Are event hashtags the “super over” of Cricket World Cup posts?
Much of the audience analysis for the Cricket World Cup has focused on the 8.3 million peak TV viewers for the final between England and New Zealand which went to a dramatic “super over” to decide the final winner. However, how did it play out for the tournament’s sponsors in terms of engaging a social media audience?
In particular, we were curious to see what the impact was of adding the tournament’s official #CWC19 hashtag to social media posts. So, for each of the 11 main sponsors, we compared their posts containing that hashtag for a 92-day period before and during the tournament, versus their posts that didn’t.
Of the 11, nine brands used the hashtag at least five times – led by official broadcaster Star Sports (2,370) and MoneyGram (674) – while two (Booking.com and Coca-Cola) managed a few between them.
Among the nine, the average uplift in post engagement when including #CWC19 was 70% – led by Uber (with a 294% uplift) Emirates (211%) and Chinese smartphone brand Oppo (200%).
Curiously, in contrast, Nissan’s engagement dropped from 0.33% to practically zero. It looks like this was down to a strange decision not to use the hashtag on Instagram – which usually has the highest engagement rate of all its social channels. For example, during our 92-day period, Nissan’s overall Instagram rate was 0.84%, compared to 0.066% on Twitter and less than 0.01% on Facebook.
Overall, MRF Tyres had the highest engagement rate using the hashtag (1.81%) followed by MoneyGram (1.19%).
Furthermore, the highest performing post in terms of engagement rate for four of these nine sponsors during the 92-day period contained the #CWC19 hashtag. Overall, MRF’s Instagram post celebrating Indian cricketer Virat Kohli becoming the fastest player to score 11,000 runs in one day international cricket, generated the highest engagement rate (158%) – the post included many Cricket World Cup related hashtags including #CWC19.
Although our analysis was focused purely on posts from the official sponsors themselves, it’s important not to forget the huge influence posts from players themselves can have. For example, a Tweet from former Indian star Virender Sehwag put Booking.com in front of his 19.4 million followers, generating 6.58k engagements.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 16, 2019
One aspect of the research highlighted a missed opportunity from the sponsors when it came to boosting their association with the event through the final – only six of the 11 sponsors used the #ENGvNZ or #NZvENG hashtags.
Oppo posted on Twitter using #ENGvNZ the day before the final, the post had an engagement rate of 7.58% – in contrast, their average engagement on Twitter during the analysed period was 1.50%.
Overall, unlike England’s extremely hard-fought victory it shows what an easy win it is for sponsors to boost engagement simply by including the official event hashtag.
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