With the Big Game only days away, the social sphere is already abuzz with #SuperBowlLII hashtags and pre-released Super Bowl commercials. Social media has always (and continues) playing a pivotal role in the Super Bowl — but how is the social media landscape changing this year?
Hitwise data shows that Super Bowl fans are 17% more likely than the average American to visit social media and networking sites — particularly the top three sites listed on the chart below:
* Reach = proportion of people in a given segment who are “reached” by each top social website. 4 weeks ending 1/20/2018.
YouTube has become perhaps the most important social Super Bowl destination this year. During the Super Bowl season in 2017, YouTube eclipsed Facebook in receiving traffic from football-related searches — for the first time in history. This shift is important for advertisers and marketers to note, as this trend appears to be accelerating moving into 2018:
*Line graph based on downstream traffic from variations on the term “football” from 1/2/2016 through 12/30/2017.
This growth also appears to be happening within YouTube as well. All of the top internal YouTube searches around “super bowl” have gone up in volume, as well as in ranking, compared to the same time last year (several days before the Super Bowl).
*Internal searches on YouTube.com over 7 days ending 1/31/2018 vs. 7 days ending 1/31/2017
This reflects a growing consumer interest — and expectation — to be able to consume Super-Bowl-related content before and after the game on YouTube. Much of this is driven by the desire to watch Super Bowl commercials, which explains why even more advertisers are pre-releasing their Super Bowl Commercials (or multiple teasers of them) this year. Supplementing on air coverage with additional video content, behind-the-scenes looks and post-game highlights will be a crucial part of the multi-channel Super Bowl experience in 2018.
This report was excerpted from our full Super Bowl LII Report, which include more details on key trends, audiences and themes for the advertisers and marketers to keep an eye on this Sunday.