August 9 – France did the double in Russia this summer, not only winning the World Cup but also beating Brazil to the top of a ranking of countries who added the most social media followers during the tournament.
However, it is the power of the individuals on social media that is perhaps the most eye-opening, with France’s Kylian Mbappé making it a double double for the French, topping the list of players who added the most social media followers ahead of traditional social media heavyweights Neymar and Ronaldo.
While France added 1.7 million new followers (Brazil added 1.3 million), Mbappe added almost 4 times more with 6.7 million new followers, 5.6 million on Instagram.
The report, by KPMG Football Benchmark, emphasised the leadership position on social media of players with big followings: “Posts from players like Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and James Rodríguez, for instance, generated high levels of traffic. On Twitter, Ronaldo’s most popular World Cup post registered around 560,000 engagements, higher than the most popular tweets of James Rodríguez of Colombia (466,000) and Brazil’s Neymar (428,000).”
French players all benefited from the playing glory. While Mbappe had the top performing Twitter post with 918,000 engagements, N’Golo Kanté and Antoine Griezmann (498,000 and 486,000 engagements respectively) also recorded outstanding results.
“On other social networks such as Instagram, the fastest-growing platform, the engagement level was even higher. The reactions to posts by Mbappé (4.8 million) and Griezmann (4 million) directly after the World Cup Final, are a clear indication of that,” says the report.
The authors point to the relative growth of nations that previously had small follower bases.
“Four federations grew by more than one million followers overall. Eventual World Cup winners France, naturally, had the strongest momentum, beating Brazil in this category, followed by Mexico and England. Les Bleus secured more than one million new followers on Instagram alone, with a growth rate of 34% during the World Cup, while their English Twitter account doubled its followers with an impressive 118% growth rate during the competition. At first sight, it is eye-catching but not surprising that less-celebrated teams dominated relative growth, with countries like Russia, Croatia and Sweden increasing their follower base by 63%, 43% and 30% respectively.”
And it wasn’t just players and teams that saw social media growth in Russia. FIFA launched a successful #FIFAStadiumDJ hashtag (a voting contest for songs), becoming the governing body’s most retweeted posting ever. While French President Emmanuel Macron added more than 146,000 likes and 42,000 retweets with his post ‘‘@equipedefrance : MERCI ’’.
See the full report at https://www.footballbenchmark.com/the_power_of_social_media_at_the_world_cup
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