Title: Like it or not? The differences between and success factors of sports providers' use of social networking sites

Authors: Joris Corthouts; Astrid Denys; Erik Thibaut; Jeroen Scheerder

Addresses: Policy in Sports and Physical Activity Research Group, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, Belgium ' Policy in Sports and Physical Activity Research Group, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, Belgium ' Policy in Sports and Physical Activity Research Group, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, Belgium ' Policy in Sports and Physical Activity Research Group, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, Belgium

Abstract: The current study seeks to analyse differences in the usage of social networking sites (SNSs) between different sports organisations in Flanders (Belgium), more particularly between sports federations (SFs), fitness centres (FCs), and local sports governing bodies (LSGBs). Second, this study aims to determine which factors make that Facebook posts of SFs, FCs, and LSGBs draw the attention of (potential) sports consumers, depicted by the number of 'likes' per post. For one month, an exploratory desk research on Facebook pages of 82 SFs, 154 LSGBs, and 118 FCs was conducted. The results demonstrate that: (a) significant differences exist in SNS usage between the three organisations; (b) posting atmosphere or feel-good content posts is, among others, beneficial for every sports providers' Facebook post. The results of the current study provide employees of sports organisations with information about how a successful SNS policy can be developed to gain attention of current and future sports participants.

Keywords: social networking sites; SNSs; social media; likes; post popularity; sports federations; local sports governing bodies; LSGBs; fitness centres; sport management; sport marketing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2019.097015

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2019 Vol.19 No.1/2, pp.56 - 79

Available online: 07 Dec 2018 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article