The World Cup is one of the most-watched sporting events. More people tune in to see the matches than those who view the Olympics! To put it into perspective, it is estimated that over 19.977 million people, across three television platforms (FOX, Telemundo, and Peacock), tuned in to watch the USA vs. England group stage match, making it one of the most watched men's matches in World Cup history.

It goes without saying that an event of this magnitude is likely to have a high social media presence. When you factor in the teams' and players' engagement, plus the engagement of fans around the world, social media is an important and powerful tool during the World Cup. All that to say, what is the true impact the #WorldCup has had on social media and how can it be leveraged to drive engagement to your business?

In general, the World Cup breaks social media records every four years. In 2014, there were 672 million tweets dedicated to the dramatic semi-final between Brazil and Germany, resulting in more than 200 million interactions from 66 million users. The 2022 World Cup will likely break more records, with 74.2% of viewers already stating they will be on social media during the matches with 52% saying they will most likely follow a brand, team, or player they were exposed to during the game.

Twitter is one of the most explosive social media platforms during the World Cup thanks to the user’s desire to have real-time updates. They can quickly and easily tweet out their thoughts, frustrations, and elation or catch a clip of an incredible goal or save. It’s their one-stop shop for all the information they need, especially when they aren’t in front of a television to watch their favorite team compete.

Another platform that sees a lot of action during the World Cup is Instagram. We’ve all seen something hilarious or exciting happen on live television only to have it show up on Instagram or turned into a meme within two minutes. The World Cup is no exception. Within seconds of the USA’s win against Iran, multiple celebration videos and advancement graphics were already up on the US Soccer Men’s National Team Instagram account. The access users have to information solely from social media is mind-blowing.

If you are not quite sold on the power of social media, consider this… in anticipation of the World Cup, Christiano Ronaldo’s Instagram following has grown by 47% just this year, earning him not only the title of the most followed soccer player in the world but also the most followed person on Instagram, period. Ronaldo's total audience makes Portugal the most followed team in the 2022 World Cup. (For reference, his account currently has over 506 million followers)

So let’s cut to the chase. What does this mean for your business and how can you use the impact of the World Cup on social media to leverage your company?

  • Join the conversation

This is a huge opportunity for you to engage with potential customers. One unique quality about the World Cup is that it’s a globally unifying experience. It’s the one time fans from around the world will be participating in a singular conversation.

Capitalize on this engagement by tying your business to the topics they’re talking about. Ask users to participate in a conversation by posing relevant questions and inviting them to take action.

  • Use relevant hashtags

It’s a tale as old as time. The debates over should you or shouldn’t you have been part of the hashtag conversation forever. Hashtags give your business the opportunity to cross paths with users who share common interests, but who might not otherwise follow you. Capitalizing on trending hashtags and topics is instrumental in a social media plan, but is especially essential when a global event is capturing the attention of users around the world.

  • Stay informed

It’s no surprise that what’s trending now won’t be trending tomorrow. Staying on top of the most current and relevant information related to the World Cup will increase your chances of engagement. In the ever-changing landscape of social media, being “in the know” will keep you one step ahead of the competition.

Finding a way to tie your brand into global experiences should always be the goal of your business. With more eyes following World Cup action on more social media platforms than ever before, this is your chance to put the right content in the right place at the right time.