Top Social Trends for U.S. Pro Sports 2017
In the first half of 2017, Instagram has been the biggest winner when it comes to generating social engagement for U.S. Professional Sports Leagues, capturing 61% of overall engagement with 2.2 billion actions while accounting for only 14% of total content throughout all social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). Despite the lack of growth in the number of posted content on Instagram compared to H1 2016, U.S.professional teams saw a 33% increase in engagement, highlighting the huge opportunity when it comes to engaging with sports fans.
Twitter was the go-to-platform for sports teams to interact and engage with their fans, generating 57% of total posted content across all platforms. Despite a 10% decrease in content, Twitter still saw a 21% increase in engagement, making it the second fastest growing platform for U.S. Sports.
A key shift this first half of 2017 was seen in YouTube posting: the sports industry increased their YouTube content by 63% compared to H1 2016, posting a total of 50,101 YouTube content that generated over 542 million views. Facebook maintains its influence in the Sports community, accounting for 18% of total engagement and 24% of total content on all platforms.
Which Sport League Leads the Race?
The first half of 2017 has been completely dominated by the NBA who recently ended their Championship games. They generated 46% of total social actions, 36.2% of total unique audiences and 24% of total posted content by U.S. sports leagues throughout Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The NBA also held the top performing post on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, which together generated more than 1.3 million social actions and 4.9 billion video views.
NFL takes the second spot, generating 23% of total engagement with 699 million actions on all platforms and producing the highest performing content on Twitter that generated 193,011 actions. MLB followed very closely but with half of their season still to go, we will continue to monitor this closely.expect to see a huge increase in their social performance.
Best Practice: Creating Content that is Mobile Optimized vs Shot for TV screens
Almost all the top performing U.S. Sport content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are of images or videos that have adapted the mobile optimized ratio(Using a Vertical Image). When compared to the previous year, 2016’s top content posts were still using the traditional widescreen format. With the increasing use of mobile phones to access social media platforms today, sports creators are quickly adapting to the style and format that best captures the consumers’ attention.
Written By: Ron Lee and Anna-Michelle Lavandier
Images: Herman Chen