World Athletics' Head of Digital Media Laura Arcoleo explains how they became the top International Federation on Twitter in the #SportOnSocial League Table 2023.

A big congratulations for ranking #1 on Twitter in this year’s #SportOnSocial League Table. Did you specifically prioritise this platform in 2022?

Thank you, we are really proud of the results achieved in 2022 and happy to see that hard work and dedication still pays off. In all honesty, Twitter was not our number 1 priority for 2022 but remained a very important focus in our digital strategy. Internal data showed Twitter was our second-best performing platform with a 23% increase in followers.

Our World Athletics Championships were held in the United States for the first time ever and – as the US is top of our digital audience on Twitter, we did anticipate that numerous conversations would happen on this platform.

Do you treat Twitter differently to other platforms when planning/creating your content and, if so, how?

Yes absolutely! As the world governing body for athletics, we are expected to be the trusted source of information and our most direct communication path is Twitter.

We see the platform as the primary news outlet for our most important stakeholders: media professionals, athletes & officials, athletics fans.

In real terms, all our corporate communication will be shared on Twitter and in terms of event or competition related updates, Twitter will get chronological priority over all other social media platforms.

You also moved up from #4 to #3 overall. Do you think any of the decisions you made were particularly key to this?

We tend to work in four-year and two-year cycles mirroring the Olympic Games and our World Athletics Championships. Specifically in 2022, we invested a lot of effort into developing our YouTube channel and implementing a strict monitoring policy which helped us break the barrier of  1 million subscribers for an annual increase of 67%.

In addition to the YouTube-specific strategy, we enhanced our digital identity by hiring two full-time graphic designers which gave us greater flexibility to be responsive and creative.

Does World Athletics have any tactical changes lined up for its social media strategy moving forward?

Moving forward, we always want to give more to our fans. We want to be able to share more competition highlights, more behind the scenes, more personalities.

For our upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest, we are looking to produce a 360 degree experience – what happens on and off the track and field. Some of the greatest stars in our sport spend just seconds or minutes competing, so we want to share more behind the scenes and preparation for our fans to see what it takes to make a champion.

Budapest will mark the 40th anniversary of our World Championships and we want our fans to have the best experience of their lives! We will also focus on helping our athletes share more material with their fans across the major championships and the 1-day meeting circuit, and will also continue the important work we do to track, trace and report online abuse.

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#SportOnSocial League Table 2023