Here at MVPindex, we have a plethora of athlete social media data at our fingertips that allows us to rank, measure, and value the digital brands of more than 24,000 athletes and 1,000 teams; but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. MVPindex’s vast database of content allows us to explore which platforms are engaging at a high level, and who is producing the most popular content for fans on social media in sports. We took a look at the top 100 most engaging posts in several sports and what we found might surprise you. We’re starting this series with the NFL.
The most notable detail of the 100 most engaging posts is that Twitter is nowhere to be found. That’s to be expected as both Facebook posts and Instagram photos have a much longer shelf life than a tweet, but to not see one single tweet on the list for 2015 shows advertisers that the best opportunity for maximum engagement as a percentage of reach belongs to the two platforms dominating this list. Facebook leads total posts making the top 100 with 65%, and the top 21 overall posts by NFL players. Facebook also captured 70% of the total fan engagement of the top 100 posts with more than 13.7 million combined likes.
TOP 100 NFL POSTS AND TOTAL ENGAGEMENT BY PLATFORM
Taking the top spot overall is Ray Lewis’ message of peace amidst the Baltimore riots earlier this year. His pleas to Baltimore citizens for non-violent protests resonated with his fans, engaging at over 551K likes and an astounding 848K shares on the platform. The video was authentic, unrehearsed, and passionate; making his message connect with fans. It was also the retired linebacker’s only appearance on the top 100 list.
Taking over 35% of the top posts to Facebook is Tom Brady. The Patriots quarterback keeps his social media presence solely on the platform, and 23 of the top 100 posts belong to Brady’s page. His top overall posts come in at numbers 9 and 10 in the NFL this year, incorporating the best practice of tagging an influencer – his wife Giselle.
Instagram’s 35 photos out of the NFL’s top 100 posts is notable because 33 of those came from one account: current MVPindex number one NFL athlete Odell Beckham, Jr. Beckham’s average engagement per photo in the top 100 is over 166K likes/post for a total engagement amassed of 5,507,254 likes. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was the only other athlete to have photos from Instagram crack the top 100 with 2.
TOP POSTERS IN THE NFL
This year in the NFL on social media, look for athletes to follow Odell Beckham, Jr.’s lead over to posting more on Instagram. Savvy brands and social marketers know that if engagement and impressions are what you’re after, putting a focus on quality Instagram content will become a key best practice in 2016.