The big game is this weekend and we have teamed up with Expion to track and analyse the Facebook activity for all the NFL teams this season.
Combined, NFL teams have over 50 million Facebook page likes. And a shocking number of those fans are engaged every weekend during the NFL season reacting in very emotional ways to their team.
As we reviewed each team’s Facebook strategy, content, and fan engagement, we wanted to find out which post was the most liked of all NFL team posts for the whole season.
Would it be a playoff win? A great play? A super fan?
Let’s take a look at which teams had the most liked, the most commented on, and the most shared Facebook post of the season.
1. Most Liked NFL Post for the 2012 Season
After Brandon Carr intercepted the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger to set up a Dan Bailey field goal in overtime Dallas fans knew they had won the game. The Cowboys, infamously known as “America’s Team,” were winding down a mediocre 8-8 season and everyone from fans to media were piping in online making their thoughts heard.
While the team’s social media editors could have posted a photo or the team celebrating, or of Carr’s interception, they chose to use the moment where Bailey’s foot strikes the ball for the winning field goal.
Capturing the emotion of an entire fan base in a single moment is quite powerful, and from the positioning of the photo to the style of the caption, this post screams celebration.
As you can see in the photo, it’s giving fans a premium view of a play. During the kick, the majority of the space is dominated by Steelers Black jerseys, with the key image of Bailey’s foot striking the ball just peeking through the forest of legs. The caption, in all caps, exclaims the result of the play without restating the visual. “BIG WIN! COWBOYS BEAT THE STEELERS IN OVERTIME!”
2. Most Commented On NFL Post for the 2012 Season
New England Patriots
Make no bones about it, sports is a business. And for the New England Patriots, the league’s second most valuable team at $1.6Billion, Facebook is the perfect way to drive awareness and desire around team-related products.
Questions are always a hit on Facebook to create engagement opportunities. And sports, like politics or religion, creates just about as polarizing responses as you could ever want.
The simple question, “If you could receive 1 Patriots related Christmas gift, what would it be?” was posted strategically on Christmas Eve, and received more than 25,000 comments of Patriots-related things they wanted for Christmas ranging from Patriots hats and jerseys all the way down to a date with The Gronk himself.
There was no photo to gain more traction thanks to EdgeRank, no call to action with a link to the Patriots team store. Just a simple question.
This timing and simplicity is important to thinking about content on Facebook. It takes a healthy mix of photos, videos, and text-based status updates, expressed to your community at the opportune time to pull out great stories from your community that otherwise might go unsaid.
3. Most Shared NFL Post for the 2012 Season
One might think that social activity is at its peak during the close of a sports season, but ironically the most shared post of the season comes from the beginning. After a long summer, football fans were hungry to get back in the stands and supporting on their favorite team. Here, the Chicago Bears have posted a victory photo directly after their win to start the season.
In this example, the Bears know what is intrinsically social about the team (what people would already want to talk about) and turn it into creative fuel for their content strategy. The content is branded (naturally) and really gives personality to their page, making more than 16,000 people want to share.