Super Bowl Sunday is here, but who won Crisp Lab’s ‘Social Super Bowl’?

Posted by Regan Fleming on

Super Bowl LIII is just two days away and the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams are vying for the championship title. The teams won’t be the only ones vying for hearts and minds on Sunday – advertisers will be too.

Creativity and brand story will be key this year, but with emotions running high throughout the game, the risk of brands receiving comments on their social media ads containing unwanted profanity and hate speech, and worse - a large scale PR issue, will be high too. One theme that has been under scrutiny by consumers this year is brands’ corporate social responsibility in terms of how they respond to growing issues such as their product ingredients and the environmental impact of their products.

Speaking with our CEO, Adam Hildreth, Forbes put it perfectly: "The Super Bowl offers advertisers the chance to get their messages in front of a vast audience, but social media backlash can be brutal if the spots are either mis-targeted or tone deaf on a certain issue or segment of the population."

While emotions can drive negative reactions on brands’ advertising, they also create enduring relationships for the NFL teams. In November Crisp looked at fan engagement on Facebook and how that linked to team performance.

Since our first instalment of the Social Super Bowl (SSB), Crisp Labs has continued to analyze the Facebook pages of those NFL teams who made it to the road. Monitoring the Reactions generated by their fans, Crisp Labs were able to calculate a social engagement index number, to crown a winner of Crisp’s SSB.

And the Winner of the Social Super Bowl is. . . The Kansas City Chiefs!

Team

NFL Rank by Winning Percentage.

Current Social Engagement Index Ranking

Previous Social Engagement Index Ranking

Team Division

Los Angeles Rams

1

8

8

NFC West

New Orleans Saints                      

2

3

1

NFC South

Chicago Bears

3

6

7

NFC North

Kansas City Chiefs

4

1

2

AFC West

Los Angeles Chargers

5

12

12

AFC West

Houston Texans

6

11

6

AFC South

New England Patriots

7

5

3

AFC East

Baltimore Ravens

8

10

10

AFC North

Dallas City Cowboys

9

2

5

NFC East

Indianapolis Colts

10

9

11

AFC South

Seattle Seahawks

11

4

4

NFC West

Philadelphia Eagles

12

7

9

NFC East

 

With 2.9 million Reactions to the team’s Facebook content, The Kansas City Chiefs’ fans have pushed their team to top the SSB championship with just two days to go. From Love to Anger to Wow, Chiefs’ fans engage in every aspect of their team’s performance. It is perhaps unsurprising that these are the fans that set the world record for most noise generated by a crowd in 2014.

Winning Fans = Winning Teams?

Crisp’s social engagement index demonstrates that your success on the road does not directly correspond to the engagement of your fans online. The Los Angeles Rams are at the very top of the NFL leader board but are in only 8th place in the SSB. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys came second place in our social league, but trail in 9th place on the road.

If we consider the make-up of these fan bases, explanations for this pattern begin to emerge. Of the teams that made it to the road, the Rams have the lowest number of fans (94% fewer than the Chiefs who top the SSB!). Although originally from LA, the Rams moved to St.Louis in 1994. This move left the region without NFL representation for 21 years, until the Rams returned to the area in 2016. In their absence, Angelenos have forged new loyalties with teams outside of the region, loyalties that will not be broken simply because the Rams have returned home.

However, the relatively small number of fans should not mean that the Rams should ignore their social media platforms. The continuing success of the team will result in returning fans as well as critics (especially considering the controversial ‘no-call’ that helped the Rams secure their place in the championship game). Now is the time that the Rams should ensure their social media monitoring is up to scratch in order to retain the benefits of their hard work.

Super Bowl 2019 Crisp Blog Dallas CowboysThe Dallas Cowboys’ social success may also be linked to the make-up of their fans. Some fans’ interactions waver on the road to the Super Bowl. For example, the Carolina Panthers were in third place in the first instalment of the SSB, but since being knocked out of the road, their fans seem to have lost interest with only 7.3k Reactions being made since their defeat. However, in Dallas, the success of the team does not appear to touch upon the loyalty of their fans. An affiliation to the Cowboys is more than just affiliation to a football team; it is a way of life. “Jerry’s World”, stadium of the Cowboys, is the social hub in Dallas; the party on Sundays is almost as big as the football game. Despite being knocked out of the road, their fans have continued to create a tremendous amount of noise, with over 2.6 million Reactions accrued since September. Regardless of the team’s success, it seems like the Cowboy’s fans will not be shifted.

Prizes for the Runners Up

The New Orleans Saints have retained their position as most Loved team, with the highest level of Love Reactions to their posts with over 550k, and highest Love ratio per post. Their most Loved post was generated on the cusp of their advancement into the conference championship round, their last win in this road to the Super Bowl as they were knocked out by the Rams. This team are closely followed by the Chiefs, who’s fans generated 468k Love Reactions and the Cowboys with 418k.
 
Bottom of the Love heap are the L.A Chargers with only 108k Reactions. L.A Chargers came dead last in the Crisp Social Super Bowl which corresponds with apparent disinterest from fans. The Chargers have the lowest numbers in match attendance in the entire NFL and are being threatened with blackouts. Perhaps this is owing to the Chargers’ recent move to LA, away from loyal fans and to a site where they must compete with the Rams for an already disengaged fan base. 

The Saints are not only stimulating Love, they are also getting the most coverage with almost 1 million shares of their content. Once again, they are followed by the Chiefs with 858k shares of the Chiefs’ content and the Cowboys in third with 812k shares.  

The fans who have generated the most Anger Reactions are the Cowboys. These loyal fans reacted angrily to the announcement that Scott Linehan would be the team’s offensive co-ordinator for the 2019 season. Linehan was often criticized by fans for his handling of the Cowboys' offense this season. When this news was delivered just after the Cowboys were knocked out of the play-offs by the Rams, perhaps their Reaction is understandable.

How to Scoop a Prize Next Year

The Most Shared, Liked, and Funniest Post
Peyton Manning congratulating Drew Bees continued to dominate in terms of social media popularity. The quirky set up of tomato chopping acted to catch attention, but the real lesson to learn here is that responding positively to records being broken will win over your fans, especially when using a relevant speaker.

The Most Loved and Hated Post
The announcement of the Philadelphia Eagles’ victory over the Chicago Bears got the most Love Reactions of any post (27% of all Reactions on this post were Love). While a separate post announcing the Bears’ defeat in the same match) generated the most Anger (34% of total Reactions on this post). This wildcard game was incredibly close. In the last 10 seconds of the game, Bears’ Cody Parker kicked a field goal from the 43rd yard which could have won the game. . . had it not rebounded on the posts to leave the crowd stunned. 

It should come as no surprise that winning games is a sure-fire way to generate support for the team and fan engagement on social media. For 10 of the 12 teams, the most Loved video involves a win, especially one that helps the team to break into the next stage of the Championship.

 Losing games is a guaranteed way to generate an Angry response from fans. For all but one of the teams (The Cowboys, for whom we have learnt winning is not the most important thing), the most hated post was one reporting a loss. Following a match result, a team should pay close attention to its social media feeds to ensure that their fans’ passion doesn’t spiral into abuse.

Screenshot 2019-02-01 at 10.32.10It is also worth noting that videos have the tendency to gather more Love Reactions than other social media posts, with seven of the ten most Loved posts being videos. In order to engage fans, turn to video to provide them with something more immersive. 

 The Most Commented on Post
Again, the Bears are the focus of this post, with their coach Nagy, addressing the media after their loss against the Eagles which ended their championship dream. Responding quickly to your fans is a good way to generate support and convert Anger into a more meaningful discussion. Of the total number of Reactions generated on Nagy’s address, only 14% were Anger, compared to 34% of total Reactions being Anger on the post announcing the Bears’ defeat.

What’s Next?

Sunday is set to be a tense game for the NFL Super Bowl LIII. . .but for Crisp’s Social Super Bowl, it is clear that the Kansas City Chiefs played the long game and drove social media engagement from the season’s opening. Stay tuned for more insight from Crisp Labs after the game.

Read more about the reaction automotive brands are expected to get at this Sunday's Super Bowl in this Forbes article.

If you’d like more information on managing negative and positive Reactions on your team or brand’s social media pages, or on preventing the wrong sort of content appearing on your social pages, get in touch via partnership@crispthinking.com.

 

Regan Fleming

Written by Regan Fleming

Regan is a member of Crisp's PR and content team. From similes to syllables, she delights in everything to do with words.

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