After almost a month of record-breaking tweets, location heat maps and Louis Suarez biting memes, we can look back on this World Cup and see the impact that social media marketing has had on it.Just as football has changed over the last four years (as Brazil and Spain have brilliantly demonstrated), so has social. Not only has it been the go-to channel to keep up with the action, it has been well-used by the media and teams to engage with fans. It’s clear that well thought-out digital marketing strategies have been put in place to not only take advantage of the event, but to also react to it quickly. As events unfolded, brands have been agile and not afraid to push the boundaries. We’ve already highlighted Paddy Power as an example of this with their #BrazilNuts campaign and Tuesday night’s match almost sent it into overdrive (Warning: strong language used):
#Bra are f*cked. Neymar is going to hand-glide onto the pitch any minute now. #GER #BRA #BrazilNuts — Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 8, 2014
HOLY F*CK!! IT'S 5-0!!!! #BrazilNuts — Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 8, 2014
Seriously, what is going on. I'm in shock, here. I don't know who I am anymore. I can't feel my face. #BrazilNuts — Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 8, 2014And let’s not forget the genius Snickers tweet after “that” bite – over 48,000 retweets:
Hey @luis16suarez. Next time you're hungry just grab a Snickers. #worldcup #luissuarez #EatASNICKERS pic.twitter.com/3RAO537HjW — SNICKERS® (@SNICKERS) June 24, 2014
How successful has social media been for predicting matches?Our overall rate (before the last two matches) is 53%. At group stage we had a success rate of 50%- better than Goldman Sachs (41%) and Bloomberg (46%) who also made predictions. This stage threw up lots of surprises – Spain’s crushing loss to the Netherlands, Costa Rica topping the Group D table and Italy crashing out. At knock-out stage our rate shot up to 87% (Greece was our downfall) and in the quarter-finals we predicted 75% of the winners. We crashed at the semi-final stage with 0%. Teams are becoming more consistent, improving and know they have to play well or they’re out. We think this is why our predictions performed well and reflected their rankings. For example, if Argentina and Switzerland had met in the group stage, we would have predicted a win for Switzerland but in the round of 16, Argentina was the clear winner as their social media had improved. The semi-final stage was a disaster for us and we expected the Brazil-Germany match to be closer. This was definitely a case of external factors such as injured players and hubris playing a much larger role in team performance than social media.
Who will win the final matches?
Brazil v NetherlandsThis will be close – both teams have excellent social media followings and chatter about them. While social media says Brazil, after Tuesday night anything could happen. Brazil’s Twitter feed doesn’t mention the score against Germany but it does acknowledge the struggle they face in the next game: “It is the union that is strength. Saturday we have another battle and we have to go on. Pain is all of us. Thank you!”.
É a união que faz a força. Sábado temos mais uma batalha e temos que ir em frente. A dor é de todos nós. Obrigado! pic.twitter.com/HAlcuxrtk3 — CBF Futebol (@CBF_Futebol) July 9, 2014The Dutch on the other hand are upbeat: "The hangover is huge this morning ... but we are so proud! Orange Thanks!”
De kater is enorm deze ochtend... maar wat zijn we trots! Oranje bedankt! #WorldCup #WK pic.twitter.com/wTuHWwdJWk — OnsOranje (@OnsOranje) July 10, 2014