World Cup marketing trends: Which regions generate most social buzz?

Jun 13, 2014 | Social media, UK

The Asia Pacific area (APAC) is producing 48% of all social buzz, ahead of Europe, Middle East and Africa and the Americas, with Japan and UK leading the way for countries, according to new research. Adobe has released some new data in its latest Digital Index Report which focuses on the social buzz surrounding the […]

The Asia Pacific area (APAC) is producing 48% of all social buzz, ahead of Europe, Middle East and Africa and the Americas, with Japan and UK leading the way for countries, according to new research.


Adobe has released some new data in its latest Digital Index Report which focuses on the social buzz surrounding the World Cup, both from a global and UK perspective.
For the England team, despite Roy Hodgson’s young squad, it’s the few remaining stalwarts that dominate social media with Lampard, Gerrard and Rooney generating 37% of total mentions of all squad members.
Key stats include:
• Most social sporting event in history: The World Cup will become the most social sporting event ever surpassing the Super Bowl and Olympics in total social mentions. “World Cup” generated 19+ million social mentions since June ’13 so far. 90% of the world (196 countries) has already contributed to the conversation, more than the Olympics (84%) and Super Bowl (78%)
• 42% of Brazilians have expressed sadness, anger, or disgust related to the World Cup. 59% of the social buzz on a global scale relates to admiration, joy, and anticipation
• Most mentioned players: Cristiano Ronaldo is the most mentioned player with 1.5+ Million mentions in May, Neymar was 2nd with 1.2+ Million. For the England team, we can share the whole squad rankings if needed.
• APAC is producing 48% of all social buzz (EMEA: 32%, Americas: 20%): Japan is leading the way with 37% of all world cup mentions – UK is second at 11%, Brazil 9%, Germany 8%, US 8%.
As well as experience, role seems to also play a part in conversations, with England’s first choice defenders Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill and Leighton Baines polling just 3% between them. Clearly the further up the pitch you play, the more you’re discussed socially.
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This would seem to hold true globally with the vast majority of the world’s most talked about footballers being strikers or attack minded midfielders. Cristiano Ronaldo led the roster with 1.5+ million mentions in May 2014 while Neymar was 2nd with 1.2+ million. The unpredictable but brilliant Mario Balotelli rounded out the top ten with just under 200,000 mentions.
However, if you prize quality over quantity then when you look at the percentage of mentions of a player compared to their Twitter followers, Germany’s Marco Reus is head and shoulders above the rest with 41% compared to 12% for Neymar and 6% for Ronaldo.
Looking at the World Cup as a whole, compared to other major sporting events including the Olympics and the Super Bowl, the competition is set to become the most talked about sporting event of all time with 90% of the world having discussed it since June 2013 (compared to 84% for the Olympics and 78% for the Super Bowl).
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When looking at countries where the most World Cup conversations are being held, it’s perhaps surprising to see Group C team Japan leading the way with 37%, followed by the UK at 11%, hosts Brazil at 9%, Germany (8%) and the US on 8%.
If we restrict the data purely to Twitter then Germany has the highest social buzz as a percent of total Twitter users in its country at 17%. Japan is second at 11% then, Nigeria (8%), France (5%), and U.K. (5%).
Looking at the social buzz around the World Cup is not just interesting from a fan and national team perspective, it’s also extremely useful for marketers planning campaigns. We’ve seen with other sporting events that near-real time marketing, especially on social media, has become a central pillar in many brand’s marketing efforts. To be able to do this effectively they need information on what players are generating buzz – and why – along with intelligence on what countries are the most receptive to social media and what channels are the most appropriate to use.
Having access to this kind of data can also head off any potential issues with brands starting conversations that get hijacked by circumstances out of their control. For example, the social media buzz in Brazil ahead of the World Cup is markedly negative with 42% of Brazilians expressing sadness, anger, or disgust related to the competition. Clearly this sort of insight is critical if brands are to avoid wasting time and budget on marketing to a clearly unreceptive audience, or worse still being associated with the negativity.
Not only will Brazil 2014 be the most social World Cup ever, it will also be the most competitive for marketers and brands vying for the attention and engagement from a global audience that will be bombarded with World Cup related advertising and marketing. Understanding the channels and preferences of national audiences will give brands a real edge when it comes to creating content that will get cut through.
View an infographic showing key findings from the report below:
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