Twitter’s popularity and form in the world of social media has flat lined in recent times, with the unique platform failing to increase user growth on the same scale as its competitors.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and key stakeholders have been working to include a number of new features aimed at improving user growth and engagement (such as Moments and While You were Away), with the recent announcement of a possible increase in character limit from 140 to 10,000.

While there are mixed emotions regarding the proposed change to arguably Twitter’s most unique and traditional feature, evidence showcases the platform’s need to evolve and attract new users.

Despite the drop off in growth, research released by eBizMBA Rank this month shows Twitter is still the second most popular social networking site with an estimated 310,000,000 unique monthly visitors.

In stark contrast to its stalled overall growth, Twitter remains and continues to evolve as a key component of sporting clubs and organisations, with the ability to build and promote one’s brand, provide real-time updates and engage with fans as important as it has ever been.

Clubs can use Twitter as a tool for exciting their fans, providing exclusive access and ultimately breaking down barriers for those at home to keep them informed about their beloved Club.

At the conclusion of 2015, VAFA Media put together the fourth annual VAFA Twitter ladder (below) as a point of interest and to establish where Clubs sit with their use of Twitter.

Fitzroy continued their dominance at the top of the VAFA Twitter ladder and became the first Club to pass 2000 followers, sitting on 2082 with a 13% increase from 2014.

Trailing in second place, but with a much larger increase in followers, is Old Xaverians on 1433 after they added 389 followers.

Positions three and four on the ladder reversed during the calendar year as University Blues (850) surpassed their rivals University Blacks (840) thanks to a 27% increase in followers. It’s been a steady rise for the Blues after they climbed four places last season and now sit on the podium for the first time.

Hampton Rovers fell outside the top five for the first time due to significant increases for St Kevin’s Old Boys (802) and De La Salle (764) who both rose three ladder positions on the back of successful seasons on the ground and regular social media use.

Williamstown CYMS (508) were the biggest movers as they increased their following by 38% but special mention needs to go to St Mary’s Salesian (700) after they climbed eight positions and into the top 10 for the first time.

Unfortunately, the greatest decline goes to Melbourne High School Old Boys (369) as they dropped 14 positions from 30 to 44, edging out La Trobe University (434) after they fell 12 spots to 36.

Of the four Clubs who entered the Twittersphere since the last ladder, Old Brighton (230) performed best, garnering more followers than Whitefriars (133), Oakleigh (68) and St Francis Xavier (59). Manningham Cobras and South Mornington remain as the only Clubs without Twitter accounts.

The top 10 has just five from William Buck Premier (down from six), three from Premier B, one from Premier C and one from Division 1.

2015 Rank Name Twitter Handle Followers 2014 Rank Change
1 Fitzroy @Fitzroy_FC 2082 1
2 Old Xaverians @OldXavsFC 1433 2
3 University Blues @UniBluesFC 850 4 Up 1
4 University Blacks @UniBlacksFC 840 3 Down 1
5 St Kevin’s Old Boys @SKOBFC 802 8 Up 3
6 De La Salle @DLSOCAFC 764 9 Up 3
7 Hampton Rovers @HRAFC 737 5 Down 2
8 Old Scotch @OSFC 716 7 Down 1
9 St Mary’s Salesian @smsafc 700 17 Up 8
10 Marcellin OC @MarcellinOCFC 699 6 Down 4
11 Old Trinity @oldtrinityfc 671 12 Up 1
12 St Bernards OC @stbernardsfc 662 13 Up 1
13 Beaumaris @BeaumarisFC 619 10 Down 3
14 Therry Penola @TherryPenola 581 11 Down 3
15 Old Carey @OldCareyFC 579 15
16 Hawthorn @HawthornAFC 573 15 Down 1
17 AJAX @AjaxAFC_VAFA 556 21 Up 4
18 Richmond Central @RichmondCentral 549 18
19 VAFAUA @vafaua 547 22 Up 3
20 Old Geelong @OldGeelong 534 20
21 Caulfield Grammarians @cgfcfooty 524 14 Down 7
22 Old Haileyburians @OHAFC_2014 522 29 Up 7
23 Chadstone @ChadstoneFC 520 25 Up 2
24 South Melbourne Districts @SouthMelbDFC 510 23 Down 1
25 Williamstown CYMS @TheCYsTweet 508 36 Up 11
26 Prahran Assumption @PAFC2Blues 501 31 Up 5
27 PEGS @PEGS_FC 483 28 Up 1
27 Ivanhoe @Ivanhoeafc 483 32 Up 5
29 Point Cook @PointCookFC 479 26 Down 3
30 Old Ivanhoe Gr @OIGFC 476 19 Down 11
31 Brunswick NOBSPC @NOBSPCBrunswick 472 35 Up 4
32 Masala @MasalaFC 468 27 Down 5
33 Kew @KewFC 461 33
34 West Brunswick @WestBrunswickFC 452 37 Up 3
34 Glen Eira Saints @GESaints 452 41 Up 7
36 La Trobe Uni @LaTrobeUniFC 434 24 Down 12
37 Aquinas OC @aquinasfc 430 34 Down 3
38 Old Paradians @oldparadiansafc 416 43 Up 5
39 UHS-VU @UHSVU 396 40 Up 1
40 Eley Park @eleyparkfc 394 38 Down 2
41 Ormond @Ormond_AFC 393 49 Up 8
42 Monash Gryphons @MonashGryphons 380 39 Down 3
43 St Bedes Mentone Tigers @sbmt_tigers 373 46 Up 3
44 MHSOB @MHSOBFC 369 30 Down 14
44 Peninsula OB @PiratesFooty 369 42 Down 2
46 Elsternwick @wickersFC 365 45 Down 1
47 Westbourne Grammarians @WestbourneGFC 350 44 Down 3
48 Mazenod OC @MazenodOCFC 349 47 Down 1
49 Northern Blues @NBFCamateurs 310 48 Down 1
50 North Brunswick @NorthBrunnyFC 307 54 Up 4
51 Old Melburnians @OldMelbFC 297 51
52 Box Hill North @BHNFC 286 53 Up 1
53 Old Camberwell @oldcamberwell 279 52 Down 1
54 Parkside FC @Parkside_FC 250 59 Up 5
55 Bulleen Templestowe @thebullants 246 58 Up 3
56 Swinburne University @Swinburne_FC 244 57 Up 1
57 Collegians @collegianslions 239 61 Up 4
58 Old Brighton @OBGS1908 230 New*
59 St Johns OC @StJohnsOCFC 220 50 Down 9
60 Monash Blues @MonashBlues 198 64 Up 4
61 Albert Park @albertparkfc 191 62 Up 1
62 Old Mentonians @OldMentoniansFC 176 60 Down 2
63 Yarra Valley @YVOBFC 165 55 Down 8
64 Whitefriars @friarsfooty 133 New*
65 Emmaus St Leos OC @emmausstleos 130 63 Down 2
66 Power House @PowerhouseAFC 96 65 Down 1
67 Canterbury @CFC_Cobras 87 66 Down 1
68 Parkdale Vultures @Parky_Vultures 86 56 Down 12 New*
69 Oakleigh @OAFC_Krushers 68 New*
70 St Francis Xavier @sfxoc 59 New*
71 Old Eltham Collegians @elthamTurtle 55 68 Down 3
72 Mt Lilydale OC @MtLilydale 33 67 Down 5
73 Manningham Cobras
74 South Mornington

*All totals mentioned were correct as of 31 December 2015.