World Cup: Live social media stats
The World Cup™ has arrived! In this article, you'll find a metric ton of social media stats about football in general and the 2018 World Cup™, from the players to the national teams and sponsors, complete with beautiful infographics.
We'll be updating this blog post throughout the event with fresh stats about the games and the event, so make sure to check back with us!
June 29 Update
The last of the group stage games have ended, and it’s been a dramatic tournament so far. With some emotional losses (Germany), last minute turnarounds (Argentina), and surprising wins (Mexico).
But what’s been said on social?
Sweden have been getting behind their home team with mentions of #viärsverige (we are Sweden). It peaked on Wednesday with 2.8k mentions, as the country supported their team, but also stood defiant to the racism Jimmy Durmaz had faced following their previous match.
Our most engaging post since kick-off, comes from France, with French forward Antoine Griezmann’s Instagram post amassing nearly 1.6 million likes.
Much better than the 3,025 mentions of the France vs Denmark game that included the word boring.
Argentina’s biggest fan has to be Diego Maradona. But he seemed a little exhausted following their latest game, leaving him hospitalized. Fans were concerned, sharing this article 38,000 times.
And we can’t talk about the World Cup without mentioning Germany. They failed to qualify from the group stages for the first time since 1938.
With 305k engagements, it was a result that sent ripples through social media.
June 15 Update
There were 16.4k mentions of the opening ceremony in the first 30 minutes.
With the world’s sentiment on its success equally divided.
But it was one gesture that grabbed the attention in the media follow-up, with Robbie Williams’ middle finger appearing in 12.2% of opening ceremony mentions in the last 24 hours.
This post alone gained over 12k likes (though we prefer it with five fingers instead of one).
For the game itself, unsurprisingly, Russia dominated the conversation throughout the match (much like the game itself).
And fans are loving that the home team won in such a dramatic fashion. Just look at the engagement with FIFA’s tweet.
June 14 Update
With the 2018 World Cup™ about to kick off, the fans are getting excited on social media.
The biggest news story of the last 28 hours was the announcement that the US, Mexico, and Canada will host the 2026 World Cup.
With conversation driven by Donald Trump’s tweet:
The U.S., together with Mexico and Canada, just got the World Cup. Congratulations - a great deal of hard work!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
And it didn’t just make the news in the US, but quickly spread across the world, as shown in our virality map.
Outside the US, the main players from the last month are England and France, with 1.65M references of the World Cup in the UK, and 1.53M in France. Though, someone needs to remind Serbia they have a team in the World Cup™, with just 7,013 mentions there.
And the man of the match? It has to be Lionel Messi. With 289,136 mentions, he’s driving huge fan engagement. This one post is on its way to 1 million engagement already…
Yet, with the first match minutes away - Russia vs Saudi Arabia - it’s all still to play for. We’ll update you tomorrow with all the social chatter the first game generates.
N.B. All figures and trend clouds are updated every 15 minutes!
Number of mentions of the World Cup™ in the last 24 hours.
The channels where people are discussing the World Cup™ the most (24hr).
The most discussed national teams (24hr).
The most discussed players and celebrities related to the World Cup™ (24hr).
The locations where the World Cup™ is being discussed the most online (24hrs).
The most used hashtags when discussing the World Cup™ (24hrs).
The emojis used most in connection to the World Cup™ (24hrs).
- How many times is the term “football” mentioned in a year? Over 77 million times, excluding the US mentions, which overwhelmingly refer to American football.
N.B. You could argue that some of these football mentions from the rest of the world still refer to American football :-)
In comparison, the term “futbol” (Spanish) was used 52.3 million times, “futebol” (Portuguese) 21.1 million times, and “calcio” (Italian) 7.3 million times. That's a lot of people talking about football!
Here are the top 50 hashtags used when talking about football in different languages on social media.
Data collected between March 2017 and April 2018
using Talkwalker’s Quick Search
Who said that football, or, as they call it on the other side of the pond, “soccer”, was not popular in the United States? This expression was mentioned over 30 million times in the last year! It is worth mentioning that the United States is not the only country using this term: it's also the case in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, for example.
First, let’s go through some of the 2014 social media stats, just to have some benchmark elements for the 2018 tournament.
In the space of one month, the World Cup™ hashtag was used in over 24 million posts during the 2014 tournament, with 68% of all tweets being written in English.
The 2014 opening game between Brazil and Croatia generated over 12.2 million tweets in the space of a few hours. Do you think this year’s game between Russia and Saudi Arabia will beat that record?
During the last World Cup™, there were over 32.1 million tweets sent about the final match between Argentina and Germany.
