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Ronnie O' Sullivan's return to the world championships this year got everyone talking about snooker again, which as avid fans ourselves with think is great, that coupled with an ever increasing number of sports personalities taking to social sites we thought it would be interesting to look at which snooker players have the most reach across there own social categories and came up with some interesting stats below:

Most Twitter Followers & Facebook Likes

You would be forgiven for thinking that as the world ranking number one Mark Selby would have more Twitter followers and Facebook likes than his competitors. As a top ranking member of any sport you gain much more exposure than anyone below you in the rankings and through this expect to see a gain in your social standing. Weirdly though snooker doesn't seem to have followed this trend exactly.

Judd Trump who currently ranks at number 3 in the world controls significantly more social media power than some of his competitors with 96,415 followers on Twitter and 54,000 likes on Facebook. We initially thought that as a young man of just 23 Trump is likely to be much more social media savvy than other ranking players but this isn't necessarily the case. Neil Robertson, the second oldest of the players we looked at (31), lies just behind Mr Trump for the most followers and likes. Although Robertson has significantly less than Judd (109,863 less to be exact) he still is able to utilize the site to form regular contact with fans and advertise competitive matches. Conversely Ding Junhui, who lies at the bottom of our social experiment, hasn't been able to make the most out of the sites at all. Although he has 2,145 followers on Twitter and 1,700 likes on Facebook he hasn't yet said anything within his 140 character boundary and made only 10 posts on his wall suggesting that he doesn't value the power of these sites. We’re putting this down to the fact that his native country of China currently has a ban imposed on websites like Twitter and Facebook meaning that Ding hasn't been exposed to them in the way Robertson and Trump have.

Most Addicted to twitter

Many sporting stars are becoming addicted to social media now-a-days. It’s their chance to directly contact their fans and twitter on about what they’re doing that day. It’ll be interesting then to look at who out of our experiment is the most addicted to social media. You would think that there would be a correlation between the person who uses the networks the most, and who has the biggest following but this isn't the case.

As you know by now, Trump came up trumps (forgive the pun) in terms of social following, but he isn't the biggest addict. That title belongs to Mark Williams who is tweeting on average around 14 times a day. Second in our list of addicts is Shaun Murphy, who tweets on average around 5 times a day. Interestingly though, they tweet the most but they actually receive the least replies and re-tweets every 100 tweets suggesting that they might be more of a nuisance on the web than a source of valuable information.

The man who has been able to curb any real addiction to social networking is Mr Mark Selby, our ladies man. He’s tweeting on average around once every 5 days but sees 292 more replies per 100 tweets than Mark Williams possibly suggesting that less is more in the social networking world.

 

Biggest Ladies Man

Snooker isn’t known for its huge female following so it’s interesting to see which professionals are the most popular with the ladies. Ronnie O’Sullivan who is said to be one of the greatest snooker players of all time will be primarily followed by avid snooker fans who are, on the whole, male. This perhaps contributes to the fact that surprisingly Ronnie isn't as much of a hit with the ladies than some of his competitors. Trump, who has the biggest following, is a younger face and perhaps has more appeal to female fans of the sport - he currently boasts 38% female followers. Mark Selby is the lucky ladies man of this experiment though with a whopping 44% of followers who are female. Shaun Murphy lies at the bottom with a measly 13% but it’s odd that there’s only a difference of around 3,000 followers on Twitter between Selby and Murphy. Why then, is there such a huge difference in female interest between 2 fairly on par Twitter users? We’ll leave it up to you to decide...

 

Most replies and retweets - per 100 tweets

So now we know that Trump has the biggest following and Selby the biggest interest from the ladies who has the most interaction with their fans? It shouldn't be any surprise that our two snooker players with the biggest followings, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson see the biggest interaction on Twitter. Judd sees around 885 replies every 100 tweets which confirms his crown as the most popular snooker player going. Neil Robertson however receives 1368 re-tweets per 100 tweets (271 more than Trump) possibly meaning that his followers feel that what he is saying is worth more than Judds tweets. Ronnie O’sullivan lies in 3rd in terms of interaction which is odd considering he is one of the most famous names in the sport. Both Selby and Williams have a lot more followers than Robertson but receive nowhere near as many re-tweets and Williams receives just 92 replies every 100 tweets perhaps suggesting that his followers have no interest in what he’s tweeting about!

 

*all data accurate as of May 2013

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