With the Liberty Media arrival in 2017, the regulations for drivers regarding social media were amended, and Formula 1 took a step towards online progress, which resulted in an immediate spike in popularity. And for three years, Formula 1 has been the most developing sport in social media. In the last year alone, the number of subscribers to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts associated with Formula 1 was roughly 25 million, which is 33% more than in the previous year. These numbers are not that surprising, considering that the pinnacle of motorsport is popular even in with audiences that were previously difficult to win over, like India or the USA. But what are the current global social media trends of Formula 1?
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Live broadcasts & streams
In 2017, according to the new rules, drivers were finally allowed to go live. Certainly, there are restrictions due to the interests of big TV companies. Previously, only those companies could interview the drivers, but now any Formula 1 racer can go live and communicate with fans. During the forced break of COVID-19, many drivers actively streamed on platforms like Twitch and interacted with their fan base and among themselves. Thanks to that, most have grown their target audiences tremendously. Today, some drivers are involved in live broadcasts with known sports journalists, talking about their exciting preparation for the races, even opening up about the plans for car development, and answering a plethora of personal questions, of course. Live broadcasts are literally gaining millions of views because they create the effect of live interaction, and for fans, this is extremely important, especially now, when there’s no opportunity to come to the race and support your favourite driver in person.
The larger the fan base, the more attractive the sport is for sponsors, therefore every Formula 1 professional can play their part in this.
Formula 1 has its own podcast on YouTube since 2018, and now on Spotify from July 2020 – F1 Paddock Pass, hosted by Will Buxton, who shares the latest paddock news with fans, and talks with drivers, team leaders, and motorsport legends in exclusive episodes. In 2019, 43 episodes were released, which turned out to be very successful, acquiring an audience of 15 million!
Almost all Formula 1 teams regularly host challenges for their drivers, shoot a series of videos, and then post them on official channels. Such videos are also quite popular among fans because this is another way to have fun, cheer for your favourite racer in a battle with his teammate, and also learn something new about them.
Video content in various variations, be it short videos like stories or long videos in YouTube format, are rapidly replacing photos. Teams and drivers are already actively following this trend, making various clippings with interesting moments from the race, during overtaking or radio chats. Professionals are not at all afraid to make fun of themselves, come up with various memes and share interesting, comedic content that subscribers love so much. Finally, Formula 1 is starting to gradually master the most popular social network – TikTok. Without a doubt, Formula 1 will continue to be the leader in the growth of social media channels, attracting more and more new fans worldwide. We all know that the larger the fan base, the more attractive the sport is for sponsors, therefore every Formula 1 professional can play their part in this.