Top NFL Players With Highest Social Interactions Among Fans

April is arguably the second-best time of the year for NFL fans, behind early February when the Super Bowl occurs. This is because the NFL Draft takes place in April, when upcoming-rookies who competed and showcased their skills in college and the NFL Scouting Combine can finally know which team they will be playing for. This not only excites fans and the media to see teams gain the new talent but also the existing players of each franchise and many players will take their excitement to social media to post about the rookies. It’s no surprise that Tom Brady and Julian Edelman are in the top two spots, while Le’Veon Bell climbed through the rankings to secure the third highest position for social interactions. There were also large increases in rankings seen from Danny Amendola of the Detroit Lions, and Derwin James of the Los Angeles Chargers.


Note: All data from Hookit Engagement rankings on May 6th, 2019. Data is updated consistently to reflect live rankings on the Hookit Rankings website.

Key Insights

Tom Brady Consistently on Top with Most Social Interactions

With one of the highest social followings in the NFL, it’s no secret that the Patriots’ quarterback remains on top of the social interactions rankings. Brady collected 6.7M interactions across 72 posts, with 70% of the engagement occurring on Instagram.

Although Brady did not post about his rookie teammates joining the Patriots, Brady’s Instagram video about finding confetti in his helmet from the most recent Super Bowl got fans excited again for next season. That video alone collected 2.5M interactions from video views, comments and likes. This accounted for 53% of his 4.7M Instagram social interactions in April.

Patriots’ Wide Receiver, Julian Edelman, Secures Second Position

The Super Bowl LII MVP joins his teammate at the top of the list for most interactions on social media last month. Edelman has had quite a historic 2019 year, with winning the Super Bowl with his fellow Patriots, being crowned MVP of the championship game, and graduating from Kent State University.  

Edelman posted a total of 58 times in April, with 3.1M of his total 3.3M interactions coming from his Instagram page. Most of Edelman’s posts last month showed the wide receiver still enjoying his time from the most recent Super Bowl. He shared Instagram posts of him throwing the first pitch at a Red Sox game and Gronk spiking the puck at a Bruins game.  

JuJu Smith-Schuster Climbs to Fourth Place

JuJu jumped five spots from March social rankings to land himself in the fourth position in April. Instead of posting about his new teammates joining the Steelers organization from the NFL Draft, the wide receiver felt nostalgic as he posted about when he received the call to be drafted to the Steelers. That short Instagram video clip was seen over 1.1M times, commented on 5.8K times, and liked 317K times. JuJu is also active on Twitter and Facebook, which helped him collectively reach over 1.2M interactions across 43 posts last month.

The Wrap Up

The NFL Draft is the perfect opportunity for fans to interact with current and incoming football players of their favorite teams. Although no incoming rookie made the top 10 list for social interactions, this could change as fans have more chances to engage with the new prospects in May. By analyzing the top-ranked NFL athletes based on social interactions, brands that sponsor those entities can create valuable insights when looking for new partnerships or wanting to increase their Promotional Effectiveness Score.

Note: All data is from official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram Business accounts. Any personal Instagram account data is not included in these rankings.


Jeremy Parker
Written by Jeremy Parker
Jeremy is a second-year MBA candidate at the Rady School of Management with extensive data-analytics, social media strategy, and content marketing experience. As a marketing intern for Hookit, he has learned valuable skills to help analyze athlete engagement and create insights on driving brand value. To connect further, please refer to his LinkedIn.


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