The World Cup will start on Thursday night, when home team Brazil will face Croatia in what will probably be history's most social events.

While TV will play its usual important role, the second screens are where the engagement will happen. Companies are spending 43% more on marketing compared to the 2010 World Cup and, most importantly, their efforts are mostly digital. Adidas, for example, spent on digital only 20% in 2010, while now digital marketing leads the budget. Visa spends usually 30% of their marketing budget on digital campaigns.

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Facebook and Twitter during the World Cup

The Financial Times underlines how Facebook could win this event, thanks to a reportedly 500 million users who have expressed an interest in football. This number is double than Twitter’s monthly active users, making Facebook the “biggest stadium in the world”. They have just posted a note on how to follow the World Cup on Facebook, mainly through their new trending page, where you can see latest stats, scores, highlights from matches and post about the event.

Still, Twitter couldn’t be happier. They know the world cup is their biggest event ever and will attract a lot of new users. They have already released three blogs on the event. First, they confirmed the official hashtags for different languages:

  • English: #worldcup
  • Spanish: #Brasil2014
  • French: #Brésil2014
  • German: #wm2014
  • Portuguese: #Copa2014
  • Finnish: #MMfutis
  • The teams are on Twitter and you can follow your favorite here: List of World Cup teams on Twitter

    And of course, the players. A list with almost 500 accounts of football players on Twitter can be found here: List of World Cup players on Twitter

    Finally, Twitter has created a special guide to the World Cup, where you can follow your favorite team and teams' players and see other relevant news and tweets about the World Cup.

    Twitter director of media partnership Lewis Wiltshare reported to The Guardian that: “The 2010 World Cup was the largest period of sustained activity for any event in Twitter’s history and in early March we had already passed the total number of tweets generated around that tournament, so Brazil is huge.” And it hasn't even started yet.

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    p.s: I'm Italian so I'm waiting every World Cup with excitement and hope. First match will be Saturday versus England. Wish us luck!