3 social media insights from the Super Bowl

By Amy McIlwain

Financial Social Media Marketing

This is no different than word-of-mouth marketing — only it’s word-of-fans.

On Feb. 5, 2012 the Super Bowl became the most highly viewed program in American history. The 112 million sets of eyes tuned in to the game were watching for an infinite number of reasons — to cheer for their favorite team, to watch commercials, to critique the halftime show, to get free food from the party or to watch the post-game interviews.

In 2012, however, viewers not only watched the game, they generated an incredible aftershock of tweets, posts, likes and comments about the program that sent waves of mass conversation throughout the world — conversations that will invariably keep the game alive for the weeks and months to come. The enormity of social media engagement surrounding the Super Bowl is not only entertaining to read about, it’s important to learn from too.

According to the Huffington Post, the larger-than-life game created two new records for the number of tweets per second, with Madonna’s halftime show at 10,245 TPS and the end of the game with 12,233 TPS. This year, there were over 15 million Super Bowl related tweets. Last year there were 3 million. Imagine what next year’s statistics will be.

And get this: in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, the Giants launched a brilliant Facebook campaign that brought in an upwards of 10,000 fans per day. How did they do it? With the power of their existing fans.

The Giants launched a Wildfire promotion where an exclusive video of defensive end David Tollefson became unlocked if the page acquired 10,000 new fans per day. The promotion led the Giants to an 86 percent faster fan page growth rate than the Patriots.

Of course, that begs the question, did the energy of the Facebook fan growth prompt the Giants to win the Super Bowl? Who knows. But what we do know is that social media possesses a huge power that cannot be ignored.

Below are a few insights you can take away from the historic event:

Make your message quick and powerful

During the Super Bowl, advertisers typically only have 30 seconds to share a message. How do they do it? They make it captivating and memorable by evoking emotion, using humor and displaying a personal side. But it didn’t stop there. Advertisers supplemented their campaigns with a robust social media presence (videos, hashtags, tweets and Facebook promos). Apply the same tactics and strategies when developing your social media strategy.

Create a buzz

Remember the toga slackliner, Andy Lewis, during the halftime show? Before the Super Bowl, he was a sponsored athlete with Gibbon Slacklines and part of an underground slackline movement. While viewers could have simply viewed his halftime performance in awe and moved on, they had the ability to find the curious performer on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a number of other social media platforms.

Not only that, but Gibbon received a ton of business and slacklining went from underground to mainstream — all because viewers had the ability to connect and learn about Andy with one click. If Andy had no social media presence, his popularity would have never taken off.

If your business has an important message, product and service to offer, you are doing yourself a disservice by not featuring it on social networks. Make your message accessible to everyone. Create hashtags, videos, Facebook fan pages, Twitter handles and blogs for potential leads to find you.

The power of one fan

If one, just one, fan has a positive experience with your business, they possess the power to not only like or follow you on your social media platforms, they also have the power to spread the word of their positive experience to their network. For the Giants, one fan led to thousands of other fans, which led to thousands of other fans.

While your page may not generate the exponential growth of the Giants, the existence of your social networks allows for positive experiences and conversations to be shared with an infinite number of people. The Giants were on to something with their campaign. Use your existing clients and fan base to grow your social networks (both online and off).

This is no different than word-of-mouth marketing — only it’s word-of-fans. As one of the most highly viewed, premier television events in history, there is no better place to learn the most effective, well-planned marketing strategies of our time. Did you have any personal marketing insights from the Super Bowl that you’d like to share?