This year, a record 111.5 million americans tuned in to the Super Bowl to see the Seattle Seahawks battle against the Denver Broncos for the title.

By now, you all know how the game went down: the Seahawks took the lead early on and managed to keep it up until the end, to a final score of 43 to 8. But what about the social media game that took place? Which team better entertained its audience? What team were supporters most rooting for on Instagram? Social TV is one of the hot social media topics right now, and it’s not all about Twitter: Instagram comes into play too.

As we did last year when the 49ers took on the Ravens, we’re going to analyze both brands’ accounts, and their hashtags, to understand which got the most out of the big game.

Teams’ accounts on Instagram: An expected win for the Seahawks

The Broncos shared a total of 6 posts during the game. The Seahawks covered the events live from their feed, totaling 17 posts for the night.

Admittedly, sharing appropriate content is easier when you’re winning. Regardless, the Seahawks were simply more creative as shown with both team’s entrance videos:

Still, the @Denverbroncos deserve props for this post after losing, showing great spirit:

Last year, the 49ers posted a similar message on their Instagram after losing their big game.

Digging into the numbers: Hashtags

So the Seahawks’ Instagram strategy was more impactful during the game. Now let’s look at the general interest for both teams on Instagram. We’ll measure the hashtags’ usage, narrowing down our sample to avoid any noise and unwanted posts. To do so we’re using Nitrogram’s cross-hashtag reports, which looks at posts using 2 hashtags at once:

  • #seahawks AND #sb48*
  • #broncos AND #sb48*

* #sb48 was this year’s Super Bowl official hashtag

Instagram statistics on game day

Table showing key metrics for both hashtag pairings on game day:

hashtagsUnique ContributorsAll postsAll LikesEngagement Rate (likes/post)*
#broncos & #sb482,4705,350332,72162
#seahawks & #sb482,1257,460450,04160

* Engagement Rate = Number of Likes / Number of Photos

To sum it up:
More people shared about the Broncos, but generated less volume than Seahawks fans. In total, this intense activity for the Seahawks generated more likes, but Engagement Rate (number of likes / number of photos) is in the Broncos’ favor.

Digging into the numbers: Looking at the team’s metrics

Last but not least, let’s consider both team’s official accounts and how the Super Bowl impacted their global metrics:

TeamFollowers before SB48Followers after SB48Followers growth
@denverbroncos283,213307,4049%
@seahawks351,012407,23316%

To sum it up:
Winning a Super Bowl does wonders to a team’s Instagram account. The Seahawks already had a head start over the Broncos, but they confirmed it by growing their audience by 16%, versus only 9% for Denver.

What do you think of the teams’ Instagram presence? Do you have other NFL favorites we should check out? Tell us in the comments below.

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