Tebow Mania Leads Jets to a Social Media Super Bowl Against America’s Team, The Dallas Cowboys, At Least on Twitter, According to Unmetric

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Learn more about NFL franchise’s competitive social media efforts in new report from Unmetric

Today Unmetric, the social media benchmarking company, releases the results of its NFL Social Media Smack Down, detailing which teams have done the best job at engaging with fans on Facebook and Twitter. The report examines more than just sheer number of fans, and details how each of the NFL’s 32 teams are building, updating and engaging their communities.

The Rules:
Unmetric gave each NFL franchise a score based on a blend of quantitative and qualitative metrics, weighted and averaged by sector to produce a single number ranging from zero to 100 for each social network—one score for Facebook and one for Twitter. These scores, the Unmetric Scores, are based on metrics such as content strategy, engagement, growth, timing and frequency of tweets and posts on Twitter and Facebook. The report compiles data from the first month of the NFL regular season, from September 5 to October 5, 2012.

In terms of raw numbers, America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, overwhelms the competition with over 5.5 million fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps due to “Tebow mania,” the only team to top the Cowboys on Twitter is the New York Jets, with nearly 464 thousand followers.

While the Dallas Cowboys clearly win the NFL’s popularity contest, the team’s fame doesn’t translate into fan engagement. Unmetric gathered data in terms of Likes, Comments, Shares and Impressions to determine average engagement for each of the NFL’s 32 teams. The Chicago Bears are the league’s most engaging, with an average engagement score of 320. The Ravens, Packers, Cowboys and Texans round out the top five as the most engaging teams on Facebook.

What’s more, the Bears’ Facebook fans posted 1249 times during the time period measured, which is best in the NFL and 377 more posts than the AFC-leading New York Jets. While the Bears get the most fans talking, the Detroit Lions talk mostly among themselves, posting a league-high 400 times on Facebook and 1188 times on Twitter. Quantity clearly doesn’t mean quality, though, as the Lions are also the worst team in the NFL at actually engaging their fans – each post generates remarkably few Likes, Comments and Shares compared to all the other teams.

But what are these talking about? The most popular posts in the NFL focus on player news, but these posts don’t see the most engagement. Win or lose, the most consistently engaging type of content focuses on game results. Simple calls to action, like asking fans to Like or Share a post, are the second most engaging, while merchandising news and contests engage fans the least.

The Houston Texans are the newest team in the league, and for the first month of the regular season it boasted an undefeated record. This could explain why, on Facebook, the Houston Texans increased its fan base by over five percent in the first month of the regular season. The St. Louis Rams come in second with 3.8 percent growth. On Twitter, no team gets close to the Seattle Seahawks, which increased its followers by a whopping 20.7 percent.

In terms of conversations on Facebook, very few teams actually reply to fans directly. The New York Jets respond most frequently with an 11.3 percent admin response rate and the team replies the fastest in just under two minutes on average. The Jets also host the highest number of replies to its followers on Twitter (878)—over 600 more replies to the nearest competitor (the Philadelphia Eagles with 237).

The Indianapolis Colts and the Detroit Lions take the cake in terms of average reply times on Twitter, responding to incoming tweets in less than one minute. Yet both teams reply relatively infrequently, making their averages easy to keep.

So at the end of it all, who wins the NFL Social Media Smack Down? According to Unmetric, the Dallas Cowboys earn the ring with a combined Unmetric Score of 96. But perhaps more surprising is the second place Green Bay Packers. Despite the small population of Green Bay, Wisconsin, the team earns a combined score of 90—making the cut for the top five teams in total number of fans and followers, engagement on Facebook, and average reply time and growth on Twitter. Notably, on Twitter alone, the NY Jets outrank both teams with a score of 44.

