Filling the Social Seats: Top 3 MLB Teams in Fan Following

MLB Social Media

Over the past few posts, I have talked about how much effort the MLB has exerted in attempt to generate traffic and build fan awareness. Today, in this ‘stats heavy’ installment of my blog, I want to pay homage to 3 organizations who have been exemplary of this goal. The teams below are the top three on MVPindex and are ranked according to their overall reach and fan engagement across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google +. Let’s take a look at the standings and see who is leading the league on social media as the midpoint of the 2015 season draws closer.

1.) New York Yankees

To anyone who is a student of baseball lore and royalty, this comes as no major surprise. The Yankees are the number one baseball team on social media according to MVPindex. The Yankees’ Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have a combined audience of more than 10.2 million followers and fans. The Yankees also have the highest engagement rate in the MLB. Fans on Facebook like a post from the Yankees 17,019 times on average. They also share Yankees content an average of 1,758 times per post. These numbers don’t stray much on Twitter, with Yankees tweets averaging 190 retweets per tweet since the beginning of the season.

2.) Boston Red Sox

Again, no surprise right? The Yankees’ bitter rivals come in second in the baseball social media rankings on MVPindex. The Red Sox are the second most popular team on social media, with a total of 6.4 million fans across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This number puts them firmly in second place on Facebook and Twitter, but 4th overall on Instagram. The Red Sox post an average of 648 tweets/month on Twitter, or about 1 tweet per hour every 28 days. Fans respond to this ridiculously high volume of content, too. Fenway’s Finest have 5 of the top 50 tweets in baseball this month.

3.) Los Angeles Dodgers

This one may come as a slight surprise to some, largely due to the massive outpouring of support the cross-state rival San Francisco Giants received last fall as they fought their way to another World Series title. However, the Dodgers come in third both because they are tied for 4th in total followers, a cool 4.17 million, and for their resounding dominance on Instagram. The Dodgers are the most followed baseball team on the photo sharing platform.  They possess the entire top 10, and 49 of the top 100 posts to the platform this month. The average likes on a top 10 Instagram photo? 63,877. *Fun fact, that’s the equivalent to a sold out Dodger stadium engaging with each photo while more than 7,800 fans did the same at home.*

All three of the organizations mentioned above are known for another things besides a fanatical following: revenue. It could be easily assumed that the #1, 2, and 4 teams in the league in 2014 revenue were….you guessed it, the Yankees, Dodgers, and Red Sox (in that respective order). Only the world champion Giants (sitting #3) disrupted the collinearity between fan following and team-generated revenue. This is a picture-perfect example of how generating strong brand equity, combined with massive social traffic, generates into healthy bottom lines.

This concludes the half of my blog dedicated to the social media element of the MLB. In the next five installments, I will be focusing more on the advanced analytics side of the sports; covering topics like pitch-predictive analytics (say what? yes this has been in the works for a number of years) and sabermetrics used to evaluate current players and determine future stars.

Drive Home Safely,

Bryan White, MBA