Angelo Fernandez | @angelobfs The entire world seems to be entrenched in social media during this week leading up to this year's Super Bowl. The NFL has worked with New Orleans to set up a Social Media Center where over 100 volunteers will work in shifts through the end of Super Bowl week.
There are of course the official Facebook (NoCityDoesItBetter) and Twitter accounts (@nolasuperbowl) which have been set up. But the volunteers will be listening in and searching through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to find all of those visiting New Orleans for the Super Bowl to engage, help, and interact with them about anything New Orleans or NFL-related.
Some popular hashtags you can use or search are #NewOrleans #NOLA and #BestofNOLA.
The social media center is using Infomous to track the most popular words and phrases being used in and around New Orleans and specifically the French Quarter. And they're using HootSuite to then track those keywords and phrases.
Knowing that many of the French-derived words aren't the easiest to spell (for example muffoletta and beignet) they have planned ahead and compiled lists of common misspellings to help out visitors. Also, by using a huge spreadsheet that the New Orleans Tourism Department has compiled over years of e-mails and common questions these volunteers are armed and ready to answer all of your queries.
The Super Bowl is the highest risk single-marketing buy a company could ever make. You're looking at roughly $3.8 million for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl. A hefty price to pay but you'll have more viewers in that four-hour window than the Summer Olympics had in the first six days.
Using social media you can get consumers to interact with your brand before, during and after the game. Doritos is the king of audience participation thanks to their genius idea of crowdsourcing their Super Bowl the last few years using the Crash The Super Bowl campaign.
This year half of the ads during the Super Bowl will include hashtags. Super Bowl advertisers can buy promoted tweets and trends around the game to ensure that people watching and talking about the game are also seeing their message.
But no matter how much you're paying to be in front of the right people you ultimately have to have something great, innovative, and worthy of sharing if your company is hoping to hit the jackpot during the Super Bowl. As Peter Daboll says, "Great creative drives social interaction; social interaction does not create great ads." That's why companies are not only focusing on the quality of their commercials but on how to smartly engage the audience. Coke is running a “vote the ending” commercials allowing users to interact. Audi did the same and has already chosen the winning video. This year Pepsi is running a photo-sharing experiment where fans could get themselves featured during the Super Bowl halftime show.
Mercedes-Benz, Kia and Volkswagen are a few of the companies that have already released their commercials to hopefully beat the rush and increase the share of views leading up to the Super Bowl. Pizza Hut is going to air this user-compiled commercial minutes before the kick-off on television and then during the Super Bowl air another commercial announcing their "next big" product and letting everyone know that they will give away free sample of it on Tuesday, Feb 5th at specific times. Lincoln’s commercial is completely written by users tweets from a script-writing exercise on Jimmy Fallon's show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, here's the preview they've released. Budweiser is asking their fans to help name a baby Clydesdale via Twitter using #Clydesdales as the hashtag.
The NFL, 49ers and Ravens are all very tech and social media savvy. All three can be found on almost all the other social media platforms. They create places for fans around the world to get together and talk. The videos and photos often shared give fans "behind the scenes" looks that would otherwise be impossible. By incorporating social media fans can follow their teams, beat writers, superfans and favorite players like never before. The Baltimore Ravens have created an area of their website completely dedicated to all things Super Bowl. But not to be outdone the 49ers have created a website called 49ers Quest For Six to take images fans are providing to create a giant collage. Some popular hashtags for the game and teams are #SB47 #SuperBowl #SuperBowl47 #Harbowl #QuestForSix #49ers #RavensNation, #SBRavens and #Ravens.
The combined use of social media by New Orleans, the NFL, companies, people in New Orleans and all across the world makes for an astounding amount of content and in some sense noise. But by using research, keywords, hashtags and other tools you can sort through it all and find exactly what you're looking for.
New Orleans can provide amazing service to visitors and can share everything great about its city. The NFL can build a platform for passionate fans to have conversations and strengthen its brand. Companies can get real-time feedback from people and acquire new customers. People in New Orleans can get help with traffic, food and the hottest spots to visit at any given time.
And finally the rest of the world gets to engage via text, videos and photos with a week-long Super Bowl party that is on the other side of the globe for some of us.