The Most Popular NBA Teams on Social Media

By Akiva Wienerkur   April 17, 2023 

The Most Popular NBA Teams on Social Media

Despite the NFL leading the way in television viewership, the NBA is the most popular professional sports league online, with millions of fans around the world following their favorite teams and players across various social media platforms. We took a closer look at the most popular NBA teams on social media and explored the factors that contribute to their success.

From the Lakers to the Celtics to the Warriors, these teams have amassed huge followings on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and each for their own unique reasons. We crunched the numbers on all three sites to get a total follower count and see which teams run the internet, and which need some more help in the online space. 

The Los Angeles Lakers currently hold the top spot over the Golden State Warriors on social media, largely due to their longevity as the NBA’s most popular franchise since the 1960s. This extensive history has allowed them to amass a fanbase that spans across all ages. While the modern dynasty of the Warriors has had success on Instagram, the Lakers tend to dominate on Facebook where over 50% of users are above the age of 40. 

The Chicago Bulls owe much of their popularity to the iconic Michael Jordan, who not only dominated on the court but also transcended pop-culture. Despite Jordan not having played for the Bulls in 25 years, they remain an extremely popular team, particularly on Facebook where older fans of Jordan continue to support the franchise. 

The Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs are interesting anomalies in the NBA. Both teams rank in the top nine in social media following, but are in the bottom four in terms of total attendance. Kudos to their social media teams for their hard work and success in building a strong online presence for their respective teams.


Total Followers for All 30 NBA Teams


NBA TeamsTotal (in millions)
Lakers54.7
Warriors49.3
Bulls30.7
Cavaliers26.1
Rockets25.2
Heat25.2
Celtics19.8
Spurs14.6
Thunder14.5
Knicks11.5
Kings10.5
Clippers10.4
Mavericks10
Nets9.8
Bucks9.5
Raptors9
76ers8.1
Wizards7.6
Pacers7.2
Trail Blazers6.7
Suns6.6
Magic5.8
Timberwolves5.7
Pelicans5.7
Jazz5.6
Hawks5.4
Nuggets5.3
Grizzlies5.2
Hornets5.1
Pistons4.4
Top 10 Teams With the Most Instagram Followers: Counting Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook followers

The Kings, despite being in the midst of a 16 year playoff drought that is just coming to an end, are higher than most fans would expect, ranking at 11th most total followers. Sacramento dominates on Facebook, as they have over double the amount of Facebook followers than they do Instagram and Twitter combined. 

The Nuggets remain towards the bottom of NBA popularity, despite recent success on the court and Nikola Jokic being arguably the best player in the NBA. The unfortunate truth is that the Joker just simply isn’t marketable. 


The 10 Teams With the Most Instagram Followers


NBA TeamsInstagram Followers
Warriors28.5
Lakers21.5
Cavaliers15
Bulls9.3
Celtics7.1
Heat6
Rockets5.9
Thunder5.5
Bucks5
Nets4.7
The 10 Teams With the Most Instagram Followers

LeBron James makes a lasting impact on this list in the form of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs, being a small-market team by nature, experienced a significant boost in their account due to LeBron’s presence for a total of 11 seasons. Specifically, his four-year stint from 2014-2018, when Instagram was rapidly increasing in popularity, contributed to the team’s account growth more than it would have ever achieved without him.

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The 10 Teams With the Most Twitter Followers


NBA TeamTwitter Followers
Lakers11.4
Warriors8.2
Heat5
Bulls4.7
Celtics4.1
Spurs3.5
Cavs3.3
Rockets3.2
Thunder2.8
Raptors2.5
The 10 Teams With the Most Twitter Followers

Yet again LeBron James makes an impact on a teams’ social media, but this time it’s the Miami Heat that benefited from LeBron’s starpower. The Heat gained over 2 million followers on Twitter during LeBron’s tenure with the team. The Heat are a popular team whether they have LeBron or not, but without him they would be much closer to the bottom of the top ten than the top.


The 10 Teams With the Most Facebook Followers


NBA TeamFacebook Followers
Lakers21.8
Bulls16.7
Rockets16.1
Heat14.2
Warriors12.6
Celtics8.6
Cavs7.8
Kings7.4
Spurs6.6
Thunder6.2
The 10 Teams With the Most Facebook Followers

While they are among the top two teams overall, on Instagram, and on Twitter, the Warriors are ranked fifth on Facebook. This can be attributed to several factors, such as the team’s recent success and the demographics of Facebook’s user base, which tends to be older compared to other social media platforms. It is not surprising that classic teams like the Bulls and the Lakers have a larger following on Facebook, given their long standing history and fan base.

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