The 2014 World Cup in Brazil won’t just be the world cup of soccer; it’ll also be the world cup of social networking. With this in mind, we’ll explain how to stay up-to-date on games, players, and the national team through various social networks.
You probably followed the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on TV, streamed the games online, or kept yourself informed through a mix of print and online newspapers.
But even back in 2010, there were those who diligently used social networks to update and share messages. Japan’s 3-1 victory over Denmark was enough to set a new record for tweets per second, at 3,283. During the final, Twitter users were tweeting from 172 countries in 27 different languages.
Use of Twitter during South African World Cup. Infographic created by @miguelrios
Four years later, and with an even greater variety of social networks and digital media at our disposal, predictions from the president of global customer marketing and sales at ESPN, Ed Erhardt, aren’t surprising. According to Erhardt, the World Cup in Brazil will be “the biggest social event ever.”
So how can you prepare for the 2014 World Cup? For starters: use the right tools on Twitter to follow the most important accounts, “Like” the right Facebook pages, and don’t miss key hashtags that will dominate social networks from June 12th.
Following the most important players
The first step is to follow the best players participating in the World Cup. The National Championships have come to an end, and the attention of fans and players is now focused on the World Cup itself.
As teams start to prepare for the championship, some players have actually been banned from social media, like the French national team or Mario Balotelli, in order to keep his head free from distractions. There’s also some big names, like Messi, who actually don’t have a Twitter account.
Despite some players not having access, it’s likely that Facebook or Twitter administrators will continue to post on their behalf, and even popular unofficial accounts will be flooded with updates. In short, posts and tweets will find their way into cyberspace, and if you want to keep up, you’ve got to follow the top players.
Here’s our list of the top 11 players that are most active on social media and will undoubtedly be updating their status’ regularly at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Follow the official (and unofficial) World Cup channels
Another way to follow the World Cup and get immediate news, even before any news outlet breaks it, is to follow hashtags and specific accounts.
FIFA itself has two Facebook pages (FIFA World Cup and FIFA), two Twitter accounts (@FIFAWorldCup and @FIFAcom), and a Google+ account (FIFA World Cup), where you’ll find public information, photos, and updates.
FIFA also has a Twitter account dedicated to media called @FIFAMedia, where you can find other information from the press, radio, and TV. Meanwhile, FIFA has its own YouTube channel, where it publishes videos about the competition.
There are also a ton of unofficial accounts that you can follow on Twitter, including @FIFAcomClub (an account for connecting fans), @FIFAworldcup14 (the unofficial guide to the World Cup), @FIFAWorldCupTM (news), @2014WC_Brazil (news), @FifaWrldCup_14 (a parody), and many more.
Official account of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil
Another essential tip for following the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is to search for and use hashtags from other Twitter users. You can find tweets about the most popular topics and get involved in conversations, without having to follow the accounts that tweeted it.
The most popular hashtags globally will be #WorldCup, #FIFA, #WorldCup2014, #Brasil2014, #FifaWorldCup and #FifaWorldCupBrazil. Many more will pop up during the course of the tournament– to find out which ones are most popular, keep an eye on global trending topics.
The official Twitter Brazil account has created a public list to make following each individual national team easier. To get a complete view of tweets from the teams that’ll be participating in the World Cup, you’ll want to subscribe.
Stay connected with the US Men’s Team
Aside from the international superstars, you can also follow the US Men’s National Team on Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram. On Twitter, @ussoccer is the official feed for the US Men’s Team, along with an official Facebook page (U.S. Soccer) and an official Instagram account (@ussoccer).
Hashtags are important for following your team too. The most popular hashtags so far are #1N1T and #OneNationOneTeam, which is the slogan for the US’ World Cup campaign. Once the tournament gets into full swing, #USAv— (the three letter acronym of the opposing country) will be easiest way to follow individual games.
Of course, it’s not just the national team accounts that’ll be sharing info about the tournament. A lot of players on the US National Team are really active on social media and can give you up-to-date info right from the field, including a behind the scenes look at what’s going on in between matches. Below are the US Team’s 11 most active players on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as the ever popular coach Jürgen Klinsmann.
- Landon Donovan (Twitter | Facebook)
- Jozy Altidore (Twitter | Facebook)
- Clint Dempsy (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram)
- Maurice Edu (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram)
- Jermaine Jones (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram)
- Alejandro Bedoya (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram)
- Kyle Beckerman (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram)
Use the right tool for you
Keeping track of all your accounts, hashtags and pages can be difficult, especially if you’re not an expert Twitter user. To make your life a bit easier, here are two pieces of advice.
If you’re a bit less experienced, the best thing you can do is create lists on Twitter to get all the accounts relating to the World Cup in one place, not confusing it with your normal social network stream.
To create a list, log in to Twitter and click on the gear wheel in the upper right of the screen: from the menu that pops up, click on Lists. On the next page, click on Create New List in the bottom right. Here, you can add as many accounts as you want to follow, and share the list with whoever you want.
Create a new list for the World Cup
If you’re a more advanced user, you might want to use Hootsuite (available as a web app, but also on Android and iPhone), an app that lets you aggregate all your social networks in one place. From here, with a single tab in the browser, you can manage Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, creating a personalized stream of feeds or hashtags so that you don’t miss a single second of the competition.
Either way, this is going to be one of the most social World Cups yet, and if you want to get as close to the action as you can without being in Brazil, social media will definitely help.
Will you be following the 2014 World Cup Brazil on social media?