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Integrate a Social Media Strategy Into the Fan Funnel

Digital Audience Growth | How to Integrate a Social Media Strategy Into the Fan Funnel

Driving fan engagement and local participation is a continual challenge for International Federations (IF) and national governing bodies, especially during Olympic and Paralympic years. While striving for medal victories spotlights “lesser-known” sports every four years, it’s also an opportunity to attract newcomers to emerging disciplines, both domestically and internationally.

The digital revolution in sports, fueled by events like the London 2012 Olympics, has reshaped how IFs and sports organizations promote their competitions. Presenting sporting events online is crucial for expanding a sport’s reach and nurturing top athletes. Effective digital engagement is vital for meeting modern audiences’ expectations across various platforms.

As sports organizations adapt to this digital landscape, they face a critical juncture. While traditional methods like live events and TV coverage have long been relied upon for revenue, digital platforms now offer direct communication channels with fans. Social media platforms, in particular, provide avenues for engaging digital audiences, with many Olympic IFs exploring their own digital platforms.

However, despite diverse social media strategies, sports properties may struggle to convert fans into paying spectators without sufficient resources. The success of the “fan funnel” hinges on broad audience reach and the ability to capture first-party fan data. Achieving this requires a multifaceted digital inventory and a coherent integration strategy.


  • Define a diverse content matrix to cater to various audience preferences.
  • Tailor posts and frequencies based on user behaviors across different social media channels.
  • Diversify content series to maintain engagement outside of major events.
  • Highlight athlete journeys to resonate with fans and build connections.
  • Strategically leverage paid-media campaigns to drive audience growth and engagement.
  • Enhance search engine optimization (SEO) through social media channels to increase visibility.
  • Maximizing exposure for emerging sports during the Olympics, followed by a clear conversion strategy to attract fans to owned products, enables direct communication with fans, informs content production, and strengthens digital and social media strategies.


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