Social Media Chronicles Super Bowl XLVI Engagement

Author: Mary Lou Roberts
Published: February 07, 2012 at 4:21 pm

How many people watched the Super Bowl with a smart device or a laptop handy? According to Nielsen over 111 million people, 53.3 million households, watched the game itself. One observer estimated that 1.6 million viewers may have watched the live stream, based on previous streaming audiences, but NBC hasn’t released actual viewership numbers yet.

Even more than the number who streamed, two questions especially interest marketers:

1. How many people actually watched with a smart device handy?
2. Who were they, how often were they socializing, and what were they talking about?

There will probably be a number on actual two-screen watchers soon, but a pre-game survey gives an interesting preview. According to Velti, 60% of mobile users planned to use their mobile device during the game. Here’s how their plans broke down:
1. 13% intended to use their devices during game play; 26% were going to use them during commercial breaks
2. During the halftime show, twice as many men as women (26% to 13%) planned to use their mobile devices
3. 18 to 34 year olds had the highest anticipated usage; they expected to check their devices an average of 19 times during the game.
4. The mobile users are not loners; 97% will watch with someone else; they expect 47% of their co-watchers to also be checking their mobile devices.

CNN has an interesting perspective on what viewers did. According to their data from Trendr there were over 17 million interactions during the game. The traffic data supports their pregame plans. CNN chose some of the best tweets on various topics. Some are great; check them out.

I thought the approach taken by CNBC was most interesting to social media aficionados. According to Collective Intellect their Ad Tracker went beyond overall buzz and general sentiment scores to rank each brand based on their percent share of several conversational indicators we call dimensions. They ranked the funniest ads and also the “best.” See the video here. There’s a lot of similarity to the traditional best ad ranking of USA Today and a variety of content-oriented rankings from Ad Age. Facebook had an ad meter on the official SB site—another sign of the times!

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Article Author: Mary Lou Roberts

Mary Lou Roberts is a freelance author, educator and consultant. She is retired from full-time teaching, most recently as a tenured, full professor of marketing at the University of Massachusetts Boston and as an instructor at the Harvard University Extension School. …

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