Published on Jul 7th, 2016
There’s a new top brand in social media.
The NBA overtook National Geographic as the most-engaged brand on social. The league generated 313.1 million actions on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That’s a 4% engagement improvement compared with Q2 2015, which bests the average U.S. brand.
That growth was driven by a successful Instagram strategy, where the NBA generated 77% of its engagement in spite of posting only 18% of its content to the platform. The league also excels with video content , which was responsible for generating 47% of its engagement.
National Geographic had generated more social engagement than any other brand in 2014 and 2015 . But its margin of victory decreased in Q4 2015 and Q1 2016, when it barely edged the NBA as the top overall social brand .
SportsCenter, Tasty and the WWE round out the top 5. In addition to ranking the Top 25 brands, we've included each brand's most-viewed Instagram video.
Overall, U.S. brands generated 5% less engagement in Q2 2016 than during the same time last year, driven by a 23% decline in Facebook engagement. All U.S. brands’ Twitter and Instagram engagement grew by 19% and 8%, respectively.
Engagement from video content in Q2 increased by an average of 110% year over year on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. On Facebook alone, all U.S. brands generated 22% of their engagement from video, up from 11% in Q2 2015.
The NBA’s No. 1 ranking was driven by the playoffs, which ran nearly the entire quarter from April 16 to June 19 when the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals to win its first championship. The NBA's most-engaged posts in Q2 featured the stars of the Finals, Lebron James and Stephen Curry . Both Finals teams also ended up in the Top 25 with the Warriors at No. 7 and the Cavs in the 14th spot.
Also among the NBA’s top posts on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram were tributes to Kobe Bryant, who retired at the end of the season after spending 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Other NBA-related properties including NBA on ESPN (No. 17) and NBA TV (No. 20) also appeared in the Top 25. SportsCenter (No. 3), Bleacher Report (No. 6) and ESPN (No. 11) also benefited from the NBA playoffs. Many of their top posts featured content about the historical NBA Finals , a James dunk during Game 3 of the NBA finals (with some clever editing) and Kobe’s last game .
While the NBA topped the ranking, The Dodo experienced the most significant year-over-year engagement improvement. The Dodo generated 478% more actions in Q2 than during the same time in 2015.
At No. 24 in the ranking, The Dodo generated 94% of its engagement on Facebook in spite of only posting 35% of its content the platform. And 77% of its total engagement comes from video content. Only Tastemade, which generates all of its engagement from video, captures more actions from video among the Top 25 brands.
The Dodo’s most-engaged posts feature adorable videos of animals, including rabbit hijinks and the friendship between a dog and a little girl who’ve grown up together. Each video generated more than 1 million actions and at least 42 million views.