Twitter And The World Cup: The Digital Match Made In Heaven
The 2014 World Cup is scoring record television ratings, particularly in the United States.
However, the second-screen power of Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) may be what takes both the World Cup and Twitter to new heights.
"The World Cup is embracing the platform," said Alexandra Weiss, partner with CA Creative. "All 32 teams and over 300 players have official Twitter pages, giving the Twitter community lots of World Cup content to engage with."
Weiss noted how Twitter is using the popularity of the World Cup to showcase its advertising tools, even hosting training sessions for companies in Brazil and Europe. "The training sessions allow Twitter to expand their reach and grow their network of advertisers," she added.
Darren Heitner, founder of Heitner Legal, told Benzinga the largest added value that Twitter creates is serving as an "incessant" reminder of major events to come.
"Because the World Cup schedule is inconsistent and often hard to follow," he said, "Twitter is an easy way for people to be reminded of when games are occurring and live the excitement of others as the game approach, as well as while the games take place."
Twitter has introduced various features to go alongside the tournament taking place in Brazil. Aside from the usual hashtags, the goal is to make the games easy to follow and to boost engagement on the platform.
Weiss points to the World Cup timeline feature, which aggregates tweets about the World Cup from people in a person’s network as well as tweets from teams, players, celebrities, press and fans in the stadium. There is also a Match Timeline feature, which aggregates tweets about matches that are happening in real time.
"Twitter has established themselves as the go-to social media platform for the World Cup," says Weiss. These features not only give the World Cup different means of engagement, but also highlight the power of the Twitter platform.
Events like the Super Bowl and the Oscars have big appeal in the United States, but that doesn't necessarily translate to a broad global reach. Heitner said that added interest among more casual soccer fans creates enhanced opportunities for brands selling merchandise and other types of products associated with the game itself, such as the U.S. Men's national team and the World Cup.
"I think that this increased engagement will have an extremely positive effect on the platform by attracting both new users and new advertisers for real time global events," notes Weiss. "However, I think it will be interesting to see if Twitter can maintain the momentum for everyday use."
Twitter has been able to monetize exactly where certain conversations are taking place around the globe. An interactive map shows how over 150 countries are discussing the World Cup.
One big difference between the World Cup and events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics? No commercial breaks.
A soccer match consists of two, 45-minute halves -- the clock never stops, which allows for nearly one hour of constant gameplay. "This allows companies who are advertising on Twitter to capitalize on real-time happenings to excite and engage their audiences," stated Heitner
Heitner said the biggest benefactors are brands that understand how to utilize Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media to their advantage, capturing the attention of consumers.
"Twitter, and other social media, play no small role in what should be increased demand," he said.
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