The BWF climbed to first on the annual #SportOnSocial league table ©Redtorch

Badminton World Federation (BWF) has risen to the number one ranked International Federation (IF) in sports marketing agency Redtorch’s #SportOnSocial league table after knocking off Volleyball World.

The sixth edition of the rankings assesses how IFs perform on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tiktok during 2021.

To gather the data, the agency analyses several metrics, including total fans, growth rate, engagements and views.

The BWF’s rise to first was catalysed by its exponential growth rate on Instagram where they received 633,000 new followers - an increase of 142 per cent.

A reason for the substantial climb is their tendency to exploiting the carousel feature through funny and cartoon-edited celebrations.

Badminton’s worldwide governing body remained second on the Twitter leaderboard with Volleyball World keeping top spot.

However, it enjoyed the highest growth rate of 65 per cent after they accumulated 104,200 new followers.

FIFA, who were third in the overall ranking, followed in second in growth rate for amassing 1.4 million new followers.

The BWF also climbed four places on YouTube’s rankings to second for rising their viewership by 30 per cent, from 1.6m to 2.1m.

FIFA grew their audience by 1.8m - a rise of 19 per cent - and Volleyball World gained 521,000 new subscribers, which is an increase of 54 per cent.

The BWF experienced substantial growth across Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook in 2021 ©Redtorch
The BWF experienced substantial growth across Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook in 2021 ©Redtorch

World Athletics, who were fourth in the overall ranking, was the best performing IF on Tiktok with 3.2m followers gathering 530m views.

Lloyd Green, the head of communications at BWF, told #SportonSocial that the organisation has been able to bring their "vision alive" during the last three years.

"The key to our success has been an improved relationship with the player group that has allowed us to connect fans closer to players than ever before, both on our Anglophone channels and on our Chinese platforms," he said.

"This has included a dedicated approach to improving the social media literacy of all players through our Star Creation Programme, in which we have delivered intensive tutoring to a small number of players who have then gone on to share this learning with their peers and teammates.

"While we have not had exhaustive resources to create a large-scale content team, we have been smart with our existing resources, and what we have been able to do is intensify the appetite of fans for more content by developing a consistent, accurate, reliable and entertaining content offering."

"Linked closely to this is an intimate knowledge of the exact types of content our fans enjoy, and how such content is consumed.

"We are now in a position of constantly increasing the value proposition for fans, so the sport and the players remain relevant.

"Our fan-first approach to engagement - in which we have explored a more informal voice, particularly on Instagram - has meant our storytelling has become more inclusive to more people."