How to make your Super Bowl social a touchdown without spending a dime

Shachar Orren

There are a few key moments per year that cause a publisher frenzy – one being the Super Bowl. And with game day right around the corner, it’s important that brands, digital marketers and publishers don’t fumble when it comes to their social content strategy. Why? During last year’s Super Bowl, there were 28.4 million mentions of the game on Twitter alone.

In my role as VP of content at Playbuzz, there is one question I get often: how can I win at social media without breaking the bank? After gathering insights, such as share rates and completion rates, from top sports brands and publishers including MLB, NFL teams, Fox Sports and more, I came up with three key ways to do so just in time for Super Bowl 50.

Work the nostalgia angle

I see nostalgic content working well across many verticals, and sports is no different. Sports nostalgia is a great way to rally up fans around big moments, such as upcoming games that they are emotionally invested in. Pull moments from a team’s history that fans are familiar with and that will likely hit a sentimental chord in their hearts. This tactic typically results in high engagement.

A great example is this 'Top 10 Quarterbacks in NFL History' countdown list created by Fox Sports that generated many comments from fans listing their personal favorites. Creating interactive content around greatest moments, past players, or anything that encourages fans to relive their team’s victories can drive fan buzz across social. And the best part – it doesn’t cost a thing.

There’s a game off the field

Super Bowl content can focus on any topic that fans experience as part of watching the big game – and I don’t just mean the commercials, half time show or big game itself. Alternative topics really become no less important than the teams and players competing.

I suggest creating content that focuses on fans, mascots, stadium grub, vendors and even the city hosting the game. A great example is a poll MLB created asking fans to vote on the best vendor at MLB stadiums. This piece of content alone generated nearly 40,000 votes and many tweets from baseball teams. As long as the topic is close to fans’ personal experiences, or something they care about, it has potential to garner great results.

Trivia – not just for the bar scene

Ever wonder why trivia nights are so popular? Because everyone loves a good challenge. Don’t limit your audience to the game that’s on the field – create one for them.

Stimulating formats, such as trivia quizzes, are great avenues to generating high share rates along with pre-game and game-day buzz on social media. Pre-game challenges not only refresh fans’ memories on what occurred this season (or in previous ones), they also create a competition between them and their inner circle.

Sports Illustrated published a nice piece of content to test fans on just how much they know with this quiz on the 10 undefeated NFL teams. In addition, The Chive created a trivia challenge testing fans’ knowledge about Super Bowl history. If the questions are just hard enough to be interesting, but not too hard to be discouraging, you can create a winning experience for fans regardless of whether their team took the trophy home.

Paying for social media exposure is the easy way out. The clever approach is to create content that is engaging enough to compel fans to spread it for you based on their positive experience. Create content that resonates with them personally and that is relevant to what game day means for them. Do that, and you will be the one scoring the content touchdown this Super Bowl Sunday.

Shachar Orren is the vice president of content at Playbuzz, which along with NewsWhip, has created a social strategy guide for the NFL.

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