Sports Teams: Best and Worst Engagement on Social Media

Publish Date: 01/17/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Social media is changing how fans connect with sports. Instead of just liking their favourite club, fans want to connect with real people. The Grueling Truth recently conducted research to identify which of the most celebrated sports teams in the world (i.e. with the most followers), from various sports, excels in engaging with their fans on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Our focus spanned football, American football, basketball, baseball, rugby and ice hockey teams.

According to our study, the Denver Broncos (1.4 million followers), an American professional football team, exhibit the highest engagement among all other sports teams on Instagram, achieving a 3.8% rate. On Facebook, the Kansas City Chiefs (2.3 million followers), another American football team, demonstrate the strongest connection with their fans, boasting an impressive 9.9% rate. Meanwhile, on TikTok, the Union Argentina de Rugby (117,900 followers) leads with a remarkable 15.79% engagement rate.

Why is engagement rate important?

For clearer insight, most social media marketing experts agree that less than 1% is a low engagement rate. Between 1% and 3.5% is considered an average/good engagement rate. Between 3.5% and 6% is a high engagement rate. Having a rate above 6% is seen as very high engagement. Except for TikTok – a good engagement rate is anywhere between 4% and 18%.

Engagement rate on social media is very important, as it indicates that the content resonates with followers. It helps teams build a stronger connection with fans, fostering a sense of community and loyalty. A good engagement rate shows that you’re winning your followers’ attention and that they’re interacting with your content.

Last but not least, there is the monetization opportunities angle. A highly engaged audience attracts sponsors and advertisers. Sponsors are more likely to invest in partnerships with teams that have an active and engaged fan base, creating potential revenue streams.

In summary, the engagement rate on social media is important for sports teams as it goes beyond numerical metrics, reflecting the depth and quality of their interaction with fans. It not only measures popularity but also signifies the effectiveness of their social media strategies in building meaningful connections and sustaining fan enthusiasm.

Breakdown per sport

We’ve summarised the engagement data for various sports teams on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, providing insights into their online presence and audience interaction.

In football, Arsenal dominates Instagram with 28,5 million followers and an ER of 0,44%. Liverpool leads on Facebook with 40 million followers and 4,5% engagement rate. On TikTok, Manchester City takes the spotlight with 22,9 million followers and an engagement rate of 2,6%.

In American football, the Denver Broncos lead on Instagram with 1,4 million followers and a notable engagement rate of 3,8%. On Facebook, the Kansas City Chiefs top the list with 2,3 million followers with 9,9% engagement rate. Las Vegas Raiders take the TikTok lead with 2,3 million followers and an 8,7% engagement rate.

Turning to baseball, the New York Yankees dominate Instagram with 3,3 million followers and a 3,5% engagement rate. Texas Rangers lead on Facebook with 983,000 followers and a 1,4% ER, maintaining their TikTok dominance with 2,2 million followers and an 8,6% engagement rate.

In basketball, the LA Lakers shine on Instagram with 23,8 million followers and a 0,77% engagement rate. San Antonio Spurs take the lead on Facebook with 6,6 million followers and a 4,3% engagement rate, while the Chicago Bulls dominate TikTok with 2,5 million followers and a 4,6% engagement rate.

In rugby, South Africa Springboks lead on Instagram with 1,2 million followers and a 3,09% engagement rate. Ireland Rugby takes the Facebook lead with 662,000 followers and a 4,7% engagement rate, while Union Argentina de Rugby dominates TikTok with 117,000 followers and an impressive 15,79% engagement rate.

Lastly, in hockey, the Vancouver Canucks top Instagram with 662,000 followers and a 3,29% engagement rate. Toronto Maple Leafs lead on Facebook with 1,3 million followers and a 4,9% engagement rate, while Boston Bruins take TikTok with 409,900 followers and a 5,7% engagement rate.

Millions of followers and low engagement

In summary, the engagement rate on social media is important for sports teams as it goes beyond numerical metrics, reflecting the depth and quality of their interaction with fans. It not only measures popularity but also signifies the effectiveness of their social media strategies in building meaningful connections and sustaining fan enthusiasm.

A spokesperson from The Grueling Truth commented on the findings: “Our study shows an interesting trend where football teams, despite having extensive followers across various social media platforms, have comparatively lower engagement rates when compared to other sports and teams. So, for example, FC Real Madrid has an incredible 150 millions of followers on Instagram, but their ER is a modest 0,3%. On Facebook they have 114 million followers, with 2,4% engagement rate and on TikTok 38,4 millions of followers, with 1,5% engagement rate”

Methodology:

We looked for sports teams with the largest number of followers on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok from the following sports: football, American football, basketball, baseball, rugby and ice hockey. We used a social media engagement calculator to measure their engagement rate. This calculator takes a significant sample of followers and divides it by the total number of comments and likes.

Interested in exploring additional sports rankings? Take a glance at The Grueling Truth’s Top 10 Sports List, or dive into the latest buzz and discussions on sports podcasts. 

 

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