Content Kings: NFL Players And Teams Who Rule Social Media
Ever wondered which NFL teams and players rule social media? Discover the franchises and athletes stealing the limelight on all your favorite social platforms.
With millions of NFL fans taking to social media each week, it’s never been more important for players and teams to have a strong presence online. But which franchises and athletes generate the biggest buzz on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube?
Comparing each team and player across a range of factors, we’ve been able to rank those that dominate social media, as well as each individual channel. Read on to find out where your favorites finish!
The NFL franchises dominating social media
Comparing activity and engagement across Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube, we can officially rank the Philadelphia Eagles as the NFL’s top social media creators. This comes as last season’s championship runner-up scores an impressive 7.031 out of 9 across our index.
Specifically, TikTok has been where the Eagles see the greatest rate of success, with more video uploads (896) and likes (61.6m) than any other football franchise. Incidentally, the Pennsylvania team has also earned the most YouTube views (180.67m) – almost three times the amount the Pittsburgh Steelers have recorded.
Curiously, though, the Eagles only have the third-most social media followers (9.3m) - all platforms considered - behind the Dallas Cowboys (11.25m) and New England Patriots (11.05m). And it’s the Cowboys who take second place overall, too, with an index score of 6.237.
However, despite boasting the highest Instagram reach of all NFL franchises, the Cowboys have one of the worst engagement rates on the platform (1.22%). In contrast, YouTube is where the Texan franchise shines, with over 9,300 uploads and 116.08m video views.
Next up, the Kansas City Chiefs (5.102) have the third-most impressive social media presence, ahead of the Baltimore Ravens (5.093) and Seattle Seahawks (5.047). Interestingly, the Chiefs have the fifth-most social media followers (8.57m) and fourth-most YouTube views (107.81m), while the Ravens have the strongest Instagram engagement rate (2.55%) and the Seahawks have posted the second-most TikTok videos (843).
In sixth, the Pittsburgh Steelers score 4.829, followed by the San Francisco 49ers (4.727) and Denver Broncos (4.592), while the New York Giants (4.467) and New England Patriots (4.436) round out the top ten.
Of these teams, the Broncos (2.23%) and 49ers (2.12%) rank among the top NFL franchises for Instagram engagement, with the Patriots (601,500), 49ers (387,500), and Steelers (376,000) enjoying strong reach on the platform, while the Giants have posted the third-most videos on TikTok (792).
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Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, the Arizona Cardinals are officially the worst-performing NFL team when it comes to social media activity and digital content creation, with a lowly index score of 1.475.
Performing slightly better, the Houston Texans scored 2.137, behind the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Los Angeles Rams – who clearly didn’t capitalize on their Super Bowl LVI success!
The NFL players dominating social media
We’ve looked at the NFL franchises dominating social media, but which players and athletes can take the crown as football’s top content creators?
Taking top spot with an index score of 4.043 out of 9, the New England Patriots’ Julu Smith-Schuster is the best-performing football star. In fact, the wide receiver has more TikTok likes than any other player (51 million ) from the second-highest number of uploads (230), and the second-most YouTube views of his videos (60.92m) - behind only Cam Newton (107.46m).
Next up, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. scores 4.024, helped along by having more social media followers than any other athlete (24.73m), as well as the strongest Instagram reach (2.25m) – though, interestingly, he’s only posted 236 times on the platform, placing him well behind the top-performers for this factor.
Ranking third overall, we have legendary tight end Rob Gronkowski (3.376), who’s particularly prominent on TikTok, with more uploads (278) than any other NFL player and the third-highest number of likes (29.7m). He’s also a strong performer on YouTube, with the third- and fourth-most video uploads (189) and views (47.1m), respectively.
Following Gronk, fellow icon and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady takes fourth, with an index score of 3.345, thanks to his mega social media following (22.18m), impressive Instagram reach (1.8m) – behind only Odell Beckham Jr. – and crazy number of TikTok video likes (40.8m). He’s trailed by the New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman (3.051), whose 2,214 Instagram uploads is the third most of all athletes on our list.
In sixth, Broncos QB Russell Wilson scores 2.938, ahead of Cam Newton (2.841), Todd Gurley (1.768), Tyrann Mathieu (1.650), and Patrick Mahomes (1.593). Intriguingly, Russell Wilson has the NFL’s third-strongest social media following (11.94m), while Tyrann Mathieu has the second-best Instagram engagement rate (6.21%), Patrick Mahomes boasts the league’s third-best Instagram reach (796,500), Todd Gurley has posted the most Tweets (40,540), and Cam Newton has uploaded the most YouTube videos (650).
Reviewing our list, it’s interesting to see which teams and athletes have the strongest online presence – though, of course, this could all change depending on the way the upcoming season goes! In the meantime, discover all the latest NFL odds and picks for your favorite team, or for even more expert insight from our team, head on over to our NFL blog.
This dataset ranks 20 NFL players and all NFL teams, based on various social media statistics. To do this, 9 different factors were used:
- Total social media followers: The total number of social media followers across Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter(X).
- Instagram engagement rate.
- Total number of Instagram posts.
- Estimated median reach per story/post on Instagram.
- Total number of TikTok uploads.
- TikTok likes.
- Total number of Tweets.
- Total number of YouTube uploads.
- Total number of video views across the YouTube channel.
Once the data was collected, the factors were then normalized to provide each factor with a score between 0 and 1. If data was not available, a score of 0 was given. The normalized values were then summed, to give a total score out of 9. All data is correct as of 07/09/2023.
The ranking data shown is a compilation of multiple data sources and may not be representative of real life.
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