Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Social Media Chronicles Engagement in Super Bowl 2012

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. NBC says that 2.1 million unique viewers watched it online, the most ever for an online sports event.

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.
This is confirmation of the multitasking study I wrote about a few months ago.

CNN has an interesting perspective on what they 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 ranks each brand based on their percent share of several conversational indicators we call dimensions. They ranked the funniest ads and also the “best.” 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!
View video here

What is the take-away from all these numbers? It seems inescapable: social media and smart devices—and social media on smart devices—has become a mainstay of the lives of many consumers, especially the Millennials and their younger siblings, the Net Generation. Older generations are heavy users also, but perhaps have not integrated social/mobile into the very fabric of their lives to the same extent. The message to marketers seems clear. This is the SoMo portion of SoLoMo: marketers who are not in this game are missing the trend. The scary thing is that this is probably not the last trend; marketers who ignore the message of integrating their communications can only fall further behind.
Rich Text Article first published as Social Media Chronicles Super Bowl XLVI Engagement on Technorati.