The World Cup Comes Alive with Social Media

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in ComLead

The World Cup Comes Alive with Social Media

Social media outlets revolved their platforms around the 2014 FIFA World Cup for more than one month, which proved beneficial during the record-breaking championship that had Facebook and Twitter users online by the millions. The World Cup was challenging for players, dramatic for fans and a great opportunity for Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat. A soccer score wasn’t the only thing making headlines the day after the championship.

            Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in the World Cup Final, but a more impressive number may be the 32.1 million tweets that were sent out during the game. Throughout the month-long event, about 672 million tweets were related to the World Cup.  Facebook data editors say there were one billion interactions related to the World Cup. Users were posting their thoughts about the games, the celebrity sightings, the massive crowds and even some serious weather conditions. The World Cup proved to be a social media marketer’s dream come true.
            Twitter set the stage of their site to be the global watch party for the World Cup. They added features for fans to find game scores right on their website, promoted hash tags for specific nations and their games, and even had a video that played from the homepage of the social network. The site asked fans to return to “keep up with the drama and excitement surrounding the beautiful game.” Twitter set the tone for a world-wide conversation and managed to have fans, players, coaches and the media join in.
            Facebook wasn’t out of the game for World Cup conversation. Facebook’s blog says 220 million users generated more than one billion interactions about the matches. Fans followed accounts for their favorite teams, and individual players. At least three players have more than one million “fans.” Much like Twitter, soccer fans from every corner of the world were signed in to talk about the games. Facebook even created a map based on users “check-in locations,” to show where players and ticket holders were traveling from.
            FIFA’s marketing team can certainly thank the social media giants for their promotion and accessibility to fans, new and old. Fans made the choice to find information about the matches on the platforms, however one newer social media app made a questionable move. Snapchat sent hundreds of “snaps,” to users without asking permission.
            Snapchat curated content throughout the games, and loaded the pictures and videos onto users accounts during the World Cup Final. While this move may have widened the audience following the jaw-dropping match, it was forced on users and welcomed some backlash. In fact, some unhappy snappers took to other social media outlets to vent about it.
Facebook and Twitter’s blogs both broke down the numbers behind their traffic during FIFA’s World Cup. Numbers that haven’t been released yet are whether the games brought new users to the social networks. So, there is still some news to come. In the mean time, whether you want to check out game highlights, or see players’ selfies taken with world leaders, you can probably find what you’re looking for by checking out #WorldCup2014.
Emily Felmet, MS Communication and Leadership Alumnus

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