[New Research] What 82,209 Posts Tell Us About The Engagement On Facebook, Instagram, And Twitter For The Sports Apparel Brands


| Facebook Insights | Maria Ganta

You're probably wondering: "Why sports brands?"

According to Statistica, the sports industry is a large and profitable industry for several stakeholders – athletes, major sports leagues, apparel brands, sponsors, as well as major events brands.

In this study, we analyzed 82,209 posts across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter from a representative sample of international apparel brands in the sports industry by selecting top 30 brands. The data was analyzed by comparison between the years 2017-2018.

We wanted to determinate which platform generates higher engagement rates for this business vertical, how the engagement changed in 2018 versus the previous year, and how the sports brands tailored their content strategy for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

We define engagement as a measurable interaction on social media posts, including likes, comments, favorites, shares, and reactions. Engagement rate is calculated based on all these interactions divided by the total follower counts.

We used Socialinsider to find out the engagement rates, the frequency of posting, post types, and the social media benchmarks 2019 for this industry.

Want to know more?

Let's dive in!

Social media benchmarks 2019 for the sports industry


Social media benchmarks 2019 for the apparel brands


πŸ‘‰TL;DR

πŸ‘‰Objectives

  1. Find out which month has the highest engagement rate for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and what's the engagement rate in 2018 versus the previous year
  2. Posting frequency of the sports brands on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in 2018 versus 2017
  3. Post types distribution of the sports industry approaching Facebook vs. Instagram

πŸ‘‰Key takeaways


πŸ‘‰ TL;DR


Here’s the tl;dr version of this study. These are the four key takeaways you’ll find inside:

  1. Facebook: best month to start your campaigns on Facebook: April - July, and September - November.

  2. Instagram: concentrate your budget and campaigns for the second part of the year - starting with June - when the engagement rate for the apparel brands are increasing.

  3. Twitter: focus your Twitter campaigns more on May-August and starting from September to the end of the year.

  4. Have the same frequency of posting as you had in 2018, but post more videos both on Facebook and Instagram.

  5. The trend line for the engagement on Facebook continues to decrease, and the lowest month is December.


πŸ‘‰ Objectives


You should know that with the right data comes the great social media strategy. Looking at the correct numbers let's you figure out if you're on top or falling behind your competitors.

This report features a wide range of brands for the sports industry, and it focuses on the three most used social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The objectives included in this social media study are:

  1. To find out which month has the highest engagement rate for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and what's the average engagement rate for the sports brands on social media in 2018 versus the previous year
  2. Posting frequency for the sports brands on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in 2018 versus 2017
  3. Post types distribution for the sports industry approaching Facebook vs. Instagram

#1. Find out which month has the highest engagement rate for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


A. Facebook engagement rate 2019 for the sports industry

For the sports industry, the beginning of the year doesn't start with a boom in engagement on Facebook, and the trend line is decreasing.

Starting with February, some things change, but it doesn't equal the engagement rate of 2017. As we can see the engagement on Facebook is declining and the sports industry doesn't make any exception from this 'rule'.

The Christmas holidays on Facebook aren't a good fit for campaigns as you can see from the graph below. This trend is valid both for 2017 and 2018.

If you're managing social media for sports brands, you should start your Facebook campaigns on April, because as you may see from the graphic here the engagement is on the rise until the summer ends.

The end of the year - September to November - seems to also be a good time for some creative ideas.

Starting with December the engagement is visibly falling.

Engagement evolution/month on Facebook in 2017 vs. 2018

πŸ“Œ Actionable insights for brands:

  • If you're managing social media accounts for the apparel brands, when it comes to Facebook, concentrate your budget and campaigns starting with April until July, then in September to November.
  • In 2018, the average engagement rate per post was 1.04% while in 2017 it was 1.11%.

B. Instagram engagement rate 2019 for the sports industry

Maybe you are wondering how engaged is your audience and what you can do to keep them interested in your brand communication. You have to give them a reason to search for you, induce curiosity and create conversations.

Looking at the chart below, you can see that Instagram is the home for the engagement and the trend line is increasing.

Best months for campaigns: starting with June until the end of the year. The highest point on engagement happens in December, so don't miss out your Christmas campaigns.

Engagement evolution/month on Instagram in 2017 vs. 2018

πŸ“Œ Actionable insights for brands:

  • Christmas campaigns πŸŽ… should be your number one priority because as you can see from the chart December is a great month for this industry.
  • Plan your budget and campaigns starting with June until the end of the year.
  • In 2018, the average engagement rate per post on Instagram was 2.27% while in 2017, it was 1.91%.

C. Twitter engagement rate 2019 for the sports industry

Looking at the chart below, you can see that the peak in engagement on Twitter happens in July, and December almost reaches the same level of engagement.

This phrase may be significant for the sports brands if they are wondering when they should start their next campaigns. The summer months seem to be the right time for them.

Engagement evolution/month on Instagram in 2017 vs. 2018

πŸ“Œ Actionable insights for brands:

  • If you are in the sports industry, you should focus your Twitter campaigns more on May to August, and then starting from September to the end of the year.
  • In 2018, the average engagement rate on Twitter was 1.10%, while in 2017 it was 0.8%.

#2. Posting frequency of the sports brands on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in 2017 versus 2018


One of our objectives of this study was to find out what’s the frequency of posting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the sports brands.

To find this out, we calculated the average of posts per day in 2017 and 2018:

A. Posting frequency on Facebook for the apparel brands

  • In 2017, on Facebook, the sports brands post an average of 0.56 post/ day, while in 2018 the average of posts/day is 0.57.

B. Posting frequency on Instagram for the apparel brands

  • In 2017, on Instagram, the sports brands post an average of 0.71 posts per day, while in 2018 the average of posts/day is 0.73.

C. Posting frequency on Twitter for the apparel brands

  • In 2017, on Twitter, the sports brands post an average of 1.79 posts per day, while in 2018 the average of posts/day is 3.87.

As you can see from these numbers in 2018, the sports brands are posting more content on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. One small adjustment here - last year the apparel brands were the most active on Twitter than any other social media platform.

Total posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in 2017 vs. 2018

πŸ“ŒActionable insights for brands:

  • Sports brands need to continue focusing on engagement and conversation on Twitter.

#3. Post types distribution of the sports industry approaching Facebook versus Instagram

As you can see from the charts below, the sports brands tailor the content strategy to fit with platforms' changes. In 2018 the apparel brands posted more videos both on Facebook and Instagram.

A. Post types of distribution of the sports brands on Facebook


In 2017 the sports brands published 67.38% of photos and 19.64% of videos on Facebook, while in the last 12 months (2018) they published 74.50% of photos and 18.83% of videos on the same social media platform

Post types distribution of the sports brands on Facebook in 2017 vs. 2018

B. Post types of distribution of the sports brands on Instagram

As you can see the number of photo posts has fallen in the past two years from 76.18% in 2018 to 71.37% in 2018. The number of video posts has increased from 16.41% in 2017 to 17.42% in 2018.

Post types distribution of the sports brands on Instagram in 2017 vs. 2018

πŸ“Œ Actionable insights for brands:

  • If you are using Facebook to promote a sport brand, you should focus more on photos, because photos are the key to great engagement on this social media platform.

  • Opposite to Facebook, if you are using Instagram, you should focus more on videos because videos get better engagement here. You can try one-minute videos for the beginning.


πŸ‘‰ Key takeaways

Studying this industry with a total of 82,2019 posts across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, here's what we learned:

  1. Instagram is the new home for engagement for the apparel brands. Using features like shoppable tags and Instagram Stories, brands should concentrate their efforts on this platform in 2019.
  2. Twitter remains the leading platform for conversations where people retweet and engage with the brands' messages.
  3. Best months for Instagram campaigns: end of the year.
  4. Best months for Facebook campaigns: late spring, the beginning of summer.
  5. Best months for Twitter campaigns: summer.
  6. Post more videos on Instagram and use more photos on Facebook.

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Maria Ganta

Maria Ganta

I love to explore the world and learn new things. I like to consider myself an optimist, a social media addict and a storyteller with a lot of imagination.

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