Skills & Expertise

5 Ways to Score on Super Bowl Sunday with Social Media

Brands on social media can find a way to make a hit on Super Bowl Sunday

5 Ways to Score on Super Bowl Sunday with Social Media was originally published by the American Marketing Association.

Big or small, brands have a chance to pick up steam—and perhaps go viral—any given Super Bowl Sunday.

Influence Central’s 2017 Biggest Game in Football report says 78% of consumers engage in social media while watching the Super Bowl.

According to the report:

  • 38% want to share their thoughts on the commercials.
  • 32% want to react to the game.
  • 18% want to share photos of game-day parties.
  • 10% want to see what their network is doing.
  • 2% want to share strategy about the game.

Stacy DeBroff, CEO and founder of Influence Central, says even smaller brands have a chance of getting in front of a highly focused, gigantic audience on during Super Bowl Sunday.

Here are five tips for getting the attention of one of the biggest audiences of the year:


1. Focus on Pinterest before the game.

There’s a lot going on pre-game, according to DeBroff. This is where brands can focus on Pinterest, as 68% of people surveyed by Influence Central say they go to this social media platform when planning for game-day parties. Another 26% say they focus on Facebook and 17.2% say Instagram.
Super Bowl Food on Pinterest


“Over the weekend, everyone is going to be looking to set up these parties,” she says. “It turns out that people really want to design [parties themselves]. When it comes to this sort of creative casual fare, they’re turning to Pinterest to be included. That’s a moment where brands can put up—if you’re a food brand—pictures of a party spread or the recipe for your bean dip in the shape of a football or the colors of the teams.”

2. Focus on Facebook and Twitter during the game.

Parties are getting smaller for the 2017 Super Bowl, DeBroff says, as fans now have big screens at home and an instant ability to tap into an online party via social media. During the Super Bowl, fans look for real-time news on Twitter and their friends’ reactions on Facebook.

“When you realize the primary focus is going to be on Facebook and tweeting, it gives marketers a focus in advance,” DeBroff says, adding a possible example of posting branded picture every time a team scores a touchdown.

3. Use geotargeted influencers.

With so many people on social media during the Super Bowl, there will be plenty of people posting updates, looking at posts and liking them. DeBroff says brands should use this to their advantage by finding geotargeted influencers to place brand products or services before the big game.

“In this case, visuals are really amazing,” DeBroff says. Another great way to expand reach is actively searching for someone who is using a brand’s product, then amplifying what the social media user is posting. “The amplification of that is an opportunity for this elusive real-time marketing.”

Targeting users can be a great way for smaller or regional brands to get involved on game day, DeBroff says. “You want to reach your passionate consumers who are tied into the game,” she says.

4. Put a twist on the commercials.

While it isn’t legally advisable to hijack a hashtag or use imagery from another brand​, DeBroff says companies can still find unique ways to play off of Super Bowl commercials.

“The reason people are spending a lot of time on social is we now have a consumer demographic who all considers themselves to be discerning consumers,” DeBroff says. “We’re always analyzing the creative and the messaging to come up with our own determination of creditability.”

Companies can find ways to send their own message after an ad airs, DeBroff says–perhaps in an industry their brand works in, perhaps something a bit more creative.

DeBroff gives an example of a craft beer company playing off a Budweiser commercial by immediately posting a status, tweet or picture featuring a statistic on how many people drink craft beer during the Super Bowl, or something as easy as a toast to craft beer.

“You know within an audience [of beer drinkers] there will be people who feel strongly about craft beer,” DeBroff says. “You’re not hijacking, but adding something relevant.”

5. Be creative to go viral.

What’s at stake as a marketer? It could be a few stray impressions and a day or two of work, or it could be a brand being unveiled for the first time to an audience of millions. DeBroff says the only way to truly know what happens is to make some creative content and get involved.

“It means that you have a chance of getting a very focused audience,” she says. “If you can capture a small amount their attention, you have a chance of going viral.”

Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @HalConick.

The American Marketing Association is the pre-eminent force in marketing for best and next practices, thought leadership and valued relationships, across the entire discipline of marketing. Its online publications include posts on industry trends, career advice and more.

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