Social Media’s Impact on Globalization: The 2014 FIFA World Cup

July 18, 2014


Posted By: Mindbenders Media
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Globally, in the final match of the World Cup between Germany and Argentina 88 million people created 280 million interactions on Facebook, while 618,000 Twitter users tweeted 32.1 million times about the match.  For just ONE game! This match was not only the most talked about of the World Cup on social media, it was the most talked about event in the history of sports! For FIFA’s marketing team, this is a dream come true, especially after experiencing years of trouble connecting with American viewers, who made up 12% of Facebook engagers that day.

It’s well known that United States nationals are not the world’s biggest soccer (futbol?!) fans. However, during this year’s World Cup you could have been fooled. In fact, the viewership totals for the Germany vs. Argentina match surpassed countless other massive sporting events with 27.28 MILLION viewers in the United States. This includes the 2014 MLB All Star game that took place only two days after this match, and had only 11.34 million viewers, as well as the NBA Finals that had 15.6 million US viewers back in June: two sporting events known to make Americans go crazy!

So, global social media engagement soared, and soon after the United States experienced huge soccer viewership ratings. Could there be a correlation? We think yes, and it’s called globalization!

What can we learn from globalization trends? For marketers, globalization is validating the idea that social media should not be ignored. In fact, we’d argue that it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on current trends in culture and content if you want to engage today’s consumers. For example, expecting this World Cup to explode online, Johnson & Johnson brand Listerine created the campaign “Power to Your Mouth”, in which they set up newsrooms to react to real-time happenings throughout the tournament. In an effort to keep it global, they translated the content into Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese and Arabic, and used country specific content to create greater engagement. The whole campaign was a huge success. (This AdWeek article lays out more of Listerine’s campaign, as well as 5 other brands that successfully connected with consumers worldwide during the World Cup.)

The world is continuously becoming more globalized. People are constantly sharing news, ideas and pieces of their culture. Nothing “share-worthy” goes un-noticed anymore.  We at Mindbenders Media work to keep local businesses at the forefront of Milwaukee’s social media scene, helping them reach their social potential, rather than getting left in the dust. Social media is a force to be reckoned with, and based on the levels of engagement during the 2014 World Cup, that isn’t changing anytime soon.


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