The World Cup Breaks Social Media Records

By Dawn Mead

I Believe That We Will Win was chanted across the country on Tuesday when the United States played Belgium in the World Cup. #USAvsBEL and #IBelieve hashtags were trending across all social media platforms while the game streamed live on millions of desktops and televisions. Although Team USA did not win, online believers lit up the internet with patriotism.

The worldwide sporting event broke dozens of records on multiple platforms last week – spotlighting the impact that social media has around the world. Facebook announced on Tuesday more than one billion interactions – from “likes” to comments related to the World Cup by more than 220 million users. The World Cup Facebook page has more than 35 million likes. Twitter has more than 2.5 million followers and the official YouTube channel has nearly 900,000 subscribers.

So what is different between the World Cup and other sporting events such as the Super Bowl? The Los Angeles Times believes that soccer is the world’s most popular sport and brings international engagement to social media channels like no other sport has before. World Cup organizers established hashtags early in the tournament to allow fans to interact with their competitors and show pride for their teams. By streaming the event worldwide, viewers had easy access to festivities, social media sharing and engagement.

Without social media, it would simply be unfathomable to experience this type of engagement during a worldwide event. Social media has become an accepted part of culture and changed the way people communicate. Information moves at a rapid pace, and play-by-play updates are shared from opposite sides of the planet. In a short period of time, social media has transformed the way in which we live, work and play. It is not something to fear or ignore. I believe we all should engage with it, embrace it and use it to our advantage – oh, and I still believe that we will win.

5 comments (Add your own)

1. hilary kaye wrote:
Dawn,I think the most interesting part of the social media/World Cup phenomenon was that it caused people to talk, chat and post about the World Cup who previously had absolutely no interest in soccer or the tournament. Pretty powerful stuff. Yeah, and I believe the Dodgers will win.

Thu, July 3, 2014 @ 4:36 PM

2. Kevin wrote:
Americans really don't need an excuse to rally together. We rally on July 4. We rally when our troops are in harm's way. We most certainly rally when our national teams are involved. Social media seems to make the American rallying cry louder and the American rallying masses larger. I love social media's ability to take an already unified country and pull us even closer.

Thu, July 3, 2014 @ 5:05 PM

3. Angela wrote:
I'm thrilled that our country is finally catching up and embracing the WORLD'S BEST SPORT. Social media is an excellent way to showcase this shift. Fight on USA!!

Mon, July 7, 2014 @ 10:47 AM

4. Andrew wrote:
While I can't get too excited about the whole soccer thing, I am definitely impressed with the social media campaign that has been tied to the World Cup. Dawn makes excellent points here! It really is unfathomable to have this level of interaction without social media. So I guess I #believe.

Mon, July 7, 2014 @ 2:06 PM

5. Alicia wrote:
The combination of social media enthusiasm and the ability to live stream the World Cup is introducing soccer (football) to a whole new audience (USA) it will be interesting to see if the enthusiasm becomes permanent after the last goal is scored.

Mon, July 7, 2014 @ 4:07 PM

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