Analysis of social media activity among the top 10 NFL teams shows that the San Francisco 49ers beat off competition to register a 69/100 score for their efforts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
The data, compiled by International Marketing Reports and numKrunch, analyses social media volume and quality of engagement to create a score that accurately reflects how well the different teams are performing.
Second placed team, New England Patriots score 62/100 followed by Dallas Cowboys on 60 and Washington Redskins on 55. The table is propped up by the New York Jets on 42.
Dallas Cowboys most followed on social media
“The data shows that the Dallas Cowboys lead in terms of the number of followers at 6.73 million, well ahead of the 49ers who are on 2.7 million,” says Nadio Granata, director of numKrunch.
“However, simply having the followers is meaningless unless the content is engaging. The 49ers have been more successful in the past month in engaging with their audience and it is noticeable that this has led to a 39,000 increase in followers, higher than the Cowboys who have added 27,328. If you look at the 49ers Facebook and Twitter pages, for example, you’ll see some great photography and lively debates.”
Twitter offers most engagement for NFL teams
Despite the fact that Facebook has the most followers among NFL fans, the report shows that Twitter is the most used tool, whereas Google+ is least used.
Simon Rines, editorial director of International Marketing Reports, says this demonstrates an interesting pattern in social media usage.
“Facebook is the dominant social media tool at present in terms of the sheer number of fans who are on it and have used it to follow their favourite team. But what we are seeing is Twitter being a more relevant tool, certainly in this study. It could be that engagement is happening a lot more on mobile devices, which is ideal for Twitter given the short message format. People are watching the matches in the stadia, in bars, at friends etc and Tweet during the game and on their way home.
The data does suggest that teams clearly need to refine their Facebook strategy to tap the potential of the larger number of followers on this platform.
Google+ lags in NFL but has potential to catch up
“The findings also clearly show that Google+ is lagging, but it is a relatively new entrant and the signs are that it will catch up fast. It is linked to YouTube by the requirement to sign up to Google+ to comment on videos and it is also a good search engine driver, so businesses will increasingly use it. The challenge is to grow its use among the public. Google Hangouts have successfully been used by sports rights holders to have conversations between star players and fans so this is an area where there is certainly potential.”
The report is free to view and live on the IMR website during the week of 2 December 2013
Archived reports are available from numKrunch