How Twitter has helped England believe they can win the World Cup
This World Cup may well be remembered for Germany’s early elimination, Russia knocking out Spain, Neymar playacting at every opportunity, or the influence of VAR resulting in a record number of penalty kicks. However, it is also possible that it will be remembered as the social-media-World-Cup.
Never before have fans had such access to players and on-goings behind the scenes during a major football tournament. With Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram allowing fans to get up-to-the-minute updates on everything happening at the World Cup, there is one country who has used this PR to their advantage – England.
For the last three decades, the English have entered major tournaments on the back of player attacks from the British media, discontent among the players in the squad, and a lack of faith and belief from their fans. In past tournaments, English players have not been allowed to use social media, speak to the press, or even bring their wives. However, this World Cup represents a U-turn, as the FA have provided exclusive behind-the-scenes media content from the English camp.
Such peeks behind the curtain has worked positively, for both the players and the fans. For the England squad, it has brought them closer together as a group. England brought a relatively young squad to the World Cup with players such as Jessie Lingard who regularly posts on social media throughout the Premier League season. Allowing these players to continue posting pictures, videos, and other content keeps them happy and creates a squad harmony unlike any witnessed from England in recent memory.
The other effect of this PR offensive is the effect it is having on the English supporters. For the first time in a long time, they feel a connection with the players in the squad. This is due to personal content being posted across the players, the FA’s, and England’s social media accounts. This connection has created a real feeling in England that they can go all the way in this tournament and surrounded the English team with positivity.
Whether England eventually goes on to the lift the trophy or not, the PR and social media presence by the English FA and players has instilled a strong belief that this could be their year.