Football news site Goal has claimed the accolade of the most shared publisher on social media after outperforming the likes of the BBC, BuzzFeed, New York Times and Mail Online in a recent study.
The Perform Group-owned title’s coverage of the world’s most popular sport, in addition to its 19 languages and 37 local editions, helped it secure the top spot in the study which set out to determine which publisher generated the most shares across social media.
US-based digital marketing agency Fractl looked at the top one million articles shared across the major social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn - for the first six months of 2016 and found Goal outpunched the bigger names.
Using a methodology which determined a ‘share’ as a an action that generated a story in a fans’ newsfeed, such as reacting, commenting or sharing a story, Fractl was able to rank the publishers.
The results showed that Goal, which has around 52 million Facebook followers, was responsible for 249 million shares, edging out the BBC which yielded 248 million shares and BuzzFeed with 186 million shares. Of the one million shares analysed, 73,000 came from Goal with each story being shared on average just under 4,000 times.
Fractl’s brand relationship strategist, Ashley Carlisle, said credited Goal’s positioning at the top of the list to its content and distribution.
“Football is the world’s most popular sport and its stars, such as Ronaldo and Messi, are some of the biggest celebrities on the planet. This helps Goal to engage a global audience compared to rival publishers, such as BuzzFeed and CNN, whose fan base is concentrated in America. After all, only 17 per cent of Facebook’s daily active users are in the US or Canada. What makes this even more remarkable is Goal is purely focussed on football, rather than other publishers who could focus on Brexit, Trump or the refugee crisis.
Martyn Jones, global general manager at Goal, attributed some of the success to the range of emotions which football evokes from fans and the popularity of that kind of content on social media.
“Football lends itself to providing stories that generate a range of emotions and we know that the most popular kind of content on social media is emotive content,” said Jones.
He added: “Young, socially-inclined, mobile-dependent and brand-savvy consumers are demanding a new type of sports content - content that is delivered in easily consumable and engaging formats across multiple channels.”
The findings illustrate the global potential for sponsors and advertisers who stand to benefit from the growing global popularity of the sport in regions like Asia and North America.
The majority of Goal’s content was shared on Facebook and in an effort to capitalise on this the publisher is now launching a Facebook Messenger bot and using Instant Articles.