Here’s a breakdown of some notable metrics, gathered from the first month of the NFL 2012 regular season, from September 5 to October 5, 2012:


Unmetric Score
1. Dallas Cowboys – 57
2. Green Bay Packers – 49
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – 47
4. New England Patriots – 45
5. Chicago Bears – 44

Total Fans
1. Dallas Cowboys – 5,187,791
2. Pittsburgh Steelers – 4,733,141
3. New England Patriots – 3,807,010
4. Green Bay Packers – 3,325,319
5. New Orleans Saints – 2,868,875

1. Houston Texans – 5.1%
2. St. Louis Rams – 3.8%
3. San Francisco 49ers – 3.5%
    Carolina Panthers – 3.5%
4. Denver Broncos – 2.7%
5. Oakland Raiders – 2.5%

Highest Engagement (Calculation of Likes, Comments, Shares and Impressions that each FB post receives)
1. Chicago Bears – 320
2. Baltimore Ravens – 303
3. Green Bay Packers – 274
4. Dallas Cowboys – 266
5. Houston Texans – 259

Lowest Engagement (Calculation of Likes, Comments, Shares and Impressions that each FB post receives)
1. Detroit Lions – 11
2. Indianapolis Colts – 44
3. Cleveland Browns – 52
4. Miami Dolphins – 53
5. Kansas City Chiefs – 59

Most Fan Posts
1. Chicago Bears – 1249
2. New York Jets – 872
3. Houston Texans – 800
4. New York Giants – 766
5. Baltimore Ravens – 775

Most Admin Posts
1. Detroit Lions – 400
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 227
3. Oakland Raiders – 211
4. San Francisco 49ers – 203
5. Pittsburgh Steelers – 182

Admin Response Rate
1. New York Jets – 11.3%
2. Atlanta Falcons – 5.3%
3. Philadelphia Eagles – 3%
4. Baltimore Ravens – 0.5%
5. St. Louis Rams – 0.4%

Average Admin Response Time
1. New York Jets – 1 minute 58 seconds
2. Philadelphia Eagles – 2 minutes 11 seconds
3. Baltimore Ravens – 2 minutes 30 seconds
4. Chicago Bears – 4 minutes 2 seconds
5. Cincinnati Bengals – 7 minutes 26 seconds


Unmetric Score
1. New York Jets – 44
2. Pittsburgh Steelers – 41
    Green Bay Packers – 41
3. San Diego Chargers – 40
    Seattle Seahawks – 40
4. Carolina Panthers – 39
    Atlanta Falcons – 39
    Dallas Cowboys – 39
5. Buffalo Bills – 37

Total Followers
1. New York Jets – 463,999
2. Dallas Cowboys – 431,335
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – 406,764
4. New York Giants – 362,293
5. Green Bay Packers – 344,608

1. Seattle Seahawks – 20.7%
2. Baltimore Ravens – 16.7%
3. Green Bay Packers – 13.8%
4. Dallas Cowboys – 13.7%
5. Houston Texans – 13.5%

Most Tweets
1. Buffalo Bills – 1395
2. Atlanta Falcons – 1221
3. New York Jets – 1212
4. Detroit Lions – 1188
5. Washington Redskins – 1166

Most Replies
1. New York Jets – 878
2. Philadelphia Eagles – 237
3. Pittsburgh Steelers – 202
4. San Diego Chargers – 193
5. Carolina Panthers – 180

Average Reply Time
1. Indianapolis Colts – 1 minute
    Detroit Lions – 1 minute
2. Oakland Raiders – 2 minutes
3. Buffalo Bills – 3 minutes
4. Cincinnati Bengals – 4 minutes
5. Green Bay Packers – 6 minutes

“The game of football is not unlike the game of social media,” says Unmetric CEO, Lux Narayan. “In order to win, teams need to bring thoughtful strategy, quality content and perfect execution to the game. The NFL Social Media Smack Down shows what championship quality social media efforts look like.”

Unmetric supplies a distinct, high-demand service for brands that stops companies from flying blind with their social media efforts. Using a combination of advanced algorithms and human computing power, Unmetric delivers data and benchmark insights for various industry sectors that were previously unavailable for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Now brands are finally able to answer the basic business question of “How do we stack up against the competition?” when it comes to their social media presence.

Unmetric compiled its NFL Social Media Smack Down report by sourcing data from its social media benchmark platform. Facebook and Twitter statistics were gathered for the first month of the 2012 NFL regular season, from September 5 to October 5, 2012.

About Unmetric:
Unmetric Inc. is headquartered in New York, NY and works with clients across the world. The Unmetric platform was established to give Fortune 500 companies and other large global brands and agencies key performance data around which they could benchmark their social media efforts and answer the question “Are we doing well?” For more information, visit http://www.unmetric.com, or check out the Unmetric blog at http://blog.unmetric.com.

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Olivia Gallion
VSCpr for Unmetric
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