The UFC’s top fighters are marketable by nature. They have fought their way to the top, earning the adulation of the growing mixed martial arts fan base along the way. This recognition generally leads to large social media followings. Fans want to know what’s going on in the lives of their favorite athletes, so they follow those athletes. Simple, right?

Not quite.

While popular fighters do tend have larger follower counts than your average Twitter or Instagram user, there’s one big differentiator between those who find marketing success with social media, and those who fall short: high-quality content. Simply put, athletes who share engaging content win. They earn more followers, who engage with more of their posts, ultimately making them more attractive— and more valuable— to brands and sponsors.

By sharing great content, the UFC’s stars stand to grow their personal brand, gain followers, and ultimately stand to earn more money from their social media presence. So, who is doing it right? We dove into the timelines of the UFC’s top fighters to learn how they engage their fans.

Conor McGregor

Twitter Followers: 1.25 million

Instagram Followers: 3.6 million

Who else? McGregor is unequivocally the UFC’s most popular fighter in 2016. Naturally, McGregor’s popularity expands far beyond the Octagon. He’s a force on social media, too.

By consistently sharing practice footage and images of his life out of the Octagon, he has cultivated a transparent relationship with his fans. McGregor is both arrogant and gracious; determined and hilarious. He allows every bit of his raucous personality shine through, making him the people’s champ in and out of the ring.

Thank you for all the kind messages! I am extremely grateful and proud to be in the position I am in. To the naked eye it was 13 seconds, but to my team and my family it has been a lifetime of work to get to that 13 seconds. Congratulations to the staff at the UFC on a historic week in the sports history and an amazing 2015 for the company. It is an honor to be playing a part in this great companies continued growth and success and an honor to top off a phenomenal week in the sports history. Thank you to all the fans who travelled and made this week what it was!! The traveling Irish are untouchable when it comes to creating the atmosphere needed to make a week like this what it was!! I am forever blown away by the support of my country. We have changed the game forever!!! Respect to a great champion in Jose Aldo. The true greats will always overcome adversity. I wish him and his loyal team well on their journey back. Much respect. Thank you all!!!

A photo posted by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

 

Anderson Silva

Twitter Followers: 7.47 million

Instagram Followers: 2.18 million

From the UFC’s current poster-boy in McGregor, to perhaps its greatest champion in Silva. Much like his appearances on camera, Silva sticks to his native Portuguese on social media. With almost ten million followers on Instagram and Twitter, his primary language has clearly had no negative impact on his content’s success.

Like McGregor, The Spider straddles the line between hilarity and inspiration. He shares high quality images and video, and frequently includes family, friends, and training partners. As his fighting career winds down, Silva should have no problem monetizing his impressive social presence.

 

Jon Jones

Twitter Followers: 1.17 million

Instagram Followers: 1.4 million

Despite being stripped of his UFC title due to legal issues, Jones has built a large and engaged social following. In the lead-up to his return to the UFC, Jones has been open and honest with his fans, providing an inside look at his training and mindset. He has given fans what appears to be genuine access to his personality, life, and journey to UFC 197. Of course, he throws in a little trash talk as well.

 

Miesha Tate

Twitter Followers: 458 thousand

Instagram Followers: 787 thousand

Tate takes the importance of authenticity to heart. Her Twitter and Instagram feeds feature a balance of personal and fight-focused content. While she’s not shy to share training images and fight promotions, she shares just as many posts featuring her fans and friends. And what Instagram feed would be complete without a picture of the user’s cats?