As we’ve written before, sporting events are natural generators of social media energy – and it can be a great medium for sourcing user-generated fan content, gauging sentiment and capitalizing on the buzz surrounding a big game.
As marketers and media outlets have been quickly learning, sports fans in general love to talk. They love to talk about the game, their favorite teams and their favorite players. Avid sports fans love to brag and talk smack, and social media provides a perfect platform to allow those fans to have those conversations in real time.
Monitoring the Buzz in a Social Media Command Center
With the Super Bowl being one of the largest and most watched sporting events of the year, it is no surprise that the folks at the NFL want to carefully monitor, view and track the enormous number of tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook posts, Foursquare check-ins and other social media activity during the course of the game.
While the NFL unveiled the first ever Super Bowl social media command center at last year’s big matchup, they were actually not the first sports organization to roll out a social media monitoring command center.
In fact, the New Jersey Devils (an NHL team), became pioneers in this space when they launched their Mission Control center in 2010. The University of Oregon Ducks followed suit, building the “Quack Cave” in advance of last year’s football season, using Postano to power the visual social media displays and capture fan conversations.
At this year’s matchup in New Orleans, HootSuite will be powering the social media command center.
According to the team at HootSuite, the social media platform will examine the volume of tweets for the two teams, quarterbacks, and head coaches. They will also track sentiment for the two competing teams as well as recent tweets from each team’s official Twitter account and the amount of people talking about each team on Facebook.
Missing from the Hootsuite social media monitoring display? The ability to aggregate and easily view all of the hashtagged and user-generated content from Twitter, Instagram and more.
As I wrote in “Using Fan-Generated Content to Fuel Sports Marketing Campaigns,” your brand is not your logo or tagline, but rather what people say about you when you’re not there. And in the sports world, there are few more passionate and engaged brand advocates as fans.
By not capturing and sharing the plethora of great fan-generated content that is sure to come from tailgaters, watching parties around the country and lucky fans in the stands, the NFL is missing an opportunity to capitalize on the huge content-generating machine doing marketing for them.
How Social Media Has Changed the Super Bowl Ad Game
Social media has also greatly changed the world of Super Bowl Advertising.
In an age of social media, advertisers who pay the big bucks for a Super Bowl ad spot want to get the most mileage out of their investment as possible (this year the price tag was upwards of $4 million). According to YouTube research, ads that ran online before the Super Bowl in 2012 got 9 million views versus those who waited until after with only 1.3 million.
In 2013, releasing ads before the Super Bowl, and hoping for virality on social media channels has become standard practice. This past Monday, Volkswagen, Audi, Century 21 and Axe all releases their Super Bowl spots on YouTube and shared them through their various social media outlets.
Several others have opted to release “teasers” or brief glimpses of the ads before they air on Sunday.