Irish Sport Social Media Report – April 2019

In April 2019, four new organisations were added to the monthly Sport for Business / Olytico social media analysis.

Volleyball Ireland, Cycling Ireland, Pentathlon Ireland and Lacrosse Ireland join 21 other members of Sport for Business, who combined to publish over 5,861 Social Media posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, This represents a decrease of 29% on March figures but they were 44% up on February, highlighting the at times cyclical nature of sporting calendars, as well as the Easter holidays.

The 5,861 posts generated over 800,000 engagements in the form of likes, shares, comments and retweets – a decrease of over 54% compared to 1.8 million in March.

Activity decreased across all three platforms from March levels, with content published on Twitter falling the most, 35% month on month.

This was followed by Instagram, with 24% fewer posts in April, and Facebook, where posts published decreased by 20%. Across all three platforms combined, there were 2,400 fewer posts published relative to March.

Despite Twitter seeing the biggest fall in activity, the platform remained the most active of the three social networks, with approximately two out of every three social media posts in April from the 25 organisations published on the network. However, both Facebook (+3% to 29%) and Instagram (+1% to 9%) increased their share of network activity.

Instagram continues to have the biggest impact in terms of engagement, with over 560,000 likes and comments generated – representing 69% of the total engagement across all three platforms (up marginally from 68% in March).

In April, Irish Rugby retained top spot on Facebook, but were overtaken by the GAA on Instagram, driven by posts around the Allianz League final. For the fifth month in a row, the FAI topped the engagement charts on Twitter with their birthday tweets for Irish team players and their #SupportSean content around the Sean Cox Fundraiser game at the Aviva Stadium.

In the infographics below, we have ranked each of the organisations across a range of metrics on each network, including the most active, the most engaged and the most engaging content.

It is important to note this analysis is based on publicly available data. It doesn’t include any analysis or insight on paid or promoted content.


April 2019 Highlights on Facebook

Irish Rugby retained their place as the most engaged with organisation on Facebook, with almost 300 likes, shares or comments on average per post in April.

They were followed by Cricket Ireland with 173 average engagements per post.

In March, the U-20’s Grand Slam winning performance against Wales was the most engaged with post from any of the organisations during the month.

In April, it was the GAA’s emotive “First Timer” video that took the place of most engaged post.

In addition to racking up over 230,000 views on Facebook, the video also generated 3,200 likes, 180 comments and 1,100 shares.

The video’s core message that the GAA – and in this case Camogie in particular – are inclusive sports, regardless of location, resonated with their followers.

The GAA continue to be the most active organisation on Facebook. Their 299 posts represented a decrease of 23% on March but it accounted for 17% of the total Facebook content published by the 25 organisations in February.

Cricket Ireland’s jump from fourth to second place in the April engagement rankings reflected the excitement around the upcoming ODI series. Of the organisation’s 64 posts, the most engaged content focussed on squad announcements, ticket availability and the sponsorship renewal from Turkish Airlines.

April 2019 Highlights on Instagram

For the second month in a row, the Top 5 organisations ranked by engagement on Instagram remained unchanged, although there was movement in terms of their order on the list.

In the wake of an exciting Allianz League final, the GAA overtook Irish Rugby for the most engaged spot in the month of April. The organisation capitalised on emotive video content from the final, highlights from the AIB GAA Player of the Year awards and the #GAABelong campaign to drive engagement.

Their 22 posts generated over 4,000 engagements on average, beating out their nearest rival, Irish Rugby, by over 200 engagements.

Despite dropping into second spot overall, the top post in April once again came from Irish Rugby, congratulating Rory Best on an incredible career in the wake of his professional rugby retirement announcement.

The post generated over 25,000 likes and 180 comments. Posts celebrating Ireland securing a place in the World Rugby 7’s series also drove strong engagement in April.

Ladies Gaelic Football shot up to the most active account on Instagram (from 5th in March), with over 70 posts in April.

Hockey Ireland, Paralympics Ireland, Triathlon Ireland and Special Olympics Ireland all saw notable increases in their Instagram activity in April, propelling them up the leaderboard.

April 2019 Highlights on Twitter

April 2019 was a month in which the FAI dominated the Irish sporting and political agenda. On Twitter, they retained top spot for engagement with over 150 likes and retweets on average per post.

Despite the controversy off the field, it was a video clip from the Aviva – originally taken by LFCTV – showing Seán Cox watching the Liverpool vs Ireland match on 12th April that generated the highest level of engagement on Twitter in April.

The tweet – containing only the hashtag #SupportSean – received 4,700 likes and was retweeted almost 470 times.

The GAA and Paralympics Ireland were new entrants to the top 5 most engaged Twitter accounts, coming in at 3rd and 4th respectively. The #GAABelong campaign resonated with fans, while Paralympics Ireland’s engagement was driven by the launch of the “Success Takes More” Strategic Plan and Nicole Turner’s bronze medal win at the British Para-Swimming International Meet.

Cricket Ireland held fast in 5th place.

The Top 8 most active organisations on Twitter remained the same month on month, with Ladies Gaelic Football remaining in top spot despite publishing 33% fewer tweets than in March. However, there was movement – most notably from Horse Racing Ireland who climbed from 4th to 2nd on the list.

The Irish Sport Social media Report will expand further next month to take in the four Irish Rugby provinces.  If you would like to be part of the Sport for Business community and be added to the list, email us today and let’s see what is possible.

If you would like more detailed analysis of your social media activity, contact


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