NHL Playoff Teams on Facebook

Published by Engagement Labs on August 1, 2014

Following the long regular season which showcased the Toronto Maple Leafs’ uncanny ability to disappoint fans, we are now over a week into the world’s greatest sporting event; the NHL Playoffs. The first week of the post-season provided the expected mix of first round stubble, goonish cheapshots, and inspired OT performances.

While the diehards will watch throughout the year, the playoffs are a time when teams have the opportunity to turn casual fans into raving lunatics and have non-fans jump on the bandwagon. We turned our attention to these teams’ Facebook pages to see which are most effective at turning this excitement into engagement.

Back With a Bang!

The Beleaguered fan bases of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars have not had a lot of playoff excitement recently. But with both of them being in the middle of exciting series, they are taking advantage of the success. When broken down to the per fan basis, these two teams are getting the highest engagement rates of all.

The Stars’ community has focused on live updates with a witty tone that is uncharacteristic of sports marketing. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, have benefited greatly from the #WeAreThe5thLine hashtag that is reminiscent of the Seahawks’ 12th man from the NFL Playoffs. They also use frequent updates that call on fans to watch and listen to the game if they aren’t already doing so.

The Heavyweights

While some newcomers are fighting above their weight class, the teams that are getting the most interaction on an absolute level are perennial NHL powerhouses from the more traditional hockey markets. Montreal, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Boston currently lead the pack with Colorado (Roy/Sakic Renaissance) also coming on strong.

These teams are successful in steadily engaging their large fan bases by getting to know and understand them. Just like with any other social media page, if you speak at their level and provide content they want to see, you are going to get high, consistent interaction. The CMs of these pages know that their fans are already watching the games so daily updates on player health, exclusive interviews, contests and charitable work by the players are used instead of minute-by-minute updates.

This allows the social media managers to give their community the impression that they are getting exclusive information and are part of a “club”.


Worst #Hashtag#WhyNotUs by the Colorado Avalanche (“I guess ya might as well cheer for them. If you don’t have anything better to do?”)

Best use of Stats Boston Bruins’ post game infographics.

Worst Use of Stats Minnesota Wild’s Zero Relevance Facts

Top Post Despite the excitement of the playoffs, the skill of the players or the dirtiness of certain plays, the most engaging post so far still focuses on a baby.


Check back in the coming weeks as we explore the teams’ success on Twitter and how engagement evolves as teams advance towards the final.

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About eValue™:

The eValue™ score measures the effectiveness of a brand’s overall social media performance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and provides a score from 0 – 100. It’s the aggregate of the three subscores including Engagement, Impact, and Responsiveness that work together to create one top-level KPI. Our subscores are calculated by using hundreds of sub metrics which are then benchmarked against a hand-picked database of 75,000 verified brand accounts on each channel.

Engagement: Measures the level of interaction generated by your content and how well your community reacts to it.

Impact: Measures how many unique users have potentially been exposed to a piece of content posted by the channel’s admin through organic, viral and paid reach.

Responsiveness: Measures the rate, speed and quality of your responses to fans.