The FIFA World Cup presents the unique opportunity for brands, especially non-World Cup sponsors, to insert themselves into the global conversation and potentially capture the world’s attention. However, brands be warned: for those whose World Cup social media strategy is solely reactionary, you’ve already lost.
“Some brands can serendipitously react to a moment in real-time and get a bunch of earned media, but the reality is you can’t allow that to be your strategy,” says Alex Josephson, Twitter’s head of global brand strategy speaking to Fast Company.
Brands need to prepare for what they can control and create content in advance. You know there will be a great goal, a controversial goal, an upset, a lopsided victory, the key is to build content out for these moments in advance so they’re ready when the time inevitably comes.
For example, the World Cup draw back in December is one of the moments that is guaranteed to happen. Rather than wait for an opportunity to try and tie their brand into the conversation, Corona built out content well ahead, creating a live-streamed talk show for Mexican fans where commentators analyzed and reacted to each World Cup draw. This resulted in Corona becoming the most talked about brand around the world on Twitter, with people tweeting about Corona’s campaign at a rate of about a mention every other second for two days.
— Corona Futbol (@Corona_Futbol) December 3, 2017
Twitter has evolved to become more brand-friendly since the last World Cup. The number of soccer videos shared on Twitter annually is up 140% since 2014, and Twitter users watch brand videos more than a billion times per day, more than double the amount it was last year. Twitter has also seen a 17% increase in brand-related conversation the revolves around soccer.
So, now that you’re armed with the statistics, when is the ideal time for a brand post? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not during a game. According to Josephson, the biggest opportunities are leading up to and after the games. So, forget waiting for a moment of serendipity, to really win at the World Cup, build out content in advance and control the conversation before and after the game.