The World Cup began yesterday, and you don’t need to be in Brazil to feel the excitement. For the first time in World Cup history, social media networks have transformed into a hub of country support, score updates, and conversations surrounding the largest soccer event in the world.
The 2014 World Cup has taken social media by storm, inviting partnerships with social networks and the matches to be married in one happy, worldwide family. Take Twitter for example – from the moment you login, the network asks you to show support for your team. Scroll through the options, pick your favorite team and be invited to change your header photo and profile image to a selection of pre-chosen images supporting your country. Once you’ve shown the Twitter community your support, the network provides you with the must-follow list for your team, including athletes, reporters and coaches. These users will provide you with first hand looks inside the stadium, in-match commentary and post-game reaction from the field.
But why stop there? Continue your social media support of the World Cup with a pre-drafted Tweet, and get their followers involved by asking them to choose a side and join in the conversation.
Back on the timeline, #WorldCup2014 is a prominent trending topic. This customized timeline shows more than just tweets, photos and video – you can see each team’s Twitter profile, as well as a scoreboard with game times stated in your time zone.
Twitter isn’t the only social media network screaming Viva Fútbol – Facebook has also gotten into the World Cup action with their own Trending Topic page, including similar scoreboards, team pages and a unique fan map, showing where the top World Cup athletes on Facebook and where their fans are located.
Pair these social media network take-overs with the large anticipation, and you have a record just waiting to be broken. Since June 2013, a year before the games were set to take place, there have been 19 million mentions of the “World Cup” on social media, overpassing both the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics. Even the United States, where we’re keen to calling it soccer instead of the worldwide term of fútbol, have generated 1.5 million mentions.
Social media savvy brands such as Nike, Beats by Dre, and Coca-Cola have all taken note of the buzz, creating viral videos, posts and more to put their stamp on the World Cup. FIFA sponsor Budweiser has shown an integrated approach with their advertising, transforming their social media timeline into a hub of World Cup excitement. They have even developed an application, “Paint the World,” inviting users to show their World Cup support by virtually painting their face and sharing the image on their timeline.
Whether you watch live, online or just casually follow along with what your friends and family say, I encourage you to look out for the ways social media enhances your World Cup experience.
Will you be watching the World Cup?