Yet the most discussed match was without contest the semi-final game where the Brazilians got crushed 7-1 by an unforgiving German team, with over 35.6 million tweets.
Warning: this section is for the nostalgics who want to rediscover the most memorable moments of the 2014 World Cup™ from a social media perspective. Here are some of the top tweets.
- Remember that game between Belgium and USA where American goalkeeper Tim Howard made a gazillion saves to get his team into overtime? Despite the fact Belgium was the one to advance to the next stage, Howard was so good he won the respect of Vincent Kompany, the captain of the opposing team.
- How about when Brazil got destroyed by the Mannschaft 7-1 in the quarterfinals?
Before the 2018 World Cup™ even starts, the most discussed team is Germany, with over 71 000 posts in April.
The national football team participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with the most followers on Twitter: Mexico (over 5,7 million in April 2018).
- The national football team participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with the most followers on Instagram: France (over 2.7 million followers in April 2018).
How about FIFA? The @FifaWorldCup Twitter account boasted over 5,65 million folllowers on Twitter as of May 2nd, 2018, and even more on Instagram (6.3 million followers). The FIFA World Cup™ brand, however, seems to be strongest on Facebook, with a community of over 40 million fans!
The World Cup™ is also all about the people! Successful athletes are very interesting influencers for brands because they tend to attract very engaged audiences, as demonstrated by the social media figures of two of the world’s most famous football players, the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo and the Argentinian Lionel Messi. Enjoy the infographics!
Over the last 13 months, the name “Cristiano Ronaldo” was mentioned over 19.5 million times on the web and on social media, with the biggest activity spike occurring after he scored an amazing goal during the game between Real Madrid and Juventus on April 3rd, 2018.
In comparison, the name “Lionel Messi” only appeared in 8 million posts over the same period. Will that differential hold up during the 2018 World Cup™?
Data collected with the help of Talkwalker's Quick Search.
On Twitter, Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) has over 72.6 million followers. Weird: did you know that Lionel Messi had no official Twitter account? Here's how Ronaldo compares to other very popular football players:
Over the last 13 months, Ronaldo's most engaging tweet was the one where he presented to his fans a picture of his newborn twins (over 167 000 retweets and 585 000 likes). Will that be another record broken during this year’s World Championship?
So happy to be able to hold the two new loves of my life 🙏❤ pic.twitter.com/FIY11aWQm9— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) 29 juin 2017
In comparison, the top Cristiano Ronaldo tweet featuring one of his sponsors (Nike) collected three times less engagement (46 000 retweets and 159 000 likes).
On Instagram, Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) boasts over 123.6 million followers! In comparison, his rival Lionel Messi only has 90.3 million followers (and he just lost his lead in the Ballons d'Or count last December !)
In the last 13 months, Ronaldo's most engaging Instagram post was also a birth announcement, but this time for the birth of his youngest daughter Alana, which generated over 11 millions likes and 195 000 comments.
In 2017, Ronaldo was named for the second year in a row the best paid athlete in the world with $58 million coming from his salary and winnings, and $35 million coming from endorsements.
Did you know that right before the 2014 World Cup™, Adidas created a Twitter account for the official match ball (@brazuca)? By the end of the tournament, it had generated over 3.5 million fans!
And who said social generated no ROI? Adidas estimated that sales of the Brazuca ball increased by 30% after the 2014 World Cup™!
- Social media drama: even before the first whistle, Coca-Cola created an online buzz when it announced the Korean band Bangtan Boys (BTS) would become the brand’s spokesmen ahead of the 2018 World Cup™. The announcement alone generated over 274 000 mentions over 24 hours, as well as a flurry of new World Cup™-related hashtags such as #FIFAWorldCup_BTS, #BTSxCocaCola and many more.
- Do you remember one of the Euro 2016's most infamous bad buzz? I’m sure Switzerland still does: during their match against France, their Puma team jerseys kept tearing up like paper!
To be fair, Puma was not the only brand in the hot seat: one of the Adidas footballs also burst in the middle of the same match!
Swiss team's Puma shirts tearing like paper. Adidas ball bursting. You can never rely on German efficiency!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 19, 2016
Random social media stats linked to football
- Did you know there was a similar competition for Esport? The second edition of the FIFA eClub World Cup™ will take place in May 2018, with 16 participating teams competing for the prize money. In April alone, the hashtag #fifaeworldcup was mentioned over 40 000 times on social media.
Want to add impact to your articles or blogs with more World Cup™ stats? Journalists can contact D.Seavers@Talkwalker.com for further social insights.
Correction (17/05/2018): the article previously stated that Messi had won more Ballons d'Or than Ronaldo - thanks Yusuf for pointing it out!