social media

From time to time, the opinions and attitude of the Aberdeen support on social media is questioned, and as to just how representative of the Aberdeen support in general it is. The wonderful thing about fitba is all the different opinions, all the brilliant discussions, it shows the passion and importance of the game. But what can be read into the feelings of the support over a specific issue, or in general?

This caught my eye, an interesting article in a good blog, taking a look at the anti Derek McInnes Aberdeen supporters views on Twitter. And while I completely disagree with saying any negativity is because of who he played for in the past, there were those who said that about Calderwood’s sacking, there’s a Sir Alex Ferguson example to kind of destroy that bullshit, there is some good analysis.

And not the first time I have heard commentators judge the Aberdeen support based on social media reactions. So with a combination of my knowledge of having a Facebook page with over 10000 followers, and a Twitter page of 1000 followers I thought I would share my observations, and conduct a little experiment. And the experiment didn’t turn out the way I had expected.

Meme me up Scotty

What I post on social media, I post for me. That’s why I do it. As a designer it’s my online sketchbook. I am of course a Dandy, and I occasionally share my opinions or stupid stories, generally speaking I consider every blog post to probably be my last.

After over a thousands memes and illustrations posted on Facebook, I genuinely don’t know which posts will be successful, and which won’t. I do know, no-one cares about my use of colour, my choice of font, the line-height and spacing, or whether my illustrations are any good or not. But, the right meme at the right time, and bingo, off it will fly, viral within our niche community far and wide. I now understand why comedians do test shows for new material. What you think people will like, is almost impossible to judge.

But I would say, positive posts will always do far better than negative ones. Posts supportive of the team, and/or the individuals in the team, will get more likes, more shares, bigger audience reach. So take that for your ‘typical Aberdeen supporter, always moaning’.

Twitter is a lot darker than Facebook. Most people are behind their real names, real identities on Facebook, with parents, kids, friends monitoring to make sure  ‘the real you’ isn’t on show. On Twitter, well they aren’t. And it’s on Twitter where an element of the Aberdeen support can be most negative. Most critical of McInnes, of individual players, of elements in the Aberdeen support who are more positive than them.

The experiment

So the experiment was a silly meme on the current bête noire (quick Google, aye it fits) of the Afc support, Stevie May. And I deliberately was pushing buttons. This isn’t about Stevie May. It’s about social media, and the test sure as hell wasn’t scientific. There are dozens of variables I am aware of, let alone a more skilled observer.

So ‘I believe in Stevie May’ picked up on Facebook 228 likes 8 loves, and then in the negative column 15 haha, 1 sad, 1 angry. Making a score of 236 for the meme, 17 against. I am well aware plenty people who see a post do not, whether they like or dislike, use the icons.

Then the comments were more negative. And a lot of comments, a contentious subject matter. Eighty comments. I divided them up as positive (for Stevie), negative, and neutral. It worked out at 33%, 33%, 33%, pretty much.

Over on Twitter, where I expected to get flamed. (The page has a much smaller audience) 60 likes, 14 comments, all positive. I know!?! I was close to tweeting to ask if everyone was okay…


As I said, not scientific, certain people on Twitter maybe were doing their evening classes, embroidery, trolling classes, community service? Who knows. But that’s what came back.

Now the overall result, which is what I did expect, though not at this level on this meme, is that the Aberdeen support are generally a very positive, and supportive collective of people towards Derek McInnes’s Aberdeen Football Club, including Stevie May, albeit sometimes a little bit quiet about it. The negative element is small, actually tiny, but very, very loud, particularly on social media.

The main thing though is, look how cute the guinea pig is…

And here’s the meme.

stevie may