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NFL using “social media command center” to manage Super Bowl chatter

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Dubbed the “Super Bowl Social Media Command Center” by Raidious CEO Taulbee Jackson, the Indianapolis digital marketing firm will be handling all communication regarding the Super Bowl with 16 full-time employees and 30 volunteers, mostly journalism students from Butler University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Ball State University. Jackson moved Raidious employees into a brand new office for the event and the employees have provided Super Bowl coverage over social media for 15 hours a day during the past week. This marks the first Super Bowl where the host committee has enabled one single area to manage all social media for the big game.  

CommandCenter2The company is tasked with managing the @superbowl2012 Twitter handle to promote event coverage, reply to fans and Indianapolis visitors in town for Super Bowl XLVI as well as retweet helpful tweets to over 23,000 followers. Employees will also be updating the IndySuperBowl2012 Facebook page with information about getting around the city safely and answering fan questions about the game. Raidious has also opened up a Flickr and YouTube account for the event, but no content has been posted to the feeds at the time of this article. It’s likely that employees will use those feeds to post photos taken around the stadium as well as any video taken during the actual game. However, it’s surprising that the company isn’t promoting popular Super Bowl commercials that have been released before the match up between the Patriots and the Giants starts on Sunday.

Up to this point, Raidious staffers have used the social media feeds to promote great places to eat around Indianapolis, areas where 150,000 visitors can find a place to park and how to get into events like the NFL Experience at the Indiana Convention Center. In an ESPN interview with the Raidious CEO, Jackson stated “We saw a way Indianapolis could take things to next level in terms of how we use social media to deliver a great visitor experience. If they’re online talking about anything about this [Super Bowl experience], we’re able to determine that and respond to them.”

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As many visitors from New England and New York started to arrive within Indianapolis this week, employees at the social media command center increased their volume of posts and replies around Wednesday. However, the greatest volume of social media activity is expected to occur during the actual game. During Super Bowl 45 last year, Super Bowl chatter on Twitter increased to 4,064 tweets per second during the fourth quarter of that game. Volunteers using tablets are also going to be outside the command center posting content from the Super Bowl before, during and after the game.

super-bowl-46-crowdsRestaurants in the area are also flexing social media muscles by enrolling in the “Text Times” program. When the hostess at a restaurant sees that there’s less than a 45 minute wait for a table, they can send a text to the social media command center. In turn, the command center can post that information within the feeds or simply relay the info to volunteers in the field. Volunteers can also send questions back to the command center when visitors ask questions about the area. 

While analysts and players have also jumped into the social media fray, celebrities like Jimmy Fallon are also taking advantage of Super Bowl coverage through social media. After moving his late night talk show to Indianapolis’s Hilbert Circle Theatre this week, he’s been tