Which World Cup Teams Benefit the Most on Social Media?
Every four years, the FIFA World Cup takes over social media. Social media offers fans to voice their opinions on players, referees, human rights, and other aspects of World Cups.
It also allows World Cup teams to engage with their supporters while their interest in national football is at its peak.
This article will examine which world cup teams and players benefitted on social media during the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Which World Cup Teams Have The Largest Social Media Following?
Despite crashing in the quarter-finals after losing on penalties to Croatia, Brazil have the biggest social media following. They have a collective following of over 8 million in total.
Brazil is among the most passionate nations about football and often has the largest fan followings, both in person and online.
- England has upped their social media game in recent years. They provide a range of high-quality social media posts across several channels.
- Canada and the USA saw significant increases in social media followings during the World Cup. This is because the sport continues to grow in these countries, and the players keep improving.
- Morocco also saw a significant increase in social media followers. They shocked the world by becoming the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of any World Cup.
- Iran saw their national team trending during their first match of the competition. This was due to the players opting not to sing the national anthem in protest against the current situation in the country. This gained widespread praise throughout the world. But the players got reprimanded and proceeded to sing the anthem for their two other group games before getting knocked out.
How Teams Gained Social Media Influence Throughout the World Cup
Several teams manage to increase their social media following during a World Cup.
As expected, the World Cup has dominated social media since the beginning of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, much like its predecessors.
In 2014, the World Cup in Brazil generated 672 million tweets around the event, and their humiliating loss to Germany had over 200 million interactions.
The 2018 World Cup also led to significant levels of engagement as players began to appreciate the impact the World Cup can have on their social media following and interaction levels.
Taking advantage of their social media audience
Clearly, players with significant social media followings had a major advantage when it came to engaging with fans. Posts from high-profile players like Ronaldo, Neymar, and Messi, generated significant traffic across Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
The reward for success
Winning the FIFA World Cup is a significant on-field achievement, but it also has many off-field bonuses.
When France won the 2018 World Cup, many players experienced their most engaging posts across all social media platforms. Stars like Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann saw huge spikes in engagement and followers after lifting the trophy and will be hungry to do the same in the 2022 World Cup.
Memorable moments and creativity
It is not just players that already have large followings that are successful at increasing their influence throughout the World Cup.
Players with a smaller following can use out-of-the-box thinking to draw more attention to their personal profiles. In recent years, players like Michy Batshuayi have done this to great effect after laughing along with the public at a clip of him getting hit by a ball rebounding off the post.
Players that break out of the normal process of regurgitating media-trained lines often resonate with followers and lead to a cult following of highly engaged fans.
This social media approach is also effective in other industries, such as Lewis Capaldi from the music industry.
The Most Influential Players At the 2022 World Cup
As you would expect, Cristiano Ronaldo garnered a lot of social media attention throughout the World Cup. Coming into the World Cup, he had already amassed over half a billion followers on Instagram alone.
Ronaldo was never out of the headlines during his team’s run to the quarter-finals due to several incidents occuring with his now ex-club and country.
On the eve of the first game, his contract with Manchester United was immediately terminated, and there were rumors he was threatening to leave the World Cup after getting dropped to the subs bench mid-competition.
His tweet surrounding the Manchester United deal already has over 1 million interactions.
At 37 years old, it is clear his best footballing days are behind him, but his influence on social media is still monumental.
If you don’t think Ronaldo is the best player in the world, chances are you think it’s Lionel Messi. With an equally impressive 391 million followers on Instagram, Messi is adored around the world. Add that to the fact that he has been instrumental in helping Argentina get to the World Cup Final, and it is no surprise that he has plenty of pull on social media.
Having already announced the final is his last game for Argentina, whether he wins the competition or not, he could improve his standing on social media even further.
The rising star that many expect to take over from Messi and Ronaldo in the next couple of years, Kylian Mbappe, is well on his way to becoming a global social media superstar. He only has about a quarter of the following Messi has, but when those global superstars retire, a hole will need to be filled.
As the undisputed best player in the world, playing at a high-profile team in France, Mbappe’s social media influence will continue growing.
Harry Kane managed to match Wayne Rooney’s scoring record for England, but that is not what he will be remembered for in the 2022 competition.
Instead, he will be remembered for blazing a penalty during their quarter-final match with France, which knocked England out of the competition.
Within minutes of the miss, Harry Kane was trending on social media and continued to do so for over 72 hours.