The success clubs have around fan engagement on social media allows them to turn engagement into dollars. The four key platforms for the ranking are Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.

This is the Hanger's guide to your favourite teams and how they rank on social media. It is mostly based on the popularity and size of the fanbase, but some clubs use certain social media tools far better than others.

Unsurprisingly, the league's two newest teams have claimed the bottom of the ladder.

18th - Gold Coast Suns

Gold Coast have the wooden spoon with 247,100 followers across their platforms and holds the lowest following on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Some success in the future may see them rise, but it won't be anytime soon.

17th - GWS Giants

The Giants have a combined 300,300 followers and the least number of Twitter followers. Being newer than Gold Coast, their slight boost in popularity is likely due to the 2019 Grand Final appearance, and the popularity of their theme song.

16th - North Melbourne Kangaroos

The Kangaroos have been disappointing for a long time, and their most recent premiership win in 1999 is not helping them grow a fan base. They have a combined following of 391,800 fans, which is a big jump from the Suns and Giants, yet their slow-growing fan base craves more than just content. The Roos have a big 2023 season ahead, and some wins on the board with Alastair Clarkson as the coach may improve their social following too.

15th - Melbourne Demons

The reigning premiers are surprisingly tragically low on our ladder with a combined following of 426,400. The drought from the winner's table has likely hurt their ability to gain followers over years previous to 2021; however, if the Dees can continue to prove themself with good content when they win, they will boost up the socials ladder in no time.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 25: The Demons celebrates after the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Demons and the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
14th - Brisbane Lions

Despite their recent on-field success, the Lions appear not to have tapped into the rugby league market and do not have enough fans who follow both codes. The mere 437,100 followers on all the platforms leave the Lions far behind the rest of the field. New draftee, Will Ashcroft, could see their followers grow.

13th - Port Adelaide

In a footy crazy city, the Power has come off second-best. The 476,500 combined followers have attracted their city fans, and that is generally the limit. The appeal of the clubs comes with the port suburb and deep culture that preceded the AFL. The Power fans are unlikely to grow significantly, but their wins and losses will never tear them apart.

12th - Fremantle Dockers

One of three teams who haven't won an AFL Premiership, yet they have captured the hearts of WA. Well, some of them. Even without a Premiership, the Dockers fans are loyal and prove that with a 481,300 combined following. To capture their fans, even more, they would need to improve on their TikTok content as they haven't reached over 30,000 followers, which is well behind most of the competition.

11th - Western Bulldogs

The Dogs are the first to crack the 500,000 mark with 500,200 followers. Still, they are well behind the field, even with their recent success in 2016. A strong finals campaign last year has served their social channels well. Yet, their spike in followers can also be attributed to their stars such as Marcus Bontempelli, Cody Weightman and the incredibly marketable Bailey Smith.

10th - St Kilda

With just the one Premiership back in 1966 - one their fans obviously still hold onto- the Saints' social following has earnt them 10th place on the table. Their drought is only set to continue after missing the eight, yet their fans still hold hope. The main portion of the 569,800 come from the 183,100 TikTok followers, the most in the league. The TikTok admin are doing the heavy lifting for the club, and the next step will be turning these younger followers into membership numbers.

9th - Adelaide Crows

Despite almost tasting success in 2017, it has been pretty bleak for the Crows since. Their 661,700 fans significantly clear the Saints and just miss out on the top eight by over 1,000. Like the Power, the Crows have a segmented fan base and rely on their different generations of followers to boost their numbers.

8th - Sydney Swans

The Swans have significantly trumped their Harbourside counterparts and sit second for non-Victorian teams, just behind the Eagles in the top eight, with 662,900 followers. The Swans have been able to capitalize on the move that Lance 'Buddy' Franklin made to the Swans. When Buddy kicked his 1000th goal this season, the videos blew up all over TikTok and earnt them over 110,00 followers on the platform.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 29: Dom Sheed of the Eagles kicks a goal late in the final term during the 2018 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 29, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
7th - West Coast Eagles

The Eagles have most of the followers out west, and with no NRL competition to steal away fans, it's a win for the four-time premiers. Being the first Western Australian team inducted into the AFL, they won the hearts of an already cult following and have 672,700 followers. Dom Sheed's iconic goal in the 2018 grand final has seen clips edited and remade multiple times. The fan base has also grown with the recent rivalry with the Pies. If the Eagles were to push towards the top four, they would need to improve their TikTok following.

