Salah, who was recently crowned African Player of the Year, topped the list with a total of 16.99m followers – 7.01 on Facebook, 3.68m on Twitter and 6.3m on Instagram. His growing social media influence over the past year saw him overtake Ivorian legend Didier Drogba as the continent’s most followed footballer on social media.
“I think social media has had a huge impact on his [Salah’s] popularity, his fan base has vastly increased over the years and with each transfer he has gained more followers,” KingFut’s Operations and Business Development Manager Marwan Ahmed told CampsBay.
“Salah rarely speaks to the media so this is the best means of communication between him and the public, bringing him closer to their hearts,” he added.
Egypt and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, who has 5.34m followers across all three platforms, came in the fifth place. Unlike Salah, Elneny’s lowest number of followers was on Facebook, with only 758,000. The 25-year-old has 1.78m followers on Twitter and 2.8m on Instagram.
Stoke City’s Ramadan Sobhi and West Brom’s Ahmed Hegazi also made it to the list, as they sit 7th and 9th, respectively. Sobhi has a total of 4.53 followers, around 1.5m more than Hegazi’s 3.03. Aston Villa’s Ahmed Elmohamady rounds out the top 10 with 2.98m followers.
Egypt was the most represented country in the list with a total of 16 footballers, six above second-placed Algeria. The 50-man list saw the inclusion of Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan Kouka, Saad Samir, Mahmoud Trezeguet, Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed Nagy Gedo, Omar Gaber, Momen Zakaria, Ahmed Fathi, Ramy Rabia, Amr El-Sulaya and Ahmed Hamoudi.
“In a world where social media continues to play a big role, the influence of African entertainers and footballers, the crème of popular culture on our continent, continues to fascinate and that is why we have compiled this list,” said Lolade Adewuyi, chief strategist at CampsBay Media.
“We hope that the Power Report will be an annual ranking to gauge their growing impact as well as enable market planners and researchers to see the possibilities inherent in their influence,” he added.