With a new football season under way I thought I’d take a look again at the NFL teams that have attracted the largest following to their official Twitter profiles and Facebook pages.
The usual caveats:
- Social media isn’t a popularity contest and reach does not equal influence, engagement or action
- These figures will quickly be out-of-date (they probably were before I could hit the “publish” button)
But those things aside, it is interesting to take a snapshot at various times for the purposes of comparison. And since I did the same thing in November 2009 I can now provide some growth percentages too.
Let’s start with Twitter. Here are the 32 NFL teams’ official profiles ranked by number of followers:
|1||New England Patriots||47,144||56.94%|
|2||San Diego Chargers||42,067||47.77%|
|4||New York Jets||36,109||128.22%|
|6||San Francisco 49ers||33,588||85.58%|
|10||Green Bay Packers||25,025||123.04%|
|18||Kansas City Chiefs||16,673||67.57%|
|20||New Orleans Saints||15,452||N/A|
|22||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10,464||122.92%|
|27||St. Louis Rams||7,719||143.81%|
|Arizona Cardinals||No official profile||N/A|
|Indianapolis Colts||No official profile||N/A|
|New York Giants||No official profile||N/A|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||No official profile||N/A|
The New England Patriots are still #1 (they held first place last season too) with the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys close behind. From there the follower numbers start slowing dropping. Quite a few teams have fewer than 20K followers and several are still below 10K.
The Philadelphia Eagles have yet to reach 2K followers which seems very low for a sports-crazy town, but their official profile is fairly new. An EaglesInsider profile (that looks semi-official) with 5,300+ followers has been around longer.
It was surprising to see four teams still without official profiles. The Giants and Cardinals do have official representatives on Twitter (giantspathanlon and cardschatter) but no official team profiles. And I’m not sure what’s up with the Steelers and Colts (please correct me if I somehow missed theirs).
In terms of percentage increase since last year the Cowboys have seen the largest growth. The Detroit Lions and Houston Texans have also grown considerably but their total counts are still comparatively low. The Saints and Redskins did not have official profiles last November so I did not include a growth percentage for them.
So how about Facebook? Here are the NFL team pages ranked by number of fans:
|3||New Orleans Saints||758,190||N/A|
|5||New England Patriots||690,981||381.31%|
|8||Green Bay Packers||382,521||106.13%|
|11||San Diego Chargers||312,338||130.39%|
|14||San Francisco 49ers||251,023||206.31%|
|17||New York Jets||194,627||303.04%|
|20||Kansas City Chiefs||171,957||207.82%|
|25||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||99,729||152.68%|
|30||St. Louis Rams||40,847||154.45%|
|32||New York Giants||No official page||N/A|
The Cowboys are dominating, which is interesting because in November 2009 they did not even have an official page (at least that I could find). The Steelers, Saints, Bears and Patriots also have significant followings. After the Vikings at 500K+ the counts start to drop down.
The Oakland Raiders are interesting in that their official page has only 23,075 fans but an unofficial Raider Nation page has 184,199. I guess that’s a fitting testament to that Oakland fans and their reputation for being a little out of the ordinary.
Once again the New York Giants do not have an official presence which is really surprising. There is an unofficial page with over 50K fans but I could not find an official page for the team.
In terms of growth, nearly every NFL team has considerably higher fan counts than last year. This is likely connected to the launch of the external Facebook “like” button and the fact that Facebook page promotion is much more prevalent than it was even a year ago.
One exception is the Raiders, but I believe this is because I used the figure from the unofficial Raiders page in my 2009 post. I don’t think they had an official page at that time.
League-wide the Facebook numbers are much higher than Twitter which makes sense considering Facebook’s larger user base and adoption rate.
For one final comparison I’ve ranked the NFL teams by combined Twitter and Facebook following:
|Total (Twitter &|
|3||New Orleans Saints||773,642||N/A|
|4||New England Patriots||738,125||325.18%|
|8||Green Bay Packers||407,546||107.09%|
|9||San Diego Chargers||354,405||116.05%|
|14||San Francisco 49ers||284,611||184.47%|
|17||New York Jets||230,736||259.90%|
|20||Kansas City Chiefs||188,630||186.62%|
|24||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||110,193||149.52%|
|31||St. Louis Rams||48,566||152.70%|
|32||New York Giants||No official profile or page||N/A|
The Cowboys’ large Facebook fan base was more than enough to give them the #1 overall spot. The Steelers, Saints, Patriots and Bears are also doing very well. That’s impressive considering the Steelers do not have an official Twitter profile and the Saints did not have an official presence on either Twitter or Facebook last year.
All the teams have seen significant total growth since last November (excluding the Raiders exception), and the Cowboys and Panthers percentages are through the roof.