The Winner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is Social Media

Wed, Jul 7, 2010

Social Media Marketing

This year’s soccer World Cup has become the first major tournament where Social Media has changed the way fans experience a global sporting event. Traffic on Twitter and Facebook has literally exploded since the tournament began and has continued to grow as supporters use these platforms to voice their support (and their disappointment) in real time. Conversations on Social Media have meant that the distinction between the fans who are at the match and those that are watching it on TV has become less important.

So these games suddenly have many more direct spectators than just those in the stadium.

Social Media can make fans feel like they are part of the event even when they can’t be at the game, and the level of tweets and status updates during the current tournament have been greater than just about any other event on the planet – a new record of 3,283 tweets per second was set as Japan knocked Denmark out. On June 12th, 30% of all status updates on Facebook were related to the USA’s game against England, and after the USA got through to the knock-out stages, their qualification was responsible for over 80% of the hot topics on Twitter.

When the last World Cup took place, Twitter was just a fledgling with nowhere near the 105 million users they have now. And with the activity that these and the 500 million Facebook users are generating, advertisers are looking to make hay while the sun shines. Major sponsors of the tournament and other big brands are focusing more of their marketing efforts on these Social Media platforms during the World Cup, with brands like Nike and Adidas getting millions of views for their tournament related campaigns.

It seems part of the reason for this huge increase in Social Media activity during the World Cup has a lot to do with the global TV coverage. Despite previous worries that Social Media could actually be a threat to television, it seems that millions of fans are combining the two, watching the events as they happen and then immediately voicing their opinions on their favorite networking sites.

Figures show site traffic for some of main news websites on the first day of the World Cup peaked at nearly 50% more visitors per minute than when President Obama was elected, showing the link between the internet and TV might be a lot stronger than expected, particularly when it comes to major sporting events.

Fans can even integrate their viewing and networking with a variety of plugins that let them watch the game and see real time updates as they come in. And many of the major TV networks have integrated Facebook, Twitter, and other feeds into their sports programming as it becomes adopted by more and more fans.

It looks certain that whoever wins this year’s World Cup, the real winner is going to be Social Media and the goalposts will have moved forever. As more and more people are using Social Media to hold their conversations in real time, sites like Facebook and Twitter have changed the way fans will watch this tournament, and just about any major sporting event, in the future.

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This post was written by:

Jonatas Leonel - who has written 19 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.