Marco Vettoretti - Head of Communications for the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) - shares how they recorded the largest growth on Facebook in #SportOnSocial League Table 2023.

Marco Vettoretti - Head of Communications for the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) - shares how they recorded the largest growth on Facebook in #SportOnSocial League Table 2023.

Are there any strategic decisions you made that you think were particularly key to your success in 2022 – moving up 5 places in the overall standings?

I wouldn’t call it a strategic decision, because it came as a natural consequence of the type of organisation that the IFSC wants to be, so here it is: athletes first, always and foremost.

Their faces, their performances, and most importantly, their stories are the most valuable assets we can rely on. In 2022, then, we tried to bring a larger group of climbers under the spotlight: not just the big names, not just the medal winners, but the ones with the stories no-one heard about, the first-timers and the ground-breakers.

Eventually, it turned out to be a win-win situation, because it gave us the chance to engage with a larger audience, and, at the same time, it offered our die-hard fans with a new perspective on the sport they have always loved.

You recorded the largest growth on Facebook across all IFs – moving up 22 places. Was this an area you specifically prioritised in 2022?

I believe it’s a bit late to break the news that Facebook is a video-centred platform, isn’t it? In this case, I will go against the tide and say an uncomfortable truth: most of the time, results are determined by a combination of luck and randomness.

Did we expect a growth on the platform? Yes, definitely.

Did we expect a growth of that size? Honestly, not really.

We had one specific video that went unexpectedly viral a few days after we published it, collecting almost 100 million views in the following weeks. I’m sure that has something to do with how much we have improved on Facebook. I would be either a liar or stupid if I didn’t acknowledge it.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we will not keep planning and strategizing our content, luck and randomness are things we have no control over, at all. In the long term, a good plan is always the one that brings the best results.

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

We came up with a formula a couple of years ago: for each platform we are on, we wrote down three percentages, representing how much we wanted to engage, entertain, and inform on that specific social media.

It’s not something we follow slavishly, but it’s a good guidance when we are in the planning phase. A reminder that we always publish with a purpose, not because we have to.

Does IFSC have any tactical changes lined up for its social media strategy moving forward to continue this growth?

We believe we are on the right track, so we don’t plan to have any big change in our tactics. The beginning of the qualification process to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 is THE big change in our season. Our debut at Tokyo 2020 had a long-lasting positive impact on the growth of our sport, and we are ready to ride that same wave around the upcoming Olympics. Of course, athletes will be at the top of our priorities, and we will be hunting for compelling, good stories to tell.

What was your most important learning from 2022?

Going back to our Facebook growth, the lesson we learned in 2022 is that there is no direct correlation between the size of the effort that is put in to content, and the size of its results.

Many times, it is the less curated, less planned, and less treated content that gathers the better insights.

And that doesn’t mean we have to stop putting efforts in our photos, videos and stuff; not at all. It is just the way it is.

The only thing we can do is save some space for the last-minute things, the unexpected, and keep thinking out of the box.

Check out the International Federation of Sport Climbing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

#SportOnSocial League Table 2023