Anybody that uses social media knows that the FIFA 2014 World Cup was a constant topic of conversation on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. For an entire month, the biggest tournament in the world was hot on the internet and established records for generations to come.
In this day and age, sports and social media come hand in hand; every major sporting event is a big deal on Twitter and Facebook, and the biggest football event of them all was no exception. For what seemed to be days on end (to the thrill of millions and the despair of thousands), the world was glued to television and computer screens, all watching their favorite World Cup team’s every move.
Events such as the shocking defeat of Brazil 7-1 — at the hands of the 2014 World Cup champions Germany — was the most tweeted event in the history of Twitter. The now historic match, which saw Brazil suffer the most humiliating and wide loss ever, generated 35 million tweets, peaking at 580,000 tweets per minute.
There are other impressive numbers related to the 2014 World Cup on Twitter. The social media site reports that 672 million users tweeted about the tournament during its one month run in Brazil. But Twitter recognized that an event that lasts 32-days cannot be put in the same category as, say, the Oscars,or the Super Bowl, which are unique events.
Among the most tweeted events surrounding the matches at the 2014 World Cup was the injury Brazilian striker Neymar suffered when Colombian defender Juan Zuniga rammed him in the back and ended his participation in the tournament. No doubt, one of the most disturbing, outrageous situations that took place during the 20th World Cup.
Lionel Messi was a popular topic of conversation and today — two days after losing the final to Germany — his name is still trending worldwide. Everyone had an opinion about Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who took a bite out of an Italian defender’s shoulder and was sent packing with a four month suspension from any football related activity.
The memes took a life of their own with the Suarez incident, making him the butt of jokes and comparing his habitual biting to a vampire.
A new member to the Vampire Diaries series where Luis Suarez biting Damon’s shoulder pic.twitter.com/UQGwKXZvHb
— ι̥ƨ̣̣̣̇̇̇̇ɑ̤̥̈̊ (@RaeesaDesai) July 6, 2014
On a positive note, American goalie, Tim Howard, became an instant social media sensation because of his record breaking match against Belgium, during which he stopped 16 shots. Hashtags and more memes ruled the day on Twitter following the heroic performance.
Could Tim Howard have saved Alejandro Sabella from falling? Of course! He even made it into the #SocialCup pic.twitter.com/On7RgbTooD
— Tamar – SEO & Social (@TamarUK) July 8, 2014
“Social media is extremely important during sporting events because it is how fans interact with one another,” Joe Martin, an analyst at Adobe Digital Index (ADI), said of the gravity behind social media today. “Marketers—both sponsors and non-sponsors—can capitalise on the fact that consumers naturally turn to social media during these types of events by meeting them there, with relevant, interesting, and helpful content.”
Over on Facebook, the 2014 World Cup was the most discussed event in the social media network’s history. According to the site, 350 million people participated in the conversation about the tournament, resulting in 3 billion interactions — defined as likes, comments, and posts.
All this translated favorably for football stars that use social media and have fan pages. For example, Facebook says that Neymar gained more than 15 million new likes since June 12, while lesser known players such as James Rodriguez and Tim Howard saw a 269 percent and 334 percent increase for their pages.
As far as the big 2014 World Cup final between Argentina and Germany, the match broke the record for the highest level of Facebook conversation for any single sporting event in history, with 88 million people generating 280 million interactions during the 120 minutes of the final, according to the International Business Times.
[Images via Twitter]