Trends on Google and Twitter demonstrate the extent to which the FIFA Women’s World Cup, currently being held in France, is shaking the internet.
With women’s football growing in popularity around the world, FIFA has released statistics stating that after the group stage had been completed, social media posts on the tournament had been viewed more than 400 million times, and that posts by the competition’s official Facebook page had been liked six million times in total. The football governing body says that its channels are claiming 20% of Twitter conservation in total.
Google Trends shows that since the tournament began on June 7, ‘Women’s World Cup 2019’ has topped the daily search charts five times in the UK. Meanwhile, on Twitter, almost every day has seen World Cup-related hashtags trending. According to Trendogate.com, #ENGCAM was still trending on Tuesday, two days after England’s incident-packed 3-0 win against Cameroon.
Much of the talk has been fuelled by the video assistant referee (VAR) system being used at the tournament, and its application in some of the new law changes introduced to football. These include a new interpretation of handball and guidance on goalkeepers staying on their line when facing penalty kicks. The latter of these prompted heavy discussion after the Scotland vs. Argentina game on June 19th, leading to it being the fifth most Googled topic of the day, and Twitter trends including #SCOARG, #ARGSCO, ‘Scotland v Argentina’, ‘Oh Scotland’, ‘Gutted for Scotland’ and ‘Typical Scotland’.
With England taking on Norway this evening in the quarter finals, the Lionesses are likely to dominate today’s UK search and social media traffic as well.
What does this mean for businesses?
Football might be recreational and most of this interaction will be from ordinary football fans searching and chatting about the games, but that doesn’t mean that businesses can’t get involved and piggyback on something that’s getting people talking.
To name a few, recent days have seen tournament sponsor Visa, BBC Radio 1 and even NASA get in on the act:
So excited for tomorrow! Let's continue to support the girls 💪 #FIFAWWC
— Visa UK (@VisaUK) June 26, 2019
When you're playing in a World Cup quarter-final but your brother's at #Glastonbury2019…
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) June 26, 2019
The World Cup goes interstellar! ⚽ 🌌 #FIFAWWC
Scientists using @NASAHubble have discovered electrically charged, carbon-bearing complex molecules that manage to survive the harsh environment—and they’re shaped like tiny soccer balls. More: https://t.co/Zs6OaAeCt7 pic.twitter.com/OOMNwaY6Gt
— NASA (@NASA) June 25, 2019
With a little imagination, any business can tie itself in with a tournament like this. For example, if you deal with something complex such as wills, HMRC legislation or GDPR, you could make a light-hearted joke about how it can be easier to follow than VAR.
The World Cup is as much a celebration of international culture as it is of football, so don’t be afraid to use emojis of footballs, national flags and trophies when tweeting either.