As long as Superman and Batman have been around – and that’s nearly 80 years – there have been countless arguments about which would win a battle. Superman fans cite their hero’s near-invincibility, while Batman supporters list the dark knight’s intellect as superior. And in fact, the pair have faced off before in comics and animated films, with differing results.

But Batman and Superman haven’t properly squared off on film -- until now. “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which was recently released in theaters, pits the two famous superheroes against each other. And while you can see the caped crusaders duke it out on big screens across the world, the movie theater isn’t the only battlefield for these two.

The way the two brands are being promoted says a lot about who the public favors, as well as how intellectual properties are marketed nowadays. When it comes to online presence, which superhero has the social media to back himself up?

Facebook page likes

Let’s first look at the number of likes each superhero has. The only official accounts for both or them are on Facebook, where Superman has earned himself 7.3 million likes on a verified page. But at 13.3 million likes, the Batman page has nearly twice the approval of Superman.

So, what gives? Looking at the content that both pages produce, there aren’t many differences in what Batman subscribers see compared to what Superman subscribers see. Both pages have been pushing “Dawn of Justice” lately, though Batman does have a related TV show on air now called Gotham, which may help bolster his online popularity.

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Or, could it be that the masses simply prefer Batman?

Social Media mentions

Of course, Facebook isn’t the only social media front on which the pair are competing. Another way to compare the social media presence between Supes and the Caped Crusader is to look at the numbers of mentions they’re getting on Twitter. According to a study performed by Sprout Social, a social media tracking service, Batman wins hands-down.

From the beginning of February to the release of the film in late March, Sprout found that there were about 4 million tweets about Superman or Batman. Of those tweets, about half mentioned Batman, while only a third mentioned Superman. Additionally, Batman had about 10,000 more mentions per day. All in all, more people are tweeting about Batman -- and they're doing it more often. So, it appears that Batman wins on the Twitter front, too.

The real battle: DC Vs. Marvel

In the end, it looks like Batman is the winner in terms of social media. But when it comes down to it, either result is likely to be good for comic publisher DC, who owns both the Superman and Batman properties.

While it seems that the public tends to go more for the nighttime antics of Batman, both Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent have benefited from their mutual fight, as there has been a huge social media push leading up to the release of the film. The social media strategies have seen mentions from (of course) DC, but also @wbpictures, the Twitter feed for Warner Bros. Pictures, which is producing the film, among other Twitter accounts with many followers.

The real battle for DC isn’t the fight between Batman and Superman; it’s their fight against longtime comic property Marvel, who has seen arguably greater success in the past decade with its dozens of properties across film and TV. While “Dawn of Justice” won’t win the war between the two comic giants, the film’s release did see DC temporarily come out on top with regard to social media. For a week at the end of January, “Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad,” another DC property, were trending at 500 percent stronger numbers than other comic book properties, according to a report from Variety and Listen First Media. So, no matter who wins in “Dawn of Justice,” DC is positioning the two heroes – who both have strong social media presence – to win the superhero fight.