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Update, Feb. 7: The social media command center for Super Bowl XLVI has been termed an "enormous success."
Social media was central to the Host Committee’s mission to optimize the Super Bowl experience for every fan. ExactTarget released today this intriguing infographic that tells the tale of (wait for it) #SB46 in #Indy: more than 5.6 million Super Bowl-related tweets were posted during the game, and from 46 different countries.
“It would be a crime if a lifetime Giants fan was outside the NFL Experience and one their lifetime heroes was inside signing autographs,” says Brad Carlson, the Committee’s Vice President of Marketing.
In order to prevent missed opportunities like this, the Committee joined forces with Indianapolis digital marketing firm Raidious. That firm launched the Super Bowl Social Media Command Center with the goal of informing visitors about what was going on in the city and especially downtown, and how to get to events and attractions. The Twitter hashtag #Social46 also became a font of information and entertainment during Super Bowl week and through the big event.
“It helps bring the event to the common fan,” explains Carlson.
Based on the corner of Meridian and Maryland Street, the command center served as a digital newsroom and was the apex of social media activity during Super Bowl week.
“Our goal is enabling guest experience at every level, physical and digital,” says Taulbee Jackson, CEO of Raidious.
Staff and volunteers answered inquiries posted by social media users located in Indianapolis. Each employee received a continuous flow of postings from Twitter organized by designated keywords in the message. The setup was quite similar to that of local entrepreneur Scott Jones' ChaCha texting service.
Questions ranged from "How much does a Super Bowl mug cost?" to an inquiry about whether the sender could sing the national anthem before the big game. (Sorry, friend: Kelly Clarkson had that wrapped up weeks if not months ago.) In addition, Raidious staff captured and presented content to convey events to a wide audience specifically targeting those who weren't in Indy in the past week.
When questions trended, their answers were posted to the Committee’s Facebook and Twitter pages to disseminate info to the masses. Additionally, fans arriving at Indianapolis International Airport who checked into Foursquare received messages welcoming them to the city and a link to the Committee’s website.
“It’s Hoosier Hospitality for the 21st century,” explains Jackson.
Foursquare also provided real-time coupons: Local businesses offered promotions and discounts to users.
Jackson hoped to make a lasting impact, after two years of preparation and then two weeks of 15-hour days. By all accounts, he and everyone involved with the social media command center and the #Social46 squad succeeded. No small feat.
“At the end of the day the world will see Indianapolis differently than they do today. That’s what I’m looking forward to most,” he says.
Additional reporting by Jonathan Scott
Photo: Darren Rovell, a CNBC sports business reporter and major proponent of both social media and Indy's Super Bowl hosting
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