A very Happy New Year to you and welcome to the Irish Sport Social Media Report for December 2017.
As might be expected over the festive period, it was a quieter month than normal for many Irish Sporting organisations in terms of the volume of content created.
Nevertheless, the Christmas and New Year period is a key time for engagement and unique year-end content, with sports audiences traditionally having more free time. Let’s delve into the report and see how the various bodies performed…
This month, we have added Sport for Business’ own social media channels to the report, bringing to 23 the number of Irish Sports bodies and organisations we are tracking each month.
The total Irish sport social following across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter is now 4.26m, up from 4.23m in November, representing a 0.71% increase. Cycling Ireland had the biggest growth for the period, with Facebook being the primary focus of their social efforts.
November was a month of real growth with the “Big Three” organisations (GAA, Ireland Rugby and the FAI) having hectic schedules due to active competitions. December was far quieter in terms of action and also content, with only 9 of our organisations increasing their output.
Basketball Ireland were again the most active on social media, although slightly down on previous months… understandable given the time of year.
The FAI produced almost 83% less content in December than the previous month, with Irish Rugby and the GAA down more than 50%.
Swim Ireland, Badminton Ireland, Athletics Ireland and Cricket Ireland were notable exceptions to the trend, increasing the volume of content.
The efforts of these more active organisations were rewarded by increased engagement as you can see in the following graphic, with Athletics Ireland and Swim Ireland more than doubling their engagement.
In December, our group of top Irish sporting bodies created an average of more than 3 Twitter posts each day, which again massively outstrips Facebook and Instagram. This is a recurring theme in our report, despite the far lower engagement rates on Twitter.
Instagram usage was down approximately 50% since November, from 0.49 to 0.25 posts per day, which is a bigger decrease than the other platforms experienced even when you allow for the lower social output across the board.
Perhaps this is reflective of the perceived extra effort creating Instagram posts, but as you can see by the 3% engagement rate, it is worth taking the time with the platform.
Gymnastics Ireland again have the most balanced social strategy, with 30% of their total content appearing on Insta, achieving 5.8k engagement.
The relative values of the platforms and the value of moving efforts away from Twitter can be seen in another example, that of Cricket Ireland.
The organisation engaged 21.8k in December, up by almost 30%. When you look at where they achieved the growth it was via Facebook, not Twitter.
In 210 Twitter posts, the organisation received 4.5k total engagement. Contrast that with Facebook where approximately one-quarter of the number of posts (53) won 17.3k engagement.
In December we had 6 Irish organisations achieving more than a million potential eyeballs on Twitter, with Cricket Ireland outperforming the “Big Three” as 2017 wound to a close.
Go Racing and the Olympic Council of Ireland also had big months on social media.
Key to Irish Cricket’s success was their mentions from some big accounts in December. As you can see in this graphic, four of the top ten mentions went to @IrelandCricket, including nine tags from the 7.44m strong ICC twitter account.
This report and insight was produced exclusively for Sport for Business by Sportego. They work with sporting organisations to gain insights into their social media presence and their data, get in touch if you would like to know more.