What’s going up for the cup?

We’ve been listening online to find out what people are talking about when it comes to the oldest cup competition in the world.

If there’s one thing that this season’s FA Cup has confirmed it’s that you can never be sure what’s going to happen next.

We’ve already seen sides such as Newport, AFC Wimbledon and Millwall upset the odds and watched on as big hitters including Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs have left the competition early.

When the fifth round kicks-off on BT Sport later this month there will be more sides left in the competition from the Football League than from the Premier League.

There’s bound to be plenty more drama between now and the Cup Final on Saturday May 18 – in a game that you’ll be able to see live on BT Sport as part of the 30 FA Cup matches we are screening this year.

And to help you promote the big games between now and then we’ve been scouring social media to find out what fans talk about when it comes to the FA Cup.

Here’s what we’ve discovered.

Who’s your audience?

It won’t be the biggest shock this season to hear that men account for the lion’s share of football’s TV audience. Analysis by TGI indicates that the gender split is 67% male and 33% female. However, the age of those watching may be a bit more of an eyebrow-raiser, with men aged over 65 the most likely to watch football on the TV.

And when it comes to going out, 11% of all men will go to the pub to watch football at least once a week, compared to 2% of women. Nearly a third of men (28%) will find their way to the on-trade to watch some football every two to three months.

What platforms do they use?

Facebook remains the number one social media platform among football fans, according to TGI’s research. It is used by 86% of pub-going football fans at least once a week. This compares to 42% who use Twitter, 37% who use Instagram and the 31% who are regular Pinterest users.

Interestingly, Instagram gains more traction in the summer months, when everything looks a little bit more picture perfect. It is worth thinking about how that might impact on your own FA Cup strategy once the semi-finals and the final itself come around.”

When are they online?

The FA Cup gets mentioned on social media throughout the season, with notable peaks immediately before and during cup weekends. There are peaks in January, when the Premier League and Championship clubs join the competition for the third round, and in May ahead of the season’s showpiece.

The most popular times to post are on matchdays, with slots on Saturday between 10am to 11am and 3pm to 7pm generating the most posts. Fridays from noon to 10pm and 4pm and 7pm also see lots of activity.

This gives pubs and clubs a great insight into when they should be posting to entice new customers in or just to show what a great time those who are with you are already having.

What are they saying?

There’s a huge variety of topics being discussed online but key phrases such as #FACup #football #BTSport and the names of the teams competing will all help you to generate interest in your posts.

Customers also ask if pubs are showing the football while posts about pub’s that welcome away fans are also popular and could help you to tailor your own content.”

The cup also gets mentioned with other football competitions, such as the Champions League and the Premier League, so it does not necessarily have to be promoted in isolation.

There is also some seasonal change to consider. As the tournament reaches the latter stages more questions are asked about outdoor areas.

This means that if you are showing FA Cup football on a big screen in the garden then posts about this could prove to be a winner for you.

FA Cup Fifth Round Draw

 Live on BT Sport

QPR v Watford,  Friday Feb 15, 7.45pm

Brighton v Derby, Saturday Feb 16, 12.30pm

Newport County v Man City, Saturday Feb 16, 5.30pm

Bristol City v Wolves, Sunday Feb 17, 1pm

Remaining ties

AFC Wimbledon v Millwall, Saturday Feb 16, 3pm

Swansea v Brentford, Sunday Feb 17, 4pm (BBC Wales)

Doncaster v Crystal Palace, Sunday Feb 17, 4pm (BBC)

Chelsea v Man Utd, Monday Feb 18, 7.30pm (BBC)

Check our Fixtures and Promotion page to download social assets to help you promote games on your own digital channels.

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