Infographic: Engaging with Sports Fans on Social Media

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Engaging with fans on social media is a necessity for sports teams.

Finding those fans, though, can be tough.

Do you look on Twitter or Facebook? Are your fans going to be watching YouTube videos or do they prefer Instagram photos? How do they want their content delivered: a blog post, a sponsored tweet, or an email?

As well as where to find fans, sports teams also need to know when to engage their fans. Are they ready to be engaged every day or just game day? Do they use social networks during the game or only before and after? Is social media part of their daily routine or just a check-in that they make before the match gets underway?

Understanding how fans use social media is the first step to engaging with them, which is why the Catalyst Fan Engagement Study is such a useful annual poll of fans on social networks.

The Catalyst Fan Engagement Study

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Catalyst is a New York based marketing and communications firm with a specialization in sports, entertainment, and active lifestyle brands. The firm works with major brands including Under Armour, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dockers, and Subway, all of which focus on an active, sporting lifestyle as a key part of their marketing and positioning.

For the last five years Catalyst has surveyed fans of professional and college sports in the United States on their social media. The study involved interviews of more than 2,100 16-64 year olds who identified as fans of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football and college basketball. The insights gained from the study help Catalyst to better advise their clients and help their clients better understand why certain social media channels and strategies are more effective than others.

Key Take Aways from the 5th Annual Study

Among the most significant take aways from the most recent study are:

  • Facebook remains the most popular social media channel for following and discussing sports, with Instagram the least popular
  • The content that fans find most engaging is centered on pre- and post-game excitement, though sports bloopers are also popular
  • On game day Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social networks, with video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo less popular while the game is on
  • Certain social networks are more popular among fans of certain sports such as Vimeo for NBA fans and Pinterest for NCAA Football fans

Catalyst have produced the infographic below and more information – including detailed study results – is available from their website.

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