How to Hitch Your Brand to the Super Bowl Using Social Media

One of the most outstanding social media campaigns of 2013 wasn’t planned in advance. When the lights went out unexpectedly for 34 minutes during Super Bowl XLVII, Oreo issued a simple yet powerful tweet: “Power out? No problem.” The accompanying photo, doctored up by Oreo’s agency as the blackout happened, said, “You can still dunk in the dark.”
This timely message resonated with people watching the game. The tweet was retweeted more than 10,000 times during the game, and Oreo got a huge amount of praise and postgame publicity for jumping on the blackout theme. Each year other brands hope to gain similar results during the Super Bowl, which is annually one of the most-tweeted events. Here are some do’s and don’ts for your social media accounts during the game.

Do Use Hashtags Related to the Super Bowl

Posting with hashtags will expose your tweets, Instagram photos or Facebook status updates to a greater audience looking for game-related information. Watch for trending topics that you can latch onto throughout the game, as players, announcers and teams trend depending on what’s happening on the field.

Don’t Forget Your Manners

The Super Bowl promotes a party atmosphere, but don’t forget the rules of social media even while you’re having fun. Don’t post anything that could be interpreted as offensive, and don’t be callous or judgmental about the game. Even if you’re joking, this can come off wrong and put your company in a bad light.

Do Post About the Commercials

People care about who wins the game, but the No. 1 reason people watch the Super Bowl is for the commercials. If you provide fun commentary about them, you’ll definitely garner a more engaged audience. Offer pithy critiques or post a photo to Instagram of yourself crying over Anheuser-Busch’s latest heart-tugging ad or tweet about your favorite product commercial. No doubt there will be many followers feeling the exact same way.

Don’t Root For a Team

If you’re a die-hard fan, it may be hard to hold back when your quarterback throws a touchdown pass, but remember that social media feeds are for socializing, not gloating. If you brag about your team, you could alienate potential customers who are rooting for the other side. Instead keep to more neutral observations about the game and commercials.

Do Have a Task Force Watching the Game

Oreo was able to jump on the blackout theme because it had people from its agency watching together, ready to spring into action if needed. Don’t slack off on Super Bowl night. Make sure your team, too, is ready to post about anything interesting, different or surprising that may come along. Those are the sorts of things that go viral.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Chances

You can be polite but still take a few unexpected turns on social media. After all, DiGiorno never would have gotten all the publicity over its “The Sound of Music” tweets if someone hadn’t randomly equated pizza to Austrian children singing during World War II. So toss out a few non-offensive non sequiturs. At worst they won’t get noticed. At best you have the next Super Bowl viral campaign.
See also: Top 10 Super Bowl 2014 Commercials Preview