Score a Social Media Touchdown on Super Bowl Sunday

Last year, 111.9 million people tuned in for the Super Bowl, an event ingrained into our American culture and tradition. Some die-hard fans watched to cheer on their team. Some were less interested in the sport and more interested in the halftime entertainment. Others just came for the food.

While the Super Bowl is a big game for football and fans of the sport, it’s also a huge game for marketers and advertisers. And rightly so. With so many consumers tuning in on the television, tablets, computers, and other streaming devices, brands can get directly in front of a large audience for a hefty price of $5 million for a 30-second spot.

But you and I, and everyone else, already know this. It’s why so many of us spend the entire work or school day on Monday discussing the commercials that made us laugh and touched our hearts (Budweiser’s “Lost Puppy” Ad, anyone?).

You don’t have to emulate Doritos or Pepsi and add a $5 million ad spot in your marketing budget. Luckily, there’s a place that football/commercial/half-time show fans flock to for real-time conversations about the events taking place. And, no, I’m not talking about the bar.

Gone are the days where fans only conversed with their fellow party-goers and coworkers the next day. Now, everyone can join the conversation with each other on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, you name it.

So if you can’t fork over $5 million for a commercial, you can still score a touchdown by investing a little time and creativity into your social media game.

#1: Join the conversation.

This first tip is pretty simple. Your business can join the countless conversations on each social media platform utilizing hashtags and trending topics. Last year, not only did the game itself have a special hashtag, but both the Broncos and the Panthers also had their own specific hashtags for fans to use.





Simply engage with fans by asking them to show their team spirit, pre-game festivities, halftime reactions, favorite snacks, and favorite commercials. You can even make a contest out of it. Here’s an idea: Ask your followers to share who they’re rooting for, and of the people who chose the winning team, choose one random winner to receive a gift card/prize package/etc. from your business. Easy stuff, right?

#2: Watch and anticipate the big moments. 

Did you know social media experts claim there is an “anatomy of the Super Bowl” that brands need to know about? Twitter’s Director of Sales, Dave Pattillo, highlights three key moments that occur during the game that businesses can capitalize on: predictable, anticipated, and unexpected moments.

For this blog, I’ll focus on the unexpected moments. While some of the biggest brands in the world create “war rooms” with staff watching and waiting for moments like the 2013 blackout (hi, Oreo), you can totally do this yourself. As a small business owner enjoying the game on your own time, stay keen on those unexpected moments so you can engage with your customers in real-time. Here’s another idea: Do a Facebook Live with your own reaction to the unexpected event and ask your followers to share their reactions.

#3: Host the party yourself, and get your customers talking. 

You don’t have to be a bar or restaurant with TV screens to host a Super Bowl party in your business. Sure, it makes things easier, but you can think outside of the box on this day. Whether you’re a coffee shop or a boutique, offer a discount to customers if they check into your business on Super Bowl weekend. Use a business-specific hashtag or catchphrase, and have them show you their post for a discount on a product or service.

Whether this sparked some creative ideas or you still have questions, let us know how we can help your business get invited to the big Super Bowl party.


Eleni Hampton | Twitter: @eleni_gabriella | Instagram: @elenihampton | LinkedIn: Eleni Hampton

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.

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