Facebook, Instagram Bolster NFL Fan Engagement

In the final stretch before Sunday's Super Bowl, SocialCode is releasing ad engagement data around the NFL playoffs that analyzed the different ways sports fans interacted with Facebook and Instagram ads during this year’s playoffs.

The playoffs, as a whole, drive more users to platforms. 

However, content specifically relevant to the sporting event results in higher click-through rates and engagement rates. Ads launched on game days score a 1.12x increase in click-through-rates and a 1.14x increase in engagement rates, compared to days without games in the playoff season.

Still, ads must be contextually relevant.

Slippers, for instance, aren't likely to receive as much attention as pizza ads. Overall, football-related Instagram and Facebook ads garnered 1.85x higher click-through-rates and 1.2x higher engagement rates compared to content unrelated to football. Top categories for elevated engagement included alcohol delivery service, sports retailers and snack providers.



Fans' interest spikes when they have skin in the game. Meaning, in states with teams that made it to the playoffs, like Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, the report finds 1.35x more engagements (likes, comments, and shares) compared to the rest of the U.S.

Finally, the most frequently used football terms on Facebook and Instagram in January were NFL, Super Bowl, Wild Card, Touchdown, NFC, AFC, Interception, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and Yards.

This is SocialCode's first year tracking NFL playoff data with the company tracking engagement rates/click-through rates leading up to and through the day of the Super Bowl. The data is exclusive to Facebook and Instagram because the level of granularity provided by these two platforms — state-level data — isn't mirrored on other platforms.

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