Twitter Analysis in Sports Journalism

If you were walking down the street and you heard someone shout “GOOOOOOOAL!”, what would be the first thing you associate with that word? When most people hear that popular expression they probably think of announcers giving a play-by-play of a soccer match.

People also use keywords to identify content they want to see on social media based on identifying words. They are now accustomed to using hashtags to create identifying words and sort their content.

In the business world, companies are using hashtags to identify trends and gain insights. In particular, using keywords in a twitter analysis can provide important insight for businesses looking to find information about their brand. They can also find information on how it compares to other brands.

Twitter Analysis

Continuing with my soccer theme- let’s say I am working in the sports journalism field and want to compare soccer news shows on different networks. Sprout Social has a feature that performs a twitter analysis using keywords or hashtags.

I picked three different shows on three different networks to compare.The three specific shows I chose to compare were: ESPN FC on ESPN, Fox Soccer Report on Fox, and Premiere League Live on NBC Sports Network (which still qualifies as soccer news, even though it focuses on the Premiere league.) I compared trends from last month, August 2020.

To add some perspective, I also incorporated the general categories of “soccer” and, even broader, “sports” to see how the larger topics are being talked about.

Below is a general graph of my findings.

Graph of Twitter Analysis provided by Sprout Social

Key Insights- Soccer Shows Comparison

When performing a keyword twitter analysis, I found that ESPN FC had higher counts than either Fox Soccer Report or Premiere League Live. Both Fox Soccer Report and Premiere League Live had no hits when I performed a keyword search for last month.

While “espnfc” had a higher and lower dip of keyword hits, the show leveled with the general word “soccer.”

Key Insights- Soccer Compared to Sports

In doing a general keyword search, “sports” was consistently talked about more than “soccer”.

An interesting find was when I adjusted my keywords to hashtags, I noticed a significant peak when the hashtag #soccer was tweeted more than the #sports hashtag. Upon further research, I found that August 22nd, 2020 marked the restart of the MLS season amid a break during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another interesting finding in the hashtag keyword search was that the hashtag #sports plummeted, receiving no hits on August 31st. The hashtag #soccer had significantly more tweets at 2,744 hits. I am unsure what caused this.

The graphic below also provides interesting insight on how the term “soccer” correlates to the rest of sports making 14% of the share. The trend indicates that in the last month “soccer” has trended down and “sports” has trended up. This could simply relate to many sports returning after a pause due to COVID-19. ESPN FC also makes up half as much of the volume of soccer keywords.

Conclusions

While conducting a twitter analysis, I was able to find that ESPN FC seems to be the most talked about show on Twitter, as compared to Premiere League Live and the FOX Sports Report.

When looking at the statistics below, I found that ESPN FC experienced overall 14.9% growth. I can assume that as soccer returned, more people were pursuing soccer content and perhaps watching more soccer content. While soccer is trending under .2%, I can assume that was because there were no games being played during much of the month of August.

Generally, while the term “sports” trends higher than “soccer”, soccer still remains fairly consistent through the month. With knowledge of soccer returning on August 22nd, it was an important date to identify as it was a popular day for keyword and hashtag searches.

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