While the New England Patriots would not be stopped in their comeback on Sunday over the Falcons, Atlanta local news stations won the day over Boston – at least in engagement per post.
With Boston as DMA No. 9 and Atlanta as DMA No. 10, the Super Bowl made for an interesting matchup in terms of market size. Share Rocket tracks seven stations in Boston’s DMA compared to four in Atlanta, but the total audience on social media of the combined pages we track in Atlanta is more than 1.5 million followers larger than Boston’s. The two markets each posted roughly the same amount the day of the game, however, with a difference of just 36 posts.
Perhaps the people of Boston were too busy celebrating to engage on social media after the game. Maybe Falcons fans found comfort in their community after the jaw-dropping comeback. But either way, Atlanta TV stations saw more engagement per post on their pages than their counterparts in Boston on Super Bowl Sunday.
The game turned into a high-scoring shootout. It played out similarly on social, but this time Atlanta got the win, 307.7 engagements per post to 280.8 in Boston.
But in both markets, local TV stations were big winners. They were staking out new audiences and ways to reach them on social media – and the proof is in the numbers.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the four stations we track in Atlanta had 795,996 engagements on their social pages. The previous Sunday, they had 297,335. In Boston on Super Bowl Sunday, there were 736,453 total engagements on the social pages of the stations Share Rocket tracks there. The previous week, there had been 288,083.
By next Super Bowl LII, we believe many of those million-or-so extra engagements with be worth a lot to advertisers.
Let’s take a closer look at each market’s specifics on Sunday. Keep in mind, Share scores can vary greatly from day to day, so this is not an indication of a typical day in either market, but it shows us the top performers and posts for the 24-hour period:
Share Scores on 2/5/16
- WSB: 42.6
- WXIA: 28.9
- WAGA: 25.3
- WGCL: 3.2
◊ WSB’s Share score was up 26.8% over the previous day and the station had the most combined total engagements on its pages in the market by more than 100,000.
◊ Of WSB’s 346,355 total engagements on social during the day, 326,303 of those came from main station pages, and of those, 295,005 came from the main station Facebook page. As we’ve noted on this blog before, Facebook is where to focus if your goal is driving engagement.
◊ Of the three social networks Share Rocket tracks (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), WSB finished first in all three on Sunday. But the day before, WSB was third in the market on Facebook. They increased their Share on Facebook Sunday by 35.4% compared to the previous day and gained the most new followers on Facebook of any station in the market, both in general and as a percentage of their total audience.
◊ WSB scored a 54.7 Share on Twitter on Sunday, which was down from the previous day. Both WXIA and WAGA improved their Share scores on Twitter more than 30% compared to the previous day.
◊ Much like Twitter, WXIA and WAGA both improved their market share on Instagram on Sunday. Both stations improved more than 200% in engagement on the network than the day before. WSB took the top spot on Instagram with a 51.7 Share.
Atlanta’s Three Individual MVPs
#1. WSB’s Zach Klein – WSB’s Sports Director was a monster on Twitter, where he racked up 5,222 engagements and had the second largest Share in the market of any account on Twitter at a 7.8 score. Klein was second only to WSB’s main station account.
#2. WXIA’s Radi Nabulsi – The publisher of the University of Georgia’s Rivals site, Nabulsi is also a contributor to WXIA’s sports coverage and is a Twitter must-follow in the Georgia sports world.
#3. WAGA’s Constance Jones – Jones was the No. 1 individual in the Atlanta market on Instagram on Sunday.
Atlanta’s Top Six Posts on 2/5/16 by Engagement
#1. WSB: Atlanta fans dance in airport
#2. WSB: Pregame hype graphic
#3. WAGA: Atlanta fans dance in airport
#4. WAGA: Young patient’s Falcons neck brace
#5. WSB: Postgame thanks to the team
Share Scores on 2/5/16
- WFXT: 38
- WCVB: 33.1
- WMUR: 11.2
- WBZ: 8.4
- WHDH: 7.1
- WNEU: 1.6
- WBIN: 0.7
◊ Boston saw more varied results on each social platform than Atlanta.
◊ WFXT claimed the top overall spot with a 38 Share score and had the most combined total engagement of any station in the market by more than 35,000.
◊ Of WFXT’s 289,258 total engagements on social during the day, 266,900 came from Facebook, and 259,076 of those came from the main station Facebook page. Despite finishing first on Facebook in Share as a group with a score of 38.2, WFXT actually finished second in engagement per post on Facebook to WCVB (2,413.3 engagements per post to 1,879.6).
◊ In terms of overall station performance, WMUR was the biggest performer of the day, jumping from 5th overall in the Boston DMA on social media on Saturday to 3rd on Sunday. WMUR improved its Share score by 95% Sunday over Saturday and had 717% more engagement the day of the Super Bowl than the previous day.
◊ As a group, Twitter was neck-and-neck at the top between WCVB and WFXT. WCVB had a 27.7 Share score, compared to WFXT’s 26.8. The performance of WCVB’s main Facebook page put it over the top. WCVB’s main page had 6,699 total engagements for the day compared to 4,566 for WFXT.
◊ WFXT dominated Instagram on Sunday with a 64.3 Share score as a group. The next-highest score on Instagram for a group was a 10.9 Share for WHDH.
Boston’s Three Individual MVPs
#1. WMUR’s Josh Judge – The longtime Boston meteorologist had a 2.46 combined Share score on Sunday, the most of any individual in either Boston or Atlanta. But to be fair, one big Facebook post hours before the game played a big role in his win for the day.
#2. WBZ’s Eric Fisher – Another meteorologist, Fisher was a no-show on Facebook on game day, but his Twitter propelled him into the top three. His combined engagement on his social pages was up 234% compared to Saturday.
#3. WNEU’s Susan Tran – Tran was among the biggest gainers of the day, moving up 19 spots from 22nd among individuals Saturday to 3rd on Sunday. She improved her Share 238% compared to Saturday and was No. 1 among individuals in Share on Twitter in the market.
Boston’s Top Six Posts by Engagement
#1. WFXT: Babies swaddled in Pats gear
#2. WCVB: Postgame hype graphic
#4. WXFT: Brady’s daughter at the Super Bowl
#5. WCVB: Victory parade announcement
#6. WHDH: Lady Gaga halftime reaction vote