European Athletics significantly increased its presence and activity on its social media portals, helping engage a young tech-savvy audience with athletics and making it one of the leading continental sports federations in Europe in its utilisation of social media.
The success in developing the European Athletics presence and profile was particularly notable on Twitter with the @EuroAthletics feed more than doubling its number of followers during 2017.
More than 60,000 followers were added during 2017, with the important benchmark of 100,000 followers being reached on 19 October last year.
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March, April and May last year showed the biggest increases in followers, during and in the wake of the Belgrade 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships, with nearly 8000 followers added each month.
The impressive growth continued for the rest of the year, particularly during the summer months.
At the height of the outdoor season in July, which coincided with the Bydgoszcz 2017 European Athletics U23 Championships and then Grosseto 2017 European Athletics U20 Championships being held on successive weeks, more than four million impressions – which means that a tweet has been delivered to an individual Twitter account's timeline – were surpassed and there were over 103,000 profile visits that month.
It was not just Twitter where European Athletics made its presence felt in 2017.
By the end of last year, the European Athletics Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuropeanAthletics had almost 277,000 followers, an increase of 10.4 % over the previous year.
On current statistics, the European Athletics Facebook page is the third most followed dedicated athletics page in the world, behind only those of the global governing body, the IAAF, and former European Athlete of the Year Renaud Lavillenie’s personal page.
The various Facebook metrics all made impressive reading but one set of figures stood out about all other, the total reach of the page i.e. followers and non-followers looking at the page regardless of their route to it.
Total reach on the last day of the Belgrade 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships almost topped 2,000,000 and these figures were nearly matched during the Bydgoszcz 2017 European Athletics U23 Championships and the Grosseto 2017 European Athletics U20 Championships in July as well as during the IAAF World Championships London 2017 in August.
The average reach during 2017 was just over 226,000 people per day.
As of today, @EuroAthletics has 106,962 followers while the European Athletics Facebook page has 277,273 followers.
The European Athletics YouTube channel also shows clear there is an appetite for the video content published by European Athletics. Last year there were more than 320,000 views of the videos that have been made available.
On the European Athletics Instagram account, each photo and video garners an average of 1000 likes.