The Social World Cup Winners
Germany were crowned champions of the world on Sunday night after facing Argentina in the World Cup Final in the Maracana. Unbeknownst to the football pundits and players there was a completely different World Cup going on at the same time – the social World Cup.
We’ve spoken to our scouts, done the post-match analysis and checked the sound bites from the last five weeks to find out who has raised their social profile ahead of a frantic summer transfer window.
A number of players at the tournament grew their communities by more than a million new followers: Neymar Jr by 2.1 million, David Luiz 1.6m, Cristiano Ronaldo 1.5m, Mesut Ozil 1.3m and James Rodriguez 1.3m.
Those are impressive figures that were helped by high-profile performances at the tournament. While these hard numbers are certainly powerful when you look at growth, in terms of a percentage we see a completely different result.
Paul Pogba – a man on the cusp of football superstardom and taking to the field for his first major tournament – grew his community by 584%. He added 959,067 new followers.
Hi all. I’m back and I will manage the account from now. Almost 1M followers!! Thank you and thanks #ThePogfamily!! pic.twitter.com/y9AwAPRQ2e
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) July 9, 2014
With France hosting the European Championships in 2016 he’s the one we are tipping as our social super star from this World Cup and for the future. Of course though there was another, less homo sapien, star of the World Cup: @Brazuca added over 2.98m followers during the tournament and grew 1,044%. Not bad for an inanimate object…
If you’re wondering how I got such a sharp look for the final it involves David Beckham & a touch of magic: https://t.co/xqF0hB3gL4 #ballin — brazuca (@brazuca) July 12, 2014
Back in the realm of the animate, our research shows that the biggest community growth of all wasn’t on Twitter at all. Neymar’s Instagram following grew by 3.8 million, significantly higher than even his increase on Twitter.
James Rodriguez added 2.3m on Instagram, again bigger than both his and Neymar’s growth on Twitter. The trophy-winning goalscorer, Mario Gotze, also grew his community more on Instagram than Twitter.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie, meanwhile, added more followers on Twitter than Instagram; are these up-and-coming youngsters more savvy when it comes to the platform du jour?
Judging by their World Cup content, the young players have a better grip on those fun, authentic, natural Instagram moments.
The ease and simplicity of photo sharing platforms mean that this World Cup has been inundated with player, pundit and celebrity selfies; from Angela Merkel to the Mexican national team everyone is having a go.
The best though were probably from the winning finalists:
It wasn’t all selfies and superstars though. The social landscape is awash with creators and the members of the public thrive on creating memes around key moments from the games.
We’ve picked out top three World Cup content pieces from the public:
Honduras complete! #HON #HON #HON http://t.co/DmifnF14un pic.twitter.com/aRlrFImKBB
— Panini Cheapskates (@CheapPanini) July 13, 2014
Whoever made this… You win. Game Over. pic.twitter.com/pvvU09nXsE
— Copa90 (@Copa90) July 5, 2014
This World Cup was a tough one for the UK commentators. They’ve been lambasted by the wider media and have faced some pretty harsh criticism from fans online.
In social they haven’t fared much better and a certain Bajan popstar completely outstripped Gary Lineker and co. That’s right Rude Boy, Rihanna was the go-to social commentator for this World Cup. She put out over 150 World Cup tweets. Prolific!
I touched the cup, held the cup, kissed the cup, took a selfie wit the cup!!! I meeeaan…… what is YO bucket list looking like bruh?
— Rihanna (@rihanna) July 14, 2014
— Rihanna (@rihanna) July 4, 2014
In this period she has been retweeted 2,277,348 times, more than the combined total of football pundits Lineker, Phil Neville, Ian Wright. A lot more.
What’s more embarrassing for the broadcast boys is that they have each tweeted more frequently than Rihanna. She’s certainly shown she can Talk That Talk when it comes to the World Cup…
So, there we have it. It’s been the first truly social World Cup and we’ve loved every moment. Roll on 2018.