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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 16, 2014


Facebook's 500 million soccer fans vocal and active

Facebook is touting itself as the world's biggest stadium in the run up to the FIFA World Cup. With kick-off just under one month away, users of the social network should brace themselves for newsfeeds teeming with soccer fans' updates while marketers can use the sporting event to engage consumers.

by Helen Leggatt

If you're not keen on soccer and have a Facebook account you might want to avoid your newsfeed between 12 June and 13 July. Why? Because according to Facebook around half of its global 1.2 billion user-base are soccer fans and the 12 June sees the first match played in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Facebook arrived at this figure by deeming anyone on the social network who has Liked a soccer player or team as a fan. Unsurprisingly, the country that has the most soccer fans is Brazil with 54 million, the U.S. having 48.9 million.

The social network's 500 million soccer fans tend to skew young with 60% under the age of 34. There is little gender difference, too, with an even split - 51% male versus 49% female.

FIFA World Cup commentary may be hard to avoid during the competition. Facebook says that soccer fans are a vocal bunch - and not just at soccer matches. They post 1.7 times more photos that the average Facebook user, make 1.8 more status updates and make 1.7 times more comments.

Even if you block a soccer fan from your newsfeed that won't guarantee you mute their musings of the World Cup matches - they send 1.9 times more private messages, too.

Of course, Facebook's release of data aims to attract advertisers to the social network for one of the biggest sporting events of the year. In particular, it is being seen as an ideal time to engage Hispanic consumers.

"Arguably the most important cultural passion point for Hispanics is soccer. Of the 48.9 million soccer fans in the U.S., 10 million of them exhibit Hispanic affinity," says Christian Martinez, Facebook's head of sales for U.S. Hispanic. "For marketers, the upcoming tournament will be an incredible opportunity to reach them not only at scale but also when they're highly engaged across multiple screens."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, Facebook, marketing, soccer, social, sport










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