Irish Sport Social Media Report December 2018

In December 2018, the 21 organisations analysed as part of our monthly research, all members of Sport for Business, published over 4,200 Social Media posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a decrease of 28% on November.

The reduced activity in December also resulted in a drop in engagement. These 4,200 posts generated almost 450,000 engagements in the form of likes, shares, comments and retweets – a decrease of 80 per cent compared to the 2.2 million in November.

The network split remained relatively unchanged for the third month in a row. Twitter continues to be the most active platform, with over 67 per cent of all content published on the network, followed by 26% on Facebook and 8% on Instagram.

The 333 posts published on Instagram was a 38% decrease on November, but the network continued to have the biggest impact in terms of engagement, with over 265,000 likes and comments generated – representing 59 per cent of the total engagement across all three platforms.

In November, the success of the Irish rugby team dominated the most-engaging content rankings. In December, football took its place, with the draw for Euro 2020, and the subsequent fixture list announcements driving the highest engagement for the FAI. There was also a special birthday for an Irish legend which topped the engagement charts on Twitter.

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

December Highlights on Facebook

Over the past four months, the FAI and Irish Rugby have dominated the most engaging content rankings, and December was no different. The result of the draw for the Euro 2020 qualifiers was the most engaged with post of the month, with over 3,000 likes, 500 comments and 800 shares.

This was followed closely by the announcement of the fixture list, and both posts helped the FAI take the top spot in terms of average engagement per post in December.

For the fourth month in a row, the GAA remained the most active account, but in keeping with the rest of the organisations, the volume did decrease – their 200 posts were 138 fewer than October. Team Ireland Equestrian and Basketball Ireland swapped positions into 2nd and 3rd respectively.

However, the stand out performer in December was Hockey Ireland. Despite having the third lowest fan count (14,456) of the 21 organisations, their 11 posts generated 238 engagements on average – the third highest behind the FAI and Irish Rugby. Their best performing post was in celebration of winning both Team of the Year and Manager of the Year in the RTE Sport Awards.


December Highlights on Instagram

The FAI only posted six times on Instagram in December, but their content continues to drive significant engagement amongst their fans.

They reclaimed top spot in terms of average engagement per post, helped by the Euro 2020 draw announcement. Instagram is the best performing network for the FAI, especially when you consider their fan count on the network (123,000) compared to Facebook (300,000).

On average, their posts generated ten times more engagement on Instagram than on Facebook.

The GAA and Irish Rugby were second and third respectively in terms of engagement – with both organisations generating an average of over 4,000 engagements per post.

December Highlights on Twitter

Just like Irish Rugby in November, the FAI made it a clean sweep across the networks in December – but perhaps not for the content people might have expected.

A tweet wishing Paul McGrath happy birthday was the most engaged with content published on Twitter by any of the 21 organisations in December, with over 2,000 likes and 160 retweets.

The FAI also topped the engagement per post standings, with their 74 tweets generating on average 178 engagements.

Basketball Ireland remained the most active organisation on Twitter for the third month in a row. Ladies Gaelic Football continued their climb up the active leaderboard, occupying third spot behind Horse Racing Ireland.

Learning about Instagram

If you are a member of the Sport for Business community and would be interested in developing your team skills through a learning session about how to best use Instagram, email us today quoting ‘Instagram’ in the subject line.  It is one of the many events we are considering for 2019 and if there is sufficient interest we will make it happen.

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


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