Irish Sport on Social Media – May 2018

Welcome to our Irish Sport Social Media Report for May 2018. In this report, published exclusively for Sport for Business, Sportego looks at how active Irish Sporting organisations were in the past month, the social platforms used and the engagement achieved.

The total Irish sport social following for our 25 sporting bodies across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest stands at 4.58m, an increase of 30k on last month’s totals.

Gymnastics Ireland had the biggest percentage growth in May, increasing their social following by 2.23 percent to 26,400. A very large proportion of those followers (62.3%) are on Facebook, something which is a familiar theme with organisations outside the “Big Four”, perhaps due to (previously) favourable content algorithms.

In terms of sheer numbers, Cricket Ireland are top of the pile, with over 13k more followers on board as they exit the month of May. Fantastic work by the Cricketers, and proof of how the sport is growing in national importance.

Cross-Channel Audience with Percentage Increase – End of May ‘18

Our two Gaelic organisations again top the rankings for activity in May, with the GAA creating 858 posts, split pretty evenly between Twitter and Facebook. The aforementioned Cricket Ireland had more than 3 times more posts in May than they managed in April, clearly a very busy period for the organisation, with the historic first test match played at Malahide.  Expect even more in June with the two home One Day Internationals against India.

Cross Channel Posts – End of May ‘18

The FAI achieved the most engagement in May, with a total of 277,000. Behind the footballers, come the IRFU and Cricket Ireland with 224,000 and 202,000 respectively.

While their large social followings obviously aid their engagement numbers each month, both the IRFU and the FAI utilise Instagram to ensure they are top of the engagement charts each month. Instagram provides 67.7 percent of the FAI’s engagement total, while for the rugby governing body that is a massive 80 percent.

Cross Channel Engagement Totals – End of May ‘18

Those numbers are particularly reliant on the relative size of each organisations social followings, so as always it is the engagement rate per post which we must turn our attention in order to truly assess the performance of our organisations.

Here we see that Gymnastics Ireland were extremely effective this past month, with 1.2% percent engagement. That success is richly deserved as they are an organisation which is working hard to improve their social media performance.

Cross Channel Engagement Totals – End of May ‘18

In April, Irish sporting bodies created a daily average of 7.7 posts per week, down slightly on last month. The split between the platforms was very similar to previous months, with Twitter enjoying 62 percent of the activity, Facebook 31 percent and Instagram 7 percent.

Regular readers of this report will know we regularly beat the drum for Instagram, but we make no apologies for that. In terms of getting the attention on social media, it is by far the most effective as you will see in the 2.2 percent engagement rate per post achieved on the platform.

Posts Per Day & Engagement Rates – May ‘18

In most of our analysis, we show the engagement rates as a summary of the social platforms, however in the following graphics, we have split them by platform so it is very easy to see volume and the level of relative success achieved on each of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

The target for each organisation would ideally be in the upper right quadrant of each graph, with engagements levels sustained even as volume increases. However, that is easier said than done as any social media manager will testify.

Posts Per Day & Engagement Rates – May ‘18

Just as there was in April, there were eight organisations who had over a million potential eyeballs on their content in May. Cricket Ireland dwarfed most of their peer organisations for reach in May, thanks to mentions from the ICC, SkySports, WX Laxman and ESPN Cricinfo.

Top Twitter Mentions of Organisations – May ‘18

Indeed, Cricket Ireland dominates our May mentioners listing, with only three FAI Ireland mentioners getting in the way of a clean sweep of our top 10 list.  It could have been even more but Mick Jagger used #Cricket rather than @IrelandCricket when he posted about dropping in on Malahide.

Top Mentioners – End of May ‘18

This report was produced exclusively for Sport for Business by Sportego. They work with sporting organisations to gain insights from their social media presence and also to optimise and benefit from their data. Check them out at or get in touch @WeAreSportego on Twitter.

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Image Credit: Dan Sheridan, Inpho Photography

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