Given that football is the most popular sport in the U.S. and the Super Bowl is the most inescapable of our official and unofficial national holidays, having affinity for the NFL hardly qualifies as a defining characteristic of a subset of individuals. To arrive at a deeper understanding of the nuances of NFL fans, social media insights provider Shareablee analyzed the Facebook actions of fans of Super Bowl 50 competitors the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos.
Restricting itself to people within the last two months who have taken at least one action to engage with either the Panthers or the Broncos on Facebook, Shareablee was able to draw some definite distinctions between the two fan bases (see infographic). For Panthers fans, atop a range of verticals (food chain, liquor brand, TV show, retail, etc.) are Krispy Kreme, Hennessy, Belk department store, Fox's "Empire" and the Charlotte Observer.
Denver Broncos fans prefer to engage on Facebook with Taco Bueno, REI, Chivas, NBC's "Chicago Fire" and the New York Times.
Among the top seven brands that Panthers and Broncos fans combined engage with the most on Facebook are ABC's "Good Morning America," Starbucks, Bleacher Report, the NBA and ESPN's "SportsCenter."
There are takeaways here for both NFL teams. "If I were the social strategist for one of these teams I would pay close attention to, for instance, what New York Times articles interest my fans and which ones they're sharing," says Shareablee CEO Tania Yuki. "If I were looking at promotions or monetization for one of the teams, I could also say, 'I know my fans are very active with Krispy Kreme or Hennessy. Maybe there’s a tie-in, something we can offer our fans, or an advertising possibility.' I suddenly know much more about the 360 degree behaviors of my fans."
The larger point is that social strategists and PR pros need to understand that their audiences are far more nuanced than they realize—just because they interact with your brand doesn't mean your brand is their life. Yuki offers a simple starting point: "If you have to measure social media engagement manually without a tool, pick one KPI that’s very important to you. Something simple like the total number of engaged actions with your content. It can be really easy to go with your gut, but it’s good to check in with how things perform. You need to know which 5% or 10% of your content is really working."
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI