If the NBA Championships were determined by social engagement, who would win?

Not only are the golden State Warriors the best team on the court, they are also the best when it comes to social media engagement. The Warriors are the most engaged team in the NBA on Facebook by a long shot.  They own 25% of all interactions in the NBA.

Winning helps, driving 10% more engagement than losing.


Data pulled from BlitzMetrics Dashboards, May 2016

In March, NBA teams combined had 40.5 million interactions on Facebook. 10 million or 25% of these came from the Warriors. The Cavaliers are second with 6.8 million interactions.


Table pulled from BlitzMetrics Dashboards, March 2016

The Golden State Warriors led the NBA in Facebook audience growth last year.

Their 108% growth is double the #2 team (Cavs at 54%).

More importantly, the analytics team understands how much engagement translates into revenue and how much incremental revenue is driven from incremental social engagement. In other words, the team gets a revenue boost from winning, from follow-on engagement, and from amplification of engagement to build larger remarketing pools.

Isolating these effects is key to measuring incremental revenue from social and other channels– to know the true contribution of digital marketing efforts.

facebookleaguegrowthData pulled from Facebook, February 2016

The same story occurs across Twitter and Instagram too.


Data pulled from Twitter and Instagram, February 2016

Despite having one of the smaller Facebook fan bases in the league, the Warriors still have the most interactions out of any team. The Warriors’ fans are newer, compared to the Jordan fans back in the heyday of the Bulls– before there were social networks.

facebookleaguegrowth2Data pulled from BlitzMetrics Dashboards, February 2016

Why do they have so many more interactions and a higher interaction rate?

  • They post 345 times a month, 4th in the NBA.
  • More interactions per fan/month than any other team in the NBA.
  • They maximize opportunities on winning days by posting 20% more.
  • Use paid advertising to reach more people and get more impressions, interactions, engagements, etc.

The Warriors use repeatable checklist-driven processes for paid media, especially to create custom audiences. During the 2015-2016 NBA regular season, the Warriors had 5.4 billion impressions. Only 1.5% (79.1 million) were paid impressions.

How does 110,000 engagements for a tenth of a penny each sound?

The Warriors are 73-9 and now have the best regular season record in NBA history.

This Facebook post about the Warriors going 73-9 alone had 110,000 paid engagements within 20 hours.


Boosting posts yields a cost per interaction of $0.001.  When you have social context and relevancy, Facebook’s algorithm rewards you. Most of the engagement are post likes, as opposed to photo views (less valuable, since they don’t generate stories).


The post reached 500,000 people for a 20% engagement rate. The 10 out of 10 relevance score says the content and targeting are in alignment.

On April 13th Stephen Curry broke the 400 mark for three pointers in a single season. The boosted video yielded similar results: 224,000 views for $0.001 per view. This doesn’t count additional organic reach/engagement and residual impact beyond this particular post.


The view rate was 33%– meaning a third of people who saw there was a video stayed to watch it for at least 3 seconds. Most are auto-play on mobile, sound off, of course– so there are some unintentional views counted. Yet 636,000 impressions at a 28 cent CPM (cost per thousand impressions) is excellent.

The Warriors get rewarded for high engagement. Not all 10’s for relevance score are equal, because it’s calculated on a log scale. Sometimes you get a high 10.

Rule of thumb: engaging 10% of those who see your content will keep the fire going.

Most companies say you should space their posts a few hours apart for fear of getting “squeezed out” or cannibalizing organic reach. Facebook’s data science team confirmed this is true.


Data pulled from BlitzMetrics Dashboards, May 2016

During the 1st round of the playoffs, the Warriors dominated share of voice with 21.6% of the total interactions of all the playoff team combined. Average share is only 6.67%. This is impressive because they only have the third largest amount of Facebook fans among the teams. The Cavaliers also performed well here; having only 7% of the fan share but have 16% of the voice share.


Data pulled from BlitzMetrics Dashboards, May 2016

The Warriors also had the 3rd highest interaction rate at 53.6%. This is impressive because they have the 3rd highest amount of fans. Larger fan bases tend to be less interactive than smaller ones. For example, the Miami Heat have the largest amount of Facebook fans out of all the playoff teams yet they only had an interaction rate of 5.5%.


Data pulled from BlitzMetrics Dashboards, May 2016

Maybe more impressive is that they had more interactions in the first round of the playoffs than the Pacers, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Celtics, Trail Blazers, Pistons, and Raptors, combined. The Warriors had a total of 3.8 million interactions. The average during the first round was just under 1.1 million.


Data pulled from BlitzMetrics Dashboards, May 2016

You might say that the Golden State Warriors had way more interactions because they posted more frequently. This isn’t the case at all. In fact, the Warriors only had the 5th highest posting frequency during the 1st round of the playoffs at about 9 posts a day. The Toronto Raptors posted a little over 14 times a day and the Charlotte Hornets posted over 12 times a day.


Data pulled from BlitzMetrics Dashboards, May 2016

Where the Warriors perform the best is interactions per post. They average 420k interactions per post, 75.5k more than the Cleveland Cavaliers who have the 2nd highest interactions per post rate. This is also almost 3 times the overall average of 141k interactions/post. Even though the Toronto Raptors have the highest posting frequency at 14 posts per day, they only average 25k interactions per post, the lowest out of the playoff teams.


Data pulled from BlitzMetrics Dashboards, May 2016

The Warriors also gained 193,000 new fans during the 1st round of the playoffs. This is 4.5 times more that the average gain and nearly 2 times more than the second highest gain of fans by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

So who wins the NBA championship for social media engagement? It’s hard not to argue against the Golden State Warriors