NBA Drives Engagement with Video

Published on Mar 1st, 2016

by Jack Weinstein

The NBA is really good at social video . So much so that it continues setting engagement records on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Shareablee conducted an analysis of the social media content the NBA produced during its annual All-Star Game weekend, which ran from Feb. 12 to 14 in Toronto. The three-day event included a variety of events, including the slam dunk contest, in addition to the game that pits the best players from the NBA’s Eastern and Western conferences against one another.

The NBA generated 27 million actions during All-Star weekend, a 35% increase from All-Star weekend 2015.

That engagement growth was driven by a 160% increase in actions (likes, comments, shares and retweets) from videos posted to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The NBA generated 55% of its total engagement during All-Star weekend from video content.

The NBA increased its video content in 2015, which has continued this year. Videos produced 79% of all Facebook actions, 49% of all Twitter actions and 50% of all Instagram actions during All-Star weekend.

Its most-engaged video of the weekend (and year) included highlights from the slam dunk contest , which generated 835,000 actions on Facebook. It has been viewed more than 28 million times. The video has already generated 48% more engagement than the NBA’s top Facebook video in 2015 , also featuring Zach LaVine, who won the dunk contest both years.

The NBA video content is dominated by highlights, which makes sense given how easily they can be broken down into snippets for any social platform. But the NBA also produces a variety of video types, from nostalgic content on Facebook to off-the-court moments on Instagram.

The popularity of the slam dunk contest helped drive a 64% increase in actions from video on Facebook during All-Star weekend compared with 2015. The dunk contest was featured in 11 of the NBA’s 20 most-engaged Facebook videos during the weekend. Another four videos remembered past dunk contests and winners . And one more video included highlights from a dunk contest the NBA hosted for young fans .

It’s a bit different on Instagram. In addition to highlights, the NBA uses the platform to post comments from players , behind-the-scenes footage and fun features . Instagram also allows the NBA to share off-the-court moments like this one featuring dunk contest runner-up Aaron Gordon.

Actions from Instagram videos increased 219% during All-Star weekend this year compared with 2015.

Twitter is still the platform for posting in-the-moment content , such as live-tweeting games and events like the slam dunk contest. The NBA tweeted 320 times during All-Star weekend, 51% of its overall social content during those three days. But the NBA has become increasingly adept at creating video tweets that generate engagement.

Actions generated from Twitter video increased 526% when compared with All-Star weekend 2015 when just 17% of the NBA’s engagement came from video content.

Most NBA Twitter videos include highlights. They vary in length from highlight packages up to two minutes to Vines. The top six Twitter videos included highlights from the dunk contest. The NBA’s top tweet included a Vine featuring one of Gordon’s dunks.

Video continues driving engagement growth for brands and publishers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In 2015, engagement from video increased 111% . We expect that growth to continue this year as more and more brands discover how to leverage the power of video to expand their reach and amplify messaging.

Want to find out how different industries are using social to drive ROI? Download the State of Social: Past Present and Future webinar.

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