Published on Jan 30th, 2017
By Alla Bryne
That's a wrap on 2016! As we move into 2017, let's take a look back at which brands performed the best on social media last year. Companies from publishing, sports and recreation, TV networks, consumer goods and retail industries all made the top 10 list
National Geographic topped the list with more than 1.3 billion total actions acrossFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With 127 million fans and followers on social, a big part of the publishing company's success can be contributed to their large and active fan base. Other publishers who made the list were Bleacher Report and Tasty with 553 million and 529 million total actions respectively. While the sports news site had impressive year-over-year growth at 159%, Buzzfeed's food property experienced the most growth at a whopping 416%. Tasty also had the highest actions per content at 156K. Buzzfeed is known for their impressive social engagement and highly shareable content, so their food site's strong performance is not surprising.
The sports and recreation industry had four brands on the top-10 list. The NBA led the pack with 1.058 billion total actions, taking second place overall, followed by the WWE in third and NFL in fourth. The only sports team to make the list was The Golden State Warriors, taking eighth place due to their record-breaking performance. The team was in the NBA finals for the second consecutive year in 2016 and while they didn't take home the championship, they shattered numerous records and star player Stephen Curry was once again named the NBA's MVP.
High engagement levels in sports-related content was also seen in TV networks with ESPN coming in seventh with almost 400 million total actions and 178% year-over-year growth.
In the retail and consumer goods space, Victoria's Secret and Anastasia Beverly Hills rounded out the list in the ninth and tenth spots overall. With close to 88 million fans and followers, the lingerie brand has a highly engaged fan base with 113K actions per content. The success of the cosmetics company is primarily due to their wildly popular Instagram account.
While the top-10 brands come from a variety of industries, there are a number of patterns worth noting. First, having a large number of active followers is more important than posting lots of content. Second, sports fans are among the most socially engaged. Lastly, highly sharable content – listicales, sports clips, beautiful photos – is crucial for success.
For more sports coverage, check out The Top Olympic Teams on Social .