Analyzing the Social Media Platforms of College Football’s Top 10 Teams: Part 1

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Analyzing the Social Media Platforms of College Football’s Top 10 Teams: Part 1

For my ten blog posts this semester, I will analyze the social media platforms of the top ten college football teams from the 2017-2018 season as ranked by the Associated Press. I will go in ascending order, from #10 (Auburn Tigers) to #1 (Alabama Crimson Tide). The three social media platforms I will be examining for each team are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I would examine Snapchat as well, but since football season just recently ended, most teams’ usage of Snapchat has decreased significantly and there is no easy method of looking back at past posts on Snapchat. The main aspects of each platform I will examine are content, followers, and response (likes, shares, comments, etc.).

Auburn’s following on each of the three platforms are as follows: 352K likes on Facebook, 326K followers on Twitter, and 108K followers on Instagram. Across each of the platforms, Auburn did post most of the same content including game-day pictures, thank-you’s to players, staff updates, birthday wishes, and others. However, there were a few distinguishing posts that would only be seen on a certain platform.

On Facebook, Auburn is more willing to link stories about the team – most recently, a story about a civil rights leader inspiring the team at Martin Luther King’s church. There have been several stories linked on their page since the new year. I believe this is due to the easy integration of sharing other links on Facebook posts. Most of their recent Facebook content received only around 500 hundred likes. However, Auburn’s post about today’s snow day received over 4,000 likes and almost 1,500 shares.

Auburn’s Twitter content was similar to that of Facebook, considering Twitter’s interface is also conducive to links to articles, news, and other sites. I also observed that the content was similar to the posts on Instagram, but Auburn would change the graphics associated with the posts. In the posts below, Auburn is thanking Jeff Holland for his time with the team, but the graphics used were different for Twitter and Instagram. Moreover, Auburn’s Twitter seemed to be the only platform used to update fans with game scores and big plays, as seen by tweets put out during the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.

 

Twitter

 

Instagram

 

Meanwhile, Auburn’s Instagram was clearly intent on maintaining an “aesthetic” that has become popular among most Instagram accounts. The content posted to Instagram displays very little text and highlights the team’s colors – orange and blue. At the same time, Auburn’s Instagram did still put out the same kinds of content as the other platforms (player recognition, staff updates, fan information, etc.).

All in all, Auburn’s social media platforms are effective in producing appealing, informative, and entertaining content. Those aspects are crucial to a big name program such as Auburn, where their social media objectives revolve around engaging fans throughout the day, in or out of season.

My next blog post will feature the #9 team in the country – Texas Christian University (TCU).


2 Comments

Joshua Dunn

Joshua Dunn

January 17, 2018at 9:56 pm

This is a really cool idea! I am curious if there is any correlation between the number of followers on different social media platforms and the ranking of the team. I would assume that the better teams have more established fan bases, therefore more activity on social media. I also think it is interesting that even college football teams seem to be following the same general style of posts and pictures that are popular across these three social media platforms. I am excited to see what else you find this semester!

Matthew Stritch

Matthew Stritch

January 17, 2018at 11:38 pm

This is a really great idea! It’ll be interesting to see which school’s are better able to effectively use the different platforms and if that correlates at all with the size of their following or the engagement that they get from them.

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