FIFA World Cup Brazil Logo

The Most Social World Cup

Unless you’ve been in serious ‘hiding mode’, you MUST have heard about the FIFA World Cup 2014 happening in Brazil right now. Whether it’s through your Facebook Timeline, or seeing flags from all over the world on your daily commute, there’s no doubt that the World Cup is a big deal to a lot of people.

This highly anticipated sporting event has been predicted to be one of the most social in history. How social will this World Cup be exactly?

  • By early March 2014, there were already more tweets about this upcoming World Cup in Brazil than during the entire 2010 World Cup in South Africa (The Guardian).
  • Nearly 40% of Facebook’s 1.28 billion users are fans of soccer, and that doesn’t even include fans of individual teams and players’ Facebook pages (CTV News).
  • The World Cup in 2010 saw just 20% of marketing spend on digital, a stat which will see a giant hike in 2014. This year, “it’s not about a need to do ‘the big TV ad’, as mentioned by Tom Ramsden – Global Brand Marketing Director for Adidas Football (Social Media Frontiers).

We’re in a digital age where contact with our favourite soccer star is just a tweet away. Even the toughest of men would likely shriek at a reply from Messi! Brands are embracing all of this and revelling in it, particularly the World Cup 2014 sponsors and stakeholders.

Take a look at this Infograph in Media Bistro to get a better grasp of the stats that will make Brazil 2014 stunningly social.

FIFA World Cup 2014 Infograph

How Social Media Platforms Are Responding

Official Sponsors for the World Cup, such as Visa and McDonald’s, have to be quite prepared to post and respond in real time throughout the event. Imagine being a Community Manager at FIFA? It’ll be a busy month! As for social media platforms themselves, they’ve been ramping up for a plague of extra traffic and creating opportunities to further enable their users to engage on an unprecedented level.

Facebook has created “Trending World Cup” which is a single page where fans can stay up to date to the latest and most important World Cup related news; such as game scores and highlights. Using the hashtag #WorldCup, users can interact on the page, with friends and with the World on Facebook. A really fun feature is the interactive map, seen below, which will display where the top players’ fans are located around the world. Users can also share with their friends the matches they’re watching in their status updates; by clicking the smiley icon and selecting “watching”. You can experience all this at https://www.facebook.com/worldcup

Trending World Cup Interactive Map
Image Source: http://allfacebook.com/trending-world-cup_b132337

Twitter’s expected to be the preferred social media platform of this World Cup and have done something super fun too. They’ve introduced flag emoticons that you can add to your tweets by tweeting their individual hashtags. The Bleacher Report UK tweeted them all as an example:

Twitter Flag Hashtags

Twitter users that sign-in to the site during the World Cup will be invited to pick their favourite team and choose from supporting profile pictures and header photos; and receive a list of recommended profiles to follow related to their team. World Cup Timelines will also be available to keep up with the latest news and highlights. The official hashtags are #WorldCup or #WorldCup2014. Find out more at https://blog.twitter.com/2014/gearing-up-for-all-things-worldcup

TV Commercial Are No Longer THE Way

This World Cup will prove that it is no longer about the hottest TV commercial spot, but rather how many YouTube views, clicks and shares the brand’s video will get. Longer, 3-5 minute videos on YouTube allow brands to tell a story, rather than simply showcase their product on the 20-30 second spot. With Twitter soccer stars like Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano), who has 26.7 million followers, or Neymar Junior (@NeymarJr) with 10.8 million followers, how could brands not want their content retweeted for maximum targeted exposure? This is exactly how “The Dream: All or Nothing” video by Adidas reached 33.5 million views, or “The Last Game” by Nike Football which gained 21.5 million views. Below are the top 4 brand videos, dedicated to the World Cup, which feature the top soccer players of today that have gone viral in the recent weeks:

The Game Before The Game Beats by Dre

The Dream: All or Nothing Adidas Football

Gol! Fifa World Cup – Brasil 2014 McDonalds

The Last Game Nike Football

This is THE year for social media and brand engagement when it comes to the World Cup. Already, your Facebook Newsfeed and Twitter Timeline is probably filled with users cheering on their favourite teams and sharing where they will be watching the games. Are you getting in on the World Cup action this year, and if so, we’ve got to ask: which team’s flag will you be tweeting?

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