THE BLOG
01/20/2016 03:01 pm ET Updated Jan 20, 2017

Topic: 5 Tips for a Game-Changing Super Bowl Social Strategy

More than any other day of the year, marketers eagerly await for one - Super Bowl Sunday. With last year's Super Bowl game drawing nearly 115 million viewers per minute, marketers should not be sitting on the sidelines during the game.

When thinking about advertising during the Super Bowl, one of the first things that comes to mind is the millions of dollars spent on 30-second TV spots. For companies without that kind of spending power, social media can be an equally powerful opportunity to gain brand awareness with viewers during the big game. According to a survey by Crowdtap, 65 percent of Super Bowl viewers are likely to interact with brands on social media about Super Bowl-related content. This means brands have the potential to interact with nearly 75 million people through their social media channels during every minute of the game. With this in mind, it is essential for brands to strategize a social media game plan for Super Bowl Sunday:

1. Be complementary and relevant.
It's more about brand presence rather than promotion during the Super Bowl. Brands should strive to be the go-to game counterpart by providing timely and entertaining posts. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest events spurring use of "second screens"- meaning users are online talking about the game as it is happening. A big play? A funny commercial? Make sure your brand is a part of the conversations around that content without trying to blatantly plug your products or services. Take Charmin for example: during last year's game, the toilet paper company jumped on Coca-Cola's #MakeItHappy train with a hilarious tweet right after the soda giant's commercial aired. Lesson learned: relevancy is key; self-promotion is certainly not.

2. Show some personality.
During the 2013 Super Bowl, Oreo's legendary "dunk in the dark" tweet went viral because of its quick wit. Viewers are not going to stop and read overly promotional posts. They will, however, tune into humorous, entertaining posts that mirror a trending topic and resonate with your target audience. According to the survey mentioned above, 85 percent said humor was the number one element likely to make them remember a Super Bowl commercial. This sentiment can easily carry over to social media where a funny post (branding included) can go viral in minutes.

3. Monitor and interact with your followers.
Like in football, social media strategies should have an equally good offense and defense. Keep an eye on the topics your followers are talking about and don't be afraid to join the conversation. Your followers are not just a number: social users love when a brand enters the mix with a prompt tweet, and that will be amplified even more during an event when so many are online. Social media is where people are able to interact and react to what is happening on their TV screen. These social users are your followers for a reason - talk to them! A prime example? T-Mobile. The phone company was ranked as the #1 engaged advertiser during last year's game, meaning they responded back to the most people on social.

4. Proofread and stick to the brand voice.
Live-posting during events requires a keen grammatical eye and deep understanding of your brand. Try to avoid any unfortunate misspellings that could cause social media disasters and damage your brand. Every post should be in tune with your brand's values and goals. Depending on the brand, most social media "risks" like JCPenney's infamous #TweetingWithMittens will not go over well. Don't risk becoming one of the brands that end up on those yearly lists of "Top Social Media Blunders" just because you needed to post something quickly.

5. Don't forget about pictures and GIFs.
On average, tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favorites and 150 percent more retweets. This is because visuals are easy to digest and break up the typical play-by-play textual posts. It's also an easy way to get your brand imaging included without being too promotional. Right after New England's game-winning move during last year's Super Bowl, Cheerios tweeted a simple but incredibly clever photo that also proved to be a game-winning move for the brand. Success is in visual simplicity.

Enlisting a social media strategy that is equal parts personal, visual and timely will be the recipe for success come February 7th. As long as you stick to your brand voice and avoid plugging your products or services too much, your brand's Super Bowl Sunday should be full of touchdowns.