With Ireland hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the European U16 Basketball Championships, as well as the All Ireland Semi Finals; The FAI launching a new Republic of Ireland shirt and Ireland achieving world class performances overseas in badminton and swimming it was another busy month for Irish sport on social media.
And that’s aside altogether from Conor McGregor.
As always, in the Irish Sport Social Media report we publish in partnership with Sportego, we focus on how this success was reflected in a variety of ways on social media.
Before we look at engagement, amplification and mentions, however, let’s take a look at one which is often sought first in reviews over time, that of growth.
Basketball Ireland were the big winners in August as they grew their audience by a significant 5.48%, aided by the wonderful runners up performance of the under 18 team in the European Championships.
The growth was more than double that achieved by the GAA (2.73%) with Rowing Ireland (1.91%), Go Racing (1.77%) and Swim Ireland (1.76%) completing the top 5.
Basketball Ireland, boasting the highest engagement rate for a post in August, kept their audience up to date across all their channels with 1.16k posts in August with the GAA and Cricket Ireland both breaking the 900 mark.
Of the top three, there was a strong reliance on twitter with over 90% of Cricket Ireland’s posts tweets compared to 70% and 65% for Basketball Ireland and the GAA. Horse Sport Ireland produced the fourth most content with 515 posts, the focus here was Facebook with over 60% of posts.
Irish Sailing and Paralympic Ireland were among the lowest contributors on social with just over 20 pieces of social content produced in August.
A good measure of the impact of your social media is amplification. This is retweets and shares on various channels. The GAA led the way in August with 21.6k shares with the FAI, Irish Rugby, Basketball Ireland and Horse Sport Ireland completing the top 5.
While on the engagement front, the same quintet topped the charts in absolute terms although when the rate is broken down by audience size, Gymnastics Ireland and Rowing Ireland were the only ones to achieve engagement rates percentages greater than 1%.
Finally, casting our eye on to twitter mentions. The big four of Irish sport had over 124 million twitter eyeballs on them in August.
The power of One Direction was very much in evidence during the recent women’s rugby world cup with Niall Horan’s good luck message to the Irish team leading to 82,200 engagements, although with a 32 million plus audience, the engagement is understandable especially given the fanatical following of One Directioners.
Perhaps, an even more remarkable engagement total is the retirement message from Sean Cavanagh. The Tyrone legend bowed out with a ‘thanks for everything @OfficialGAA’ message, leading to a total engagement of 15,000, almost double his follow number.
Overall, the average number of posts per channel was 0.54 on Instagram, 2.76 on Facebook and 6.65 on Twitter, with photos (3.96) the top post type ahead of links (2.76) status updates (1.88) and video (1.29).
This report was produced by Sportego for Sport for Business. Learn more about their social and data analytics services at www.sportego.ie
The GAA, Basketball Ireland, Gymnastics Ireland, Swim Ireland and Sportego are among the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community.