Irish Sport Social Media Report – January 2019

In January 2019, the 21 organisations analysed as part of the monthly Sport for Business / Olytico analysis, all members of Sport for Business, published over 5,100 Social Media posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, an increase of 21% on the quieter month of December.

The increased activity also resulted in an increase in engagement. The 5,100 posts generated over 715,000 engagements in the form of likes, shares, comments and retweets – an increase of 59% compared to 450,000 in December.

The network split remained consistent for the fourth month in a row. Twitter continues to be the most active platform, with over 66% of all content published on the network, followed by 28% on Facebook and 6% on Instagram.

While the volume of content on Facebook and Twitter increased, the 314 posts published on Instagram was a 6% decrease on December. Despite this drop, the network continues to have the biggest impact in terms of engagement, with over 470,000 likes and comments generated – representing 66% of the total engagement across all three platforms.

In December, the FAI dominated the most-engaging content rankings across all three networks.

In January, as excitement built for the opening weekend of the Guinness Six Nations, Irish Rugby was back to the fore on Facebook; the GAA claimed top-spot on Instagram; and for the second month in a row, the FAI topped the engagement charts on Twitter with a happy birthday tweet to an Ireland International.

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.

January Highlights


For the fifth month in a row, Irish Rugby and the FAI led the way in terms of the most engaging content on Facebook.

Although much of Irish Rugby’s content was looking forward to the 2019 Guinness Six Nations, it was a nostalgic post – a video of the 41 phases that led to Jonathan Sexton’s drop goal in Paris in 2018 – that performed best.

The video was viewed 485,000 times, and generated over 7,600 likes, 1,000 comments and 3,000 shares.

The GAA continue to be the most active organisation on Facebook, with their 286 posts representing 20% of the total Facebook content published by the 21 organisations in January.

Basketball Ireland almost doubled their activity on Facebook month on month to move back into second spot.

The most eye-catching move in the rankings was from the Golfing Union of Ireland, who moved into third in the Average Engagement Per Post table.

In December, they averaged 69 engagements per post. In January this jumped over 170% to 189 engagements per post. The increase was driven by the announcement of the establishment of Golf Ireland.


The GAA claimed top spot on Instagram in January, despite only posting 13 times during the month.

The highlight was an incredible piece of skill from Tipperary’s Ronan Maher. The video of his sideline against Limerick in the 2018 Allianz Leagues generated over 11,600 likes and 154 comments.

Irish Rugby maintained second position, and were far more active, with 36 posts in January. They produced the single-most engaged with post of the month, the team announcement ahead of the opening Guinness Six Nations match against England in the Aviva Stadium.

For the second month running, Basketball Ireland were the most active organisation on Instagram, with 62 posts across the month.

Ladies Gaelic Football continued to increase their activity, moving into second spot ahead of Irish rugby.


The FAI enjoyed an unrivalled level of engagement on Twitter in January. Their 272 engagements per post average was more than double that of their nearest challenger, Irish Rugby.

In December, the FAI tweet wishing Paul McGrath a happy birthday was the most engaged piece of content. In January, it was another birthday tweet – this time for Declan Rice on the 14th of the month – that topped the charts, with an incredible 11,300 likes and over 1,800 retweets.

For the fourth month in a row, Basketball Ireland were the most active organisation on Twitter. Their 1,176 tweets accounted for over a third of the total Twitter content published by the 21 organisations in January.

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