Two-fifths of football fans use Instagram while watching matches

La Liga football soccerInstagram is the most popular platform for football content amongst fans, showing the content consumption habits of sports fans in this day and age.

According to research from Media Chain, part of the Social Chain Group, 41 per cent of fans login to the Facebook-owned platform while they are watching matches, while 64 per cent check the app for sports content at least once a day. Meanwhile, 58 per cent check Facebook for content at least once a day.

64 per cent of fans also prefer sports coverage on social media compared to traditional channels like TV, with 48 per cent watching sports content on YouTube more than TV, according to the survey of 1,600 sports fans from Media Chain’s social sports communities including SPORF, The Football Republic, and Full Time Devils.

Despite the preference for consuming content online, 57 per cent prefer watching goals immediately rather than waiting for broadcast quality coverage later.

The research also found that 28 per cent of fans watch Instagram stories before scrolling down the newsfeed, presenting an opportunity for brands to reach fans with immediate and relevant content. However, 35 per cent of fans feel brands don’t understand them, while about a quarter of fans feel that brands can be unauthentic and unentertaining on social media.

Moreover, millennial and gen Z fans are 61 per cent more likely to share negative opinions about a brand’s online activity. And young fans, below 24 years old, prioritise funny content over offers and discounts.

“The next-gen fan is complex and they want to be spoken to on their terms. The social landscape in football is diverse and every set of fans are different cross-platform,” said Richard Johnson, Media Chain’s head of sport. “To create a great marketing strategy in the sports space, brands must get out of their comfort zones and adapt to what fans are actually demanding from their social networks. The fundamentals of marketing remain the same. Brands simply need to understand that in order to take a truly social-first approach, they need to think fans first.”