We caught up with Chris Wells, World Archery's Head of Communications, to find out how they became the second biggest riser in the #SportOnSocial League Table

Chris Wells, Head of Communications, World Archery

World Archery climbed 19 places on Twitter in this year’s League Table. Have you changed anything in your strategy to achieve this success?

We developed more bespoke graphics for the platform but this wasn’t only for Twitter. There was just a lot of unrealised potential and the platform’s demographics actually track well with archery’s audience demographics.

What tactics did you utilise to drive growth and engagement during the Olympics?

We built a campaign that started a month or so before the Games, collecting content that could be used to create an ecosystem in the lead-up, during and after the Olympics, with a particular focus on video. It’s the first time we’ve really successfully leveraged archive – and it’s the perfect time to do it when you have little video availability during the event itself. It was all based around three key pillars: explaining what was happening, hearing from athletes, and giving a comprehensive and visual guide to the key news from the Games.

For the first time, we didn’t really view the lack of video as a hinderance – more an opportunity to get creative and focus on what will help people enjoy the Olympics. I even got my old film camera out for the first time in a few years, took advantage of the fast development services in Japan, and posted some snaps from that on social. I’m not a good photographer but they performed alright.

Were there learnings from your strategy during the first 3 stages of the Archery World Cup or Olympics that you took into the World Cup Final?

During the World Cup, we experimented with a bunch of different video formats using archive – and assessing the impact in retention in the analytics on each platform. It gave us a real understanding of what worked and why, enabling us to take advantage of the general spike in interest during the Olympics.

Three of World Archery’s top 5 tweets during the World Cup featured Indian athletes. Have you adapted your social media strategy to target specific audiences that are more engaged with the sport?

This is not a new thing. Across all forms of media, we target key markets that are ready for growth. We also target more explanatory or general content to markets that have little archery activity. The goal is to develop worldwide, obviously, but not every territory is at the same stage – and that must be taken into account. India is key for us, not just because of the population but because of the talented athletes and the growing participation community.

You also performed really well on Facebook, finishing #2 overall. What’s the key to your success on the platform? 

Targeting and analytics! Understanding what and why things work – and for which audiences – and being able to replicate those. We’ve developed some video formats that worked really well this past year. They probably won’t work as well in 2022, but we’ll continue tinkering to ensure we’re still engaging people – because that‘s ultimately what drives the statistics. 

What tactical executions from 2021 are you particularly proud of? 

The statistics we achieved during the Olympics were incredible – but it’s also something we could never control. The only thing we can control is how prepared we are to take advantage of the spike in public interest in sport during major events like this. The plan we had worked – though on reflection, there are still obvious and huge holes. Archery hasn’t suddenly become the most popular sport on the planet, nobody’s under that illusion. But if we’re always able to take advantage of global, regional or national spikes in interest, we’re going to continually put the sport in the public eye. That’s the real success story for us.

Download the #SportOnSocial League Table 2022