We’ve seen some great action on the field in the NFL through the first 10 weeks of the season—including Tom Brady’s return, Adrian Peterson’s resurgence, and DeAndre Hopkins’ coming out party—but how has the NFL performed on social media?
All 32 NFL teams use a multitude of social media platforms to connect and engage with football fans, combining for more than 122 million social fans around the world. Luckily for us, the folks at Sprinklr examined all 32 teams’ social media use through the first 10 weeks of the 2015 NFL season.
Let’s take a look at what they came up with.
On and Off Field Standings
Looking at the on-field standings vs. social media rankings, two of the NFL’s top teams also rank within the top five in terms of social media standings.
It should be to no one’s surprise that the undefeated Patriots rank No. 2 in the social media standings through the first 10 weeks of the season. Their play on the field—combined with the Tom Brady drama off of it—makes for a lot of social headlines.
The biggest surprise here?
The Oakland Raiders, who haven’t had a winning season since losing in the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002. But, as we’ll see later, the data shows that Oakland fans drive a lot of engagement on social media.
Most Talked About
Week by week, no NFL team is talked about more on social media than Brady’s New England Patriots, as the Pats have dominated seven of the 10 weeks. New England garnered 276.3k mentions in the first week of the season—a game in which Brady was supposed to miss due to suspension. Instead, the Patriots’ quarterback threw four touchdown passes in a 28-21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
New England’s Instagram account posted a photo of Brady following the Pat’s win in Week 1, driving more than 96k likes.
Somewhere along the way in NFL history, the Dallas Cowboys became “America’s Team.” Now I’m a New York Giants fan so I don’t buy that type of hype, but as you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys are the most followed NFL team on social media, with a combined 11 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Dallas has only made the playoffs twice in the last seven seasons, which is a far cry from their performance in the early 90’s, when the Cowboys won three Super Bowls between 1992-1995.
Moving down, the Patriots come in at second, the Steelers third, the Green Bay Packers fourth, and then the San Francisco 49ers round out the top five, with 6.5 million followers.
Looking at which NFL teams drive the most engagement through social media, the trend continues, with the Patriots, Cowboys, and Steelers dominating the top three spots.
What’s most interesting about this graphic—which was foreshadowed earlier—is the fact that the Oakland Raiders have the best engagement ratio among all 32 professional teams, with an impressive 36%. To me, this proves that the Raiders have a loyal fan base.
The Arizona Cardinals are having a great season here in 2015, sporting a 7-2 record through the first 10 weeks of the season, which is helping to keep their social media fans interested.
I’m also not surprised to see the Buffalo Bills round out the top three. Anytime you have a controversial coach like Rex Ryan at the helm, it can make for an interesting social media experience.
Earlier, we saw that the Packers were the fourth-most followed NFL team in the league, and when looking at this graphic, we can understand why. Green Bay posts the most each week, with an average of 342 posts across the three major social networks. Posts like this—an Instagram video of Green Bay legends Brett Favre and Bart Star embracing each other on Thanksgiving night—show why fans love following the Packers’ accounts.
You’ll see the Raiders there at No. 2, which is impressive, especially given their No. 1 ranking in average engagement ratio. Oakland posts a lot on social media and the fans eat it up.
Closing out the top five you’ll see my four-time Super Bowl champion New York Giants, posting an average of 288 times per week. It’s posts like this that get me amped up for game time!
Thumbnail image via Shutterstock
NFL social media data and images via Sprinklr