Many NFL teams can attest that success on the gridiron doesn’t always translate into success in the Twittersphere. For NFL Twitter accounts, it’s all about fostering meaningful relationships with followers through timely and consistent engagement.
Tweeting regularly is a key component of this strategy. Each tweet has the potential to either attract new followers or solidify the relationship with existing ones. That’s why all NFL franchises dedicate so much time and manpower to ensuring that their social media teams keep churning out those tweets. So which team is doing it best at the moment?
Top 5 Most Engaging NFL Twitter Accounts
Here’s how the top-5 NFL Twitter accounts shape up (as of January 6, 2015).
5. Atlanta Falcons (Tweet Count: 34K)
In terms of the NFL landscape, Atlanta was one of the early adopters as far as using Twitter as a tool to engage fans is concerned (of course, this “early” adoption came over two years after the site was launched.)
Getting a head start on many of the other franchises around the league has allowed the Falcons to start more conversations via Twitter than most during this time.
HE’S GONE! Antone Smith for the Falcons Touchdown!! #ATLvsMIN
— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) September 28, 2014
Three losses on the trot had left Atlanta fans with little to get excited about. This explains why this tweet from the team’s Week 4 game versus the Vikings still ranks as the one most engaged with during that time. Over 1,100 retweets and favorites show just how much the team’s fans appreciated running back Antone Smith’s 48-yard go-ahead TD run. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to prevent the Falcons from eventually going down 41-28.
4. New Orleans Saints (Tweet Count: 34.7K)
Even before Super Bowl success came in 2009, the phenomenal fan base which backs the Saints was already considered to be among the NFL’s most supportive. This laudable commitment to their team is best reflected in the NFL-high 9,800+ favorites that the franchise’s Twitter account has received since being launched in April 2009.
Touchdown Saints! Khiry Robinson. Saints win 37-31!!!! — New Orleans Saints (@Saints) October 5, 2014
This October 5 tweet was an understandably ecstatic reaction to running back Khiry Robinson’s bruising 18-yard TD run in overtime that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s racked up a healthy 5,500+ combined retweets and favorites so far.
3. New York Jets (Tweet Count: 35.2K)
It really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the New York Jets have one of the biggest Twitter fan bases in the NFL. New York is, after all, one of the most populous markets out there – even if “The Big Apple” has to be shared with the more successful Giants.
As evident by the fact that it’s following almost 13,000 folks, good ol’ “Gang Green” obviously does a super job of reciprocating the love that its loyal fans send its way.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 28, 2014
This tweet reflects the excitement that rippled throughout Jets fandom when quarterback Geno Smith @GenoSmith7 hit wide receiver Eric Decker @EricDecker87 for an 11-yard TD that cut the Detroit Lions’ advantage to a single touchdown during Week 4 action. One thousand combined retweets and favorites suggest that hope of a comeback win was very high at the time. Alas, it never materialized. The Jets eventually went down 24-17, leading to an ugly postgame outburst by Smith.
2. Seattle Seahawks (Tweet Count: 41.7K)
Rainy Seattle has never exactly been a football hotbed. However, since the soaring Seahawks throttled the Denver Broncos to lift the franchise’s first Vince Lombardi Trophy last season, a lot more people have warmed up to the team. Who wouldn’t want to be a follower of the reigning Super Bowl champs? They’ve ridden this rising wave of popularity with a flood of tweets. Only the embattled Baltimore Ravens have sent out more tweets than their 37,000+ among the NFL’s 32 franchises.
The October 6 #LOB (Legion of Boom) tweet, which grabbed over 2,500 combined retweets and favorites, featured a video of the Seahawks’ dominant secondary as they got all amped up for their Monday Night Football clash with the Washington Redskins. While the Legion of Boom wasn’t at its disruptive best, the team still managed to come away with a relatively comfortable 27-17 victory. It’ll be fun to watch this Twitter account as the NFC’s #1 seed starts it’s 2015 playoff campaign
1. Baltimore Ravens (Tweet Count: 39.4K)
And the award for best NFL Twitter accounts goes to the Ravens! The PR nightmare Baltimore was forced to deal with when constant negative details surrounding Ray Rice’s highly-publicized assault case came out is one of the main factors behind the Ravens’ NFL-high tweet count. Though football certainly has something to do with it as well.
Thankfully for the organization, a solid season and playoff win over hated rival Pittsburgh has given the team’s social media outfit the opportunity to gradually shift the focus back to what’s taking place on the field.
RAVENS WIN 48-17. pic.twitter.com/S9mRhuljjA
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 12, 2014
This popular tweet, which has so far piled up over 3,500 combined retweets and favorites, went out in the immediate aftermath of Baltimore’s 48-17 romp versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road during Week 6.
And don’t forget winning breeds fans. There’s no doubt getting a chance to play in the Divisional Round this weekend brings plenty of retweets and favorites.
Quality + Quantity = Success
NFL teams employ various strategies to foster engagement with followers via their respective official Twitter pages. The frequent tweeting of game and practice videos is always well received by fans. Tweets relating to fun contests where followers can win gems like autographed gear and various other treasured keepsakes with a simple RT are also typically a hit. Making fans feel special by following them back seems to work like a charm as well.
However, the five teams listed above demonstrate the best understanding of the need for not just quality – but quantity, as well.