GW athletics Instagram racks up most social media interactions during pandemic

Media Credit: Photo Illustration by Sabrina Godin

In spite of its lower follower count compared to its other social media accounts, the athletic department's Instagram page has generated more interaction than those two platforms since the pandemic started.

The athletic department’s Instagram account has generated more interaction than any other platform since the pandemic hit D.C., according to a college athletics digital firm.

The college athletics site SkullSparks found that the athletic department’s Instagram account has generated the most user interactions among its Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts between March and October. The Instagram account racked up 13,980 interactions, which were measured in likes and comments, in the eight-month period.

Its Twitter account was a close No. 2 in terms of interactions, which were counted in likes and retweets, coming in at 11,050 interactions. The athletic department’s Facebook lagged behind at 4,626 interactions, which were calculated by tracking reactions, comments and shares.

The Colonials’ Instagram account has the smallest following with just less than 3,000 followers. The department’s Twitter account has more than double the number of followers with about 6,200. Nearly 12,000 people have liked and followed the department’s Facebook page.

During the months of the pandemic, the athletic department’s official social media accounts have generated almost 30,000 interactions across the three platforms, according to SkullSparks. Over the eight-month span, SkullSparks found that GW averaged about one photo a week on Instagram, more than 10 tweets per week and about six posts on Facebook per week.

The athletic department sponsored two variations of “Raise High Madness,” an interactive fan-led voting contest, on its social media accounts. The event first started in March, and fans were tasked with choosing the best moment of the 2019-20 season. Athletic department officials said the event notched about 900,000 impressions across its social media platforms.

The second iteration was launched in October and is still ongoing. Instead of sports moments from a specific year, fans can vote on the best GW sports moment of all time.

Men’s basketball’s Twitter account currently boasts the highest number of followers across the Colonials’ sport-specific Twitter accounts. The men’s team has amassed more than 10,700 followers.

An athletic department spokesperson did not return multiple requests for comment about the department’s social media management strategies or initiatives.

But in comparison with other Atlantic 10 schools, GW’s official social media account is trailing behind its conference foe. Dayton, Saint Louis, St. Bonaventure, Fordham and Rhode Island’s athletic departments have all cracked the top-30 in SkullSparks’ monthly social media interactions list during the pandemic at least once.

Dayton led the charge on SkullSparks’ social media interactions list at the beginning of the pandemic, notching about 31,000 interactions from Facebook and Instagram during the month of March. In April, the Flyers tallied about 30,000 interactions from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. About 18,000 of those interactions came from their Instagram account, which boasts more than 23,000 followers.

St. Bonaventure tabbed four top-15 finishes within the past four months, accumulating more than 88,000 interactions in the span from July through October. The Bonnies’ athletic department finished No. 3 three times in that span. St. Bonaventure’s athletic department social media accounts have tabbed more than 10,000 followers, 8,700 followers and 9,800 followers, respectively.

Saint Louis has ruled the rankings with two first place finishes and one second place finish within the last three months. Over the three month period, the Billikens have totaled more than 102,000 interactions across the three social media platforms. The Billikens tabbed nearly 10,000 Instagram followers, 14,000 Twitter followers and 17,000 Facebook likes and followers.

Among non-football schools, the Colonials cracked SkullSparks’ top-130 athletic department social media interactions list only once at No. 112 in August. The Colonials notched just more than 3,000 interactions that month.

Belle Long contributed reporting.

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