The countdown to Super Bowl 50 is on. Teams are gearing up across social media, and we look at which teams triumphed on Facebook in December.
With football fans fervently watching who’s going to make it to the Super Bowl, they’re just as busy buzzing on social media. There’s no dearth of content either; NFL teams are churning out posts and cranking up their social engagement game.
Let’s dive into which teams saw the most likes, shares, and comments across Facebook in December. We tracked every piece of content published by the teams’ domains to analyse which teams produced the most compelling content for social.
Here were the top ten teams in December, ranked by total Facebook engagement on their sites’ content last month:
This ranking table isn’t entirely surprising. If we look at the remaining NFL teams in the playoffs, we see correlations in the rankings. All of the playoff teams—the Seahawks, Cardinals, Panthers, Patriots, Packers, Broncos, Chiefs, and Steelers—are in our top 20.
The Oakland Raiders, our second biggest NFL team in December, remained in the running until January 3rd.
The bottom teams were teams that saw lackluster seasons. Fans are more likely to engage with positive content, as we saw in our Q&A with LittleThings’ Content Director. Sports fans want to like, share, and comment on their team’s’ triumphs as opposed to losses.
Lots of Likes For Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks were our overall Facebook champions. They had the most likes on their content in December, over 1.2 million likes. Their shares and comments both surpassed 50,000.
The Seahawks’ most successful post was this photo of their team star Richard Sherman, who they named as the team’s “Man of the Year”. The post received over 70,000 likes, 4,100 shares and 940 comments.
Fans love a team hero. It gives them a face to connect to, instead of the team being an impersonal entity. Team heroes are someone fans can feel they’re rooting personally for. They provide a character to the overall story of the team.
More Articles, More Engagement
With 682 articles published on seahawks.com, they were the fourth biggest NFL publisher of the month, after the Redskins (856), Patriots (737), and Eagles (707). Producing more content provides more opportunities for engagement, though that content still needs to have a value to fans.
Discounting an outlier, the average number of articles published by NFL teams in a month was 435. The top 10 teams had an average of 512 articles, and the bottom 10 averaged 393 articles. Less content equals less time and spots on sports fans’ newsfeeds, thus less chances to engage.
Redskins and Cowboys Command Comments
In addition to the highest article count, the Washington Redskins also had the most comments. Their total count was over 88,000 Facebook comments, and the Dallas Cowboys followed at 86,000. The third was the Denver Broncos, trailing behind at 67,000.
The Redskins’ most commented Facebook post was announcing their status as this season’s NFC East Division champion. It had 123,000 likes, 69,000 shares, and 4,800 comments. Since 1992, the Redskins have only claimed the NFC East three times, so fans were excited to celebrate their team on social.
Team victories score comments from fans who use social media to deepen their viewing experience and interaction with the game. The Dallas Cowboys’ most commented Facebook post of December was celebrating their winning score, ironically, against the Redskins.
The Redskins were also the top shared team on Facebook, with over 86,000 shares. They were followed by the Panthers, with nearly 83,000 shares. The Packers were third, with almost 64,000 shares.
What Drove December Engagement?
From the December rankings, we can see that the engagement from teams follows their performance. The teams in the playoffs had the highest total of Facebook likes, shares, and comments. Producing more content also contributed to higher numbers.
As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, we can expect engagement to soar even more. Last year, 114.4 million viewers watched the Super Bowl. That’s a lot of people who are using their second screens — 83% of sports fans use social media while watching a game.
See a breakdown of the top 20 teams’ engagements below. Next time, we’ll explore which specific Facebook posts were the most engaging for the NFL teams in December.
1) Take a free trial of Spike, and see which NFL teams content is trending on social media ahead of the Super Bowl