn’t long before I established the split of United, City and Liverpool fans, as well as a handful of others (Blackburn and Gillingham) and then relative minnows (Forest).

To each of us, our team is the biggest in the world and the only one that matters, yet we always find ourselves entertained or obsessed by what our rivals are doing. That is why I (as a red) have been unable to ignore City’s (massive) growth online and through social media. Now whilst I won’t admit to physically ‘following’ them on across all their platforms, it doesn’t take an enthusiast to notice how lame in comparison United’s efforts are.

City are making big moves in social media, and whilst their 3.8m Facebook fans are dwarfed by United’s 29m, the blues have a presence on Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare and Instagram, with United notably absent on each. It is their move onto Instagram which most interests me. The platform which was bought by Facebook for around $1bn earlier this year, and has since seen over 1,100% growth and 11m daily users is clearly one of the biggest and fastest growing areas of social media. City have shown similar growth aspirations both on and off the pitch, and so associating themselves with this growing trend (amassing 28,000 followers to date) shows how City are not only in touch with what their fans are doing, but also searching for every possible way to engage with them; in the case of Instagram with fan photo competitions.

Our MD joked about City being mocked by Google’s recommended replacement search a few years ago; a simple joke which caused much debate! The SERP has changed now and City are back. Now whether that’s due to some responsive SEO work by unhappy blues, or simply because their trophy cabinet de$ided to reopen its doors, they are now not completely the butt of red jokes. However fiercely things are fought on the pitch I’d simply like to see United take a proper dive into social media before they become a MySpace to City’s Facebook.

I’m sure the football banter will never cease at PushON, and it’d be interesting to see how it develops if we were ever to move within close proximity of either Manchester team’s ground…