Social Media Super Bowl

Preparing for the Social Media Bowl

We’ve been watching social media chatter around the “big game” intensify over the past week – especially if you live in Indianapolis. But since Volkswagen first teased its teaser ad with the barking dogs (and garnered over 11 million views along with way), the ad community has slowly followed suit and rolled out their wares.

Consumers that wanted to gain clout (and Klout) passed it along as quickly as possible. But will two weeks of conversation or two minutes of 1.5 million tweets (like those amassed around Tim Tebow’s heroics this season) sway opinion, increase favorability or drive sales? Or are brands just trying to be “part of the conversation”? The answer to both is yes.

Sometimes we overlook the power of social media to actually drive business. We spend time counting tweets, status update comments and blog posts instead of sales. But with #SuperBowl being a promoted trend on Twitter all day and the social media command center created by the Host Committee in Indianapolis, this Sunday’s investments in more than just television airtime surely sound like a ringing endorsement from CMOs across the country that social media isn’t a nice to have, but a need to have.

That’s because social media makes the viewing party and the water cooler the next day exponentially larger. As we all look down to our phones rather than up to our neighbor to share our instant opinion of that play or that ad or that tweet, social media allows messages and implied endorsements travel much farther than Neilsen ratings on TV. Based on ever-increasing platform usage, consumers have told us that the size of our circles matter. And that’s why every star uses Twitter (and why the NFL has invested in a player’s application so they can own the content instead of Twitter).

Since I don’t really have a favorite in today’s game, I’ll be watching to see if Twitter crashes. And then I’ll see how long it takes for this giant conversation to fade. According to Google Trends, although the search volume peaks the week of the event and then subsides into the ether until the next year, the overall conversation volume continues to climb year over year. The goal of social media is for brands to take advantage of those event peaks to increase their baseline of online conversation. Intuitively, that should work better for those with lower brand recognition, rather than the behemoths that can afford to pay. We look forward to finding out how long the proverbially tail can actually be not just in the social media conversation, but also for sales, awareness and preference.