World Aquatics' Digital Manager Luca Fasani explains how they became the top International Federation on Facebook in the #SportOnSocial League Table 2023.

Congratulations on retaining your #SportOnSocial Facebook crown. Did you specifically prioritise this platform when building your social media strategy?

We are very happy for this back-to-back success! Our Facebook fan base represents the biggest community among World Aquatics social media channels, with more than 1.5M followers, and we are proud to lead this ranking ahead of other global sport federations with a larger fan base. It means a lot to see how much our fans are engaged and express their love for aquatic sports every day. Our priority was indeed to keep up the engagement and eventually do better than last year, and we did it.

Facebook counts 2 billion active users every month and we can still grow in many regions and age groups. Still, Facebook is and will remain an important channel for World Aquatics, but we need to focus also on other platforms where bigger improvements can be done.

You also moved up from #10 to #7 in the overall standings. Have you changed anything in your strategy to achieve this?

Our digital content strategy reflects a wider modernisation process that World Aquatics undertook right before the Tokyo Games. After outstanding results during the Olympic year, in 2022 we wanted to consolidate our presence on Facebook, while growing faster on other channels such as Instagram and TikTok.

For the latter, we opened our official account only few months ago (May 2022) with an impressive growth of younger generation aquatic sports fans.

@worldaquatics 🥇2010🥇2012🥇2014🥇2016🥈2018🥉2021 🥇2022 #FINAMelbourne22 ♬ original sound - WorldAquatics

At the end of the year, you launched your new name and branding. How much did social media affect this decision-making process?

Social media is like a thermometer to understand the sentiment towards a brand and its reputation. Insights and deep analysis of our social media channels and community surely helped us throughout the rebranding process as well as the valuable support of our athletes, coaches, National Federations and all stakeholders involved.

The former name ‘FINA’ was reflecting only one sport (swimming) and one language (French). While our community is global and, in most cases, interested in more than one aquatic sport.

Moreover, the brand-new logo and fresh design fit great with our video content and graphics spread out on social media. The new brand was launched only a few months ago, but we have already received lots of positive feedback from our fans. Especially the 209 emblems we created for our National Federations were greatly appreciated and we see them being more and more used by our fans as profile images.

How does social media fit within World Aquatic’s wider marketing strategy?

Social media is a very important part of the new marketing strategy. The platforms rapidly became the main channels to promote our sports, events and, most importantly, our athletes.

Fans can access our Facebook or TikTok accounts to find out results from the World Aquatics Championships, enjoy watching a crazy dive reel, or receive some good hints to improve their swimming technique. No matter the reason, there are many opportunities to engage with our community that are also interesting from a marketing standpoint.

What tactical executions from 2022 are you most proud of?

Running the digital content operations internally, I am very proud of my team of editors and creators. No one can talk better about tactical executions and daily content production than the team, and I like to share what Jacopo Briatore, our digital content creator at World Aquatics, told me:

“I am very satisfied with the results achieved in 2022. The aim was to reach new audiences, be more engaging and create content that our fans would find fun, interesting and useful. Pursuing these objectives throughout the year, I believe we have tailored and delivered what our public wanted to see according to the period. In addition, we secured a presence on our channels of athletes, coaches and all of the aquatics family who create content daily. We are now closer to our followers and, hopefully, we have inspired someone to jump into a pool and start an aquatic sport.”

Check out World Aquatics on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok.

#SportOnSocial League Table 2023