Sportsman Channel’s Social Media Growth Soars

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Engagement Rates Surge 300%; Reach Exceeds 3.6 Million for July; Network Surpasses 200k Facebook Likes Milestone

Sportsman Channel, the leader in outdoor TV for the American Sportsman, announced today that its Facebook engagement rates are up 300% and its users grew by almost 200% since January. Additionally, the network reached more than 3.6 million on Facebook in July alone. The impressive engagement and growth statistics comes as the network surpassed the 200k mark on Facebook this week. Executives estimate they’ll have more than 250k Facebook users by end of year.

The impressive figures are a result of a strategic, multiplatform social approach that puts a focus on quality content, real-time response and engagement across numerous networks including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. The strong results have allowed the network to excel in other areas from TV ratings to sponsorships to promotions. Additionally, executives cite their Q3 programming lineup and “Made in America” campaign—their largest and best-to-date—as other reasons for growth.

Recent data from social media management company, Vitrue, showed that Facebook engagement rates go up for brands that use multiple social platforms. Sportsman Channel’s digital team manages multiple social networks around the clock, curates quality content, develops unique promotions, and works closely with the network’s talent to maximize reach and engagement. Additionally, the network leverages the social resources of sister company IMO, the largest outdoor media company, and its leading properties like Guns & Ammo, In-Fisherman and Petersen’s Hunting.

“Facebook is our primary social hub, where we see the most engagement and fans, but we realized our viewers are on numerous platforms,” said Gavin Harvey, CEO of Sportsman Channel. “We have put a focus on building out engaging communities across several key social platforms and that strategy has resulted in not only more social users but – more importantly – increasingly higher engagement rates on Facebook in terms of more users interacting, commenting and sharing our content. That is where the value lies.”

“We understand the long-term benefits of having incredibly vibrant social communities and creating brand ambassadors for Sportsman Channel,” added Harvey. “We weave social into everything we do whether driving awareness for programming and ratings or providing value-add for advertisers. And our partners and ratings are benefitting.”

According to Simmons research, 62% of Sportsmen are social media users. Of that percentage, 41% have visited Facebook in the last 7 days. Additionally, reflecting the rise of mobile usage, Sportsmen are 30% more likely than the average adult to have a hand-held smart device.

“Most people don’t realize that sportsmen and women are heavy technology users,” said Harvey. “Sportsmen are very active on social networks and we’ve put a focus on growing our social communities to facilitate engaging and valuable relationships with our fans. And as mobile usage grows, led by the proliferation of smartphones, I believe we’ll see increased social usage and engagement as consumers will be always connected while on-the-go.”

Below are a few Sportsman Channel social media statistics:

  •     Facebook growth: EOY 2010 (20k); EOY 2011 (106k); today (200k+)
  •     During July, Sportsman Channel reached more than 3.6 million users through Facebook.
  •     On average, each post reached roughly 50,012 people (avg. 38,660 organic, 11,984 viral)
  •     Most viral post reached over 274,000 with nearly 200,000 of them spread virally
  •     YouTube: Nearly 1.5 million video views on videos updated daily.

About Sportsman Channel: Launched in 2003, Sportsman Channel, along with Sportsman HD, is a television and digital media company fully devoted to the more than 82 million sportsmen in the United States, delivering entertaining and educational programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing activities. Sportsman Channel reaches more than 31 million U.S. television households and is available in HD ( Visit or follow on Twitter, @SPORTSMANchnl.

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Ryan Nolan
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