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Social media lessons brands can learn from the World Cup - Specsavers, Adidas and McDonald's

With the World Cup now officially in the rear view for another four years, it is time for brands to take a step back and look at what has been learned.

Videos from non-sponsors did better than official advertisers, while the real-time reaction from brands to the Luis Saurez bite gained a lot of support on on social media.

Merinda Peppard, EMEA marketing director at Hootsuite, looked at what brands should learn, stating: “The official world cup hashtag was used more than 24 million times, making it challenging for brands to cut through the noise on social.”

Creative Relevance

Peppard pointed out, using the UberVu via Hootsuite analytics tool, that the brands who succeeded on social during the tournament were those who were able to demonstrate creative relevance with their content.

“A great example of a brand that demonstrated creative relevance was Specsavers. They were able to quickly react to the Uruguay v Italy game by taking the mickey out of the Luis Suarez biting incident with this tweet, which proved to be one of the most popular posts of the tournament earning more than 29,000 retweets and 13,000 favourites."

Real time

Ensuring social content not only relates to specific moments in time but also strongly ties back to the brand message and personality is a key point that Peppard makes, and something that brands tried to do during the World Cup.

MoyParkChicken was the most positively received brand throughout the World Cup with 31 per cent of total brand mentions all showing positive sentiment. The company tweeted matches in real time, with images to show what was actually taking place in relation to its products. This is not new (Super Bowl is a key example), but isn’t something to be taken lightly either. When done well, it can lead to great results. For example, Adidas had the most mentions out of any brands, with its hashtag (#AllIn) receiving 1.1m mentions, and reported a spike of 5.8m followers across all its major social media platforms, which it put down to real-time communications.

Celebrities on side?

 photo adidassuarezad_zps0654dab8.jpg However, the most interactive day for Adidas was 27 June, when the company announced it was removing its advert of Luis Suarez on Copacabana beach after queues formed of people trying to take their picture with it and pretending to get bitten by the footballer. It was also found by HootSuite that of the five most retweeted posts during the World Cup, only one was for a brand, and this was the Specsavers post about Suarez. Two tweets from Rihanna and a tweet from Tim Howard topped the list, while the Empire State Building, which lit up to support Argentina, also ranked highly.

Consider paid advertising

McDonald's was the most talked about brand during the World Cup with 2.8m mentions, and one of the reasons for that may be its videos ‘re-enacting’ match moment using chips - a campaign that was supported through paid social.

Use the right channels

Peppard points out "content that is out of context or produced on the wrong platforms simply won’t create the desired impact."

There is no use posting your content on Pinterest during a match and expecting everyone to see it: Twitter and Facebook are what people will be checking. A recent YouView study found that 16 per cent say they use Twitter while watching TV, compared to 14 per cent checking Facebook.

For more inspiration, check out how brands celebrated the World Cup win.

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