6 Social Media Monitoring Takeaways from Super Bowl Advertisers

The two teams are set for the upcoming Super Bowl in New Orleans on the first Sunday of February. As more and more people watch television while clutching smart phones and tablets, each new public event or spectacle becomes the most social “fill in the blank” event ever. During last year’s Super Bowl there were 13.7 million game-related Tweets during the broadcast period, as well setting a new Tweets per second record of 12,233.

The commercials during the Super Bowl telecast are important part of this event. And while the advertisers are mostly confirmed, their advertising plans are not yet set. Many of world’s biggest brands spend an average of $3.7 to $3.8 million per spot to be part of this experience. And with that kind of budget, advertisers are looking to break through the social media audience as well.

“There’s a lot of tricks to winning the social media buzz wars,” Shiv Singh, PepsiCo global digital head, said in Adweek, “but being a part of the culture in a way that extends brand equity is the effect we want to see.”

These big brands know that they cannot truly capture the level of social conversation around their TV spots without an investment in a social media listening tool, and some of them are using Salesforce Marketing Cloud. With this in mind, let’s look at how a brand would use social media listening to track the social resonance around their Super Bowl spot. These are good lessons for any marketer looking to understand how their own marketing resonates on social media.

1. Establish your goals upfront

No matter what you are doing in social media, especially when you are launching a campaign, you need to establish goals while you are in the planning stages. A TV spot, or other traditional broadcast media, are frequently about brand awareness, but may have a call to action driving to a landing page. How many sign-ups do you need to make the campaign a success? Whether it’s 100 or a million, everyone with responsibility on the campaign needs to agree on those goals. When setting goals for a brand campaign, look at your current share of voice against your primary competitors to establish a baseline. Now you can set a goal for how much you want to increase that with your campaign. This type of goal removes your monitoring from the noise of this major event and focuses on the signal that your campaign creates.

2. Create compelling content that tells a story

Most Super Bowl spots start with a concept that connects to viewers and draws them in. The most memorable spot of recent years is the Volkswagen Darth Vader commercial. Anything that combines kids (cute!) and Star Wars (geek) is sure to be a hit, but it told a great story. If your content is not compelling, no one will pay attention to it, talk about it or share it. No matter your goals, you always want to leverage your fans and others who see/read/listen to your content to share it further than just your network.

3. Monitoring for a broad set of keywords

Starting with your company name, brand and product names makes sense from a monitoring perspective, but think of your favorite Super Bowl commercials. The brand is not always front and center. It often is not the thing people even talk about. What are the hooks from your campaign that people will discuss? Cats, monkeys, celebrities? Make sure you are listening for unique elements of your campaign to fully track how the social media conversation spreads around your ideas and message.

4. Monitor in real time

Let’s say that you bought three Super Bowl ads. One in each of the first, second and fourth quarters. If you ran two different spots in the first and second quarters, wouldn’t you like some way to determine which was the better one so you could run that in the fourth quarter? That’s where monitoring in real time can help. Don’t just set up your monitoring solution to pull reports. Social media is a real time activity and you need to treat it that way. Watch the trends and conversations while it happens, so you can make any changes as needed. This can help you avoid a crisis, but it can also improve your results by promoting what works. It also gives you the opportunity share comments others make about you right after they made them.

5. Pay close attention to influencers and advocates

Every industry has influencers and advocates. Don’t miss the opportunity to specifically keep up with their social media conversations during your campaign. Whether you reach out to them directly to share or comment on your activities or you just monitor what they are saying, this can be another way to reach your goals for the campaign. Super Bowl ads are now posted on YouTube days before the big event, and this lets journalists, bloggers and notable industry pundits comment and review all the spots beforehand. A well-reviewed spot can soar in popularity even before the event. This prepares the audience for it, whether they have seen it or not. The anticipation of something awesome drives their expectations and conversations before, during and after the game.

6. Report on your success

Remember those goals from the first takeaway? When everyone agrees on what the goals are and what success looks like, you should also agree how you are reporting on that success. What are all the measures that roll up to those numbers and who sees what? The core marketing or social team should see all the detail, but create a dashboard for executives that shows how you crossed into the end zone. And don’t forget to share your success across the company so everyone knows how your social media efforts support broader company initiatives.

This post originally appeared on the Saleforce Marketing Cloud Blog

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