5 Ways Small Businesses Can Score Big on Twitter During #SB50

By Justin Lafferty Comment


The big number around the ad world this weekend is $5 million. That’s how much it’ll set you back to advertise on TV during Super Bowl 50 (though it’s too late to contact CBS now).

If you’re reading this, that’s probably a bit steep for you. But through social platforms like Twitter, small businesses can reach fans and customers hungry for content.

SocialTimes talked with Russ Laraway, Twitter’s head of small business, to find some ways that small businesses can succeed this weekend:

1. Find Your Audience

Super Bowl is a time where millions and millions of people around the world are sharing and reading content around a common theme. There’s plenty of opportunity for a small business to join this conversation.

If smaller brands take the time to find their audience, and use smart ad targeting, they can really get their message across, Laraway said:

The way to do this is to find the sweet spot. What we’re saying is to start with event targeting. This is a feature native to Twitter that allows you to identify and target everyone on the platform that’s tweeting about or engaging with tweets about the big game. That’s the place to start.

Laraway said to also use geo-targeting, especially if you’re a brick-and-mortar business trying to reach people in your community. With the right mix of targeting, Twitter advertisers can find the audience most receptive to their messages.

2. Plan To Be Spontaneous

As odd as it sounds, this is something you should be doing when planning messaging around any big event. With every company still seeking that “Oreo Moment,” there are a few ways to plan ahead and be ready when something big happens.

Laraway suggested drafting some tweets and photos and even videos centered around moments you know will happen, such as kickoff, 2-minute warning, halftime show and the trophy presentation.

You can also create content around interceptions, touchdowns, penalties or anything else that might come up. That way, you’ll be ready after a quick copy change while your competitors are still scrambling in Photoshop. Laraway noted that one big advantage small companies have over the major ones is that they’re able to be more agile and take more risks. Use that to your advantage this Sunday.

3. Use Compelling Creative

Don’t go with boring stock photos, or images of past Super Bowls (your audience will be able to tell). Twitter has a rich content platform, allowing brands to use Twitter Cards, Vines, video, photos and polls to keep people engaged. Laraway told SocialTimes that SMBs shouldn’t be afraid to branch out and explore:

These are formats that allow SMBs to tell stories using sight, sound or motion, and in doing so, can promote their business or product. … Video, even more broadly, continues to be what really engages people on Twitter. Creating content and promoting it to the right audience through promoted video is another really big opportunity where you can expect to get a lot of engagement on your content.


4. Look Through Periscope

Periscope is Twitter’s rising star, and more and more businesses are catching on. With Periscope, you don’t need a fancy camera, a star spokesperson or editing software. The raw video is a huge hit among broadcasters and viewers who want something non-scripted.

Through Periscope, you can give your fans a behind-the-scenes look at what your company is doing for the Super Bowl or host interesting chats with your customers.

There’s still plenty of time for brands to start using Periscope to engage with people on Twitter, especially with deeper integration. Laraway discussed how Periscope can be a huge opportunity for small businesses:

Periscope is a game-changing creative tool that definitely was not available during last year’s Super Bowl. What we’re seeing here is an interesting trend. People on Twitter want more raw and organic content. This is a really big trend that we’re seeing play out on Twitter. … With Periscope, there’s a clear platform to bring credible authenticity to whatever campaign they’re running. You can use it to humanize your brand and bring your world to viewers watching live.

5. Track Your Analytics

How can you determine that a post or campaign worked without the proof? Laraway pointed to Twitter’s robust and growing analytics dashboard as something small businesses need to be monitoring.

If you go to analytics.twitter.com, you can see how well your tweets have been doing and realize what people are really engaging with. You can track both paid and organic tweets, to see what might need a little boost. This allows small businesses to identify their high-performing content in real time.

Readers: What other tips do you have?