6th - Carlton Blues

The Baggers have a very loyal fan base. There has been heartbreak over many years, especially this year more than the last. The combined 692,700 followers will likely climb if they make it into a Finals series, and if a grand final appearance is on the horizon, this would see the Blues quickly climb into the top four.

 5th - Geelong Cats

The Cats have experienced success for a long time, and the 704,100 followers on these platforms get to experience this too. The winning culture has captured loyal fans, who have the second most followers on TikTok. The Cats may be able to win a few more followers if there is to be a premiership soon, but for now, they have the Cattery lovers who get them the views.

4th - Essendon Bombers

The Dons have not won a final in 18 years, yet the supporters are as loyal as they come. Their fan base is a huge jump from Geelong with a 770,300 followers combined. There is a young team coming through that is encouraging the more authentic side of content on these platforms. They aren't winning fans from winning games, so it is best for the fans to claim this top-four spot while they can.

3rd - Hawthorn Hawks

Pipping the Bombers by 5,000 followers, the Hawks have 775,300 fans over the four platforms, and are nowhere near moving up the ladder anytime soon. The three-peat back in 2013, 2014 and 2015 have kept the follower count high and hopes high. The Hawks haven't made finals since 2018. Fans will continue living in the past until their next September appearance.

2nd - Richmond Tigers

The Tigers have been the most successful team since 2017, with three premierships. The flag in 2017 brought a whole new fan base to the club, collectively totalling 802,600 followers. However, with the success, many AFL fans began to despise the Tigers. Though, as the success changes to a different club, their haters will come and go. For now, Richmond will be able to sit happily in second, as they are not catching the top anytime soon.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24: Collingwood players celebrate a goal by team mate Jamie Elliott to win the game during the round 19 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 24, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
1st - Collingwood Magpies

The most polarising team in the AFL at the moment. The most loved and the most hated. However, whichever side of the fence you sit on, you can't complain about the brand of footy they have been playing this year. The Pies form has boosted their following, yet, it is not the only reason they have a grand total of 881,600 followers across the platforms. They have some of the best personalities in the AFL, which is reflected by their number one following count on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

It is very easy to go viral on TikTok using the right trending sounds and engaging the audience quickly. It is interesting to see how the future of the club's social media managers can capture fans' hearts and go viral.

The next step for these clubs is ensuring they are getting the full value of their social media platforms and turning these followers into memberships.

Club Instagram Twitter Facebook TikTok Total
Collingwood 288,000 148,600 363,000 82,000 881,600
Richmond 287,000 109,000 289,000 117,600 802,600
Hawthorn 209,000 103,500 326,000 136,800 775,300
Essendon 230,000 140,000 345,000 55,300 770,300
Geelong 211,000 91,900 222,000 179,200 704,100
Carlton 237,000 122,700 278,000 55,000 692,700
West Coast 228,000 99,200 322,000 23,500 672,700
Sydney 173,000 104,200 275,000 110,700 662,900
Adelaide 158,000 157,000 281,000 65,700 661,700
St Kilda 130,000 86,700 170,000 183,100 569,800
Western Bulldogs 176,000 74,200 176,000 74,000 500,200
Fremantle 153,000 85,900 213,000 29,400 481,300
Port Adelaide 136,000 111,600 193,000 35,900 476,500
Brisbane 134,000 94,500 152,000 56,600 437,100
Melbourne 138,000 73,700 153,000 61,700 426,400
North Melbourne 115,000 75,100 150,000 51,700 391,800
GWS 98,800 60,500 108,000 33,000 300,300
Gold Coast 88,900 60,800 102,000 22,400 274,100

Data as of August 26, 2022