New social media study shows striking swings in MotoGP’s popularity

The study, conducted by Epsilon Technologies and Far Consulting, tracks the impact of 30,000 social media posts made by riders in MotoGP and the teams from the beginning of January last year until 6 November, when the championship drew to a close in Valencia.

In total, the MotoGP spectrum generated more than 378 million impressions, 150 million of those thanks to the official accounts of the series.

The analysis, which focuses on a total of 128 profiles spread across the various platforms available, allows a very approximate x-ray of the footprint left by MotoGP on social networks.

In this sense, Epsilon and Far Consulting have crossed the data obtained with those obtained from the global survey conducted last year by MotoGP, Motorsport Network and Nilesen Sports, with a sample of more than 100,000 fans, in order to draw conclusions that are more faithful to reality.

And the reality, at least in the area that has focused this work, is crystal clear: Marc Marquez is the main MotoGP fuel on social media, with a huge difference compared to the rest of the grid.

This trend in favour of the rider with the best track record of those competing is logical and is maintained on the main platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok). And yet, over the course of last year’s calendar, he missed eight of the 21 events as a result of various injuries.

In terms of channels, the most popular tool is Instagram, which in those 11 months accounted for 82.3% of the total share of interactions, with more than 175 million. This section is worth a closer look because it brings to light some curious elements.

A very striking aspect is the brutal difference in the number of fans that separates Marquez from 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo, who has five times fewer followers than the Honda rider.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Rcing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Rcing

Photo by: Dorna

Even further behind is the retired Andrea Dovizioso — who the third most popular — and Maverick Vinales in fourth, while Francesco Bagnaia, the newly crowned world champion, is in seventh place.

Marquez holds 40% of the total share of interactions on Instagram, well above Quartararo’s 17%. An even more explanatory example of the Spaniard’s predominance on the photo app is summed up by the fact that the ten posts that generated the most activity belong to him.

Alex Marquez, his brother, also benefits from the pull of #93, if we take into account that he occupies the fourth place in the ranking of ‘movement’ on Instagram.

The younger Marquez brother has a certain trick, given that two of his posts with more engagement — above 200,000 interactions each — were made in tandem with Marc.

Apart from the above, this section is a great reflection of the fervour aroused by the series in Indonesia, the first market for Japanese factories, which are already used to present themselves in society there.

In fact, the content posted by Miguel Oliveira after winning in Mandalika brought the Portuguese rider almost one million interactions.

In line with this, it is also striking that eight of those 10 posts by Marc Marquez on Instagram were directly related to the Indonesian Grand Prix, with the crash that took him out of the race and caused the diplopia (double vision) that ruled him out of another race, in the lead with 1.6 million reactions.

Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: MotoGP

On Twitter it is the story and the debate aspect that explains why Aleix Espargaro, who has no qualms about giving his opinion whenever he is questioned, climbs to third place in the ranking, with 7% of the share, but far behind Marquez’s 38%, and 11 points behind Quartararo (18%).

If we focus on the teams, the study also allows us to identify the different strategies applied.

While some, such as Honda and Yamaha, rely mainly on the activity generated by their star riders (Marquez and Quartararo), others, such as Ducati and Aprilia, strive to make the most of their corporate profiles, maximising the showcase offered by the races and the successes they achieve in them.

In the case of Ducati, the Italian brand leads the ranking of interaction between MotoGP teams thanks to the great results achieved in the series and in World Superbikes, which are also echoed in the @DucatiCorse profile, as well as a strategy of publishing production models that allows it to project its image as a winning brand on the circuits and on the streets.

This and other topics will be discussed in a webinar presentation of the study that Epsilon Technologies and Far Consulting will hold on 16 February.

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