I am planning on building a football (soccer) related website that focuses on football culture, the website will target a non-English speaking audience, as part of my research and study I found several English websites that focus on the same sector, one of them is the football version of Bleacher Report, and I noticed that they get massive social media engagement and impressions on their accounts, and I am wondering what is their digital and social media strategy focuses on, it's obvious that they produce a high quality and creative content, but how do they promote it in a way that achieves such a result?
The simple answer is consistency and engaging with their audience to build a community-like brand. To become "massive" you've got to add value and constantly be creating and curating content that your audience can identify with. It's a full time job. You're onto a good start with your research. Focus on the type of content they are putting out and how often they are doing so. I hope this answers your question. All the best with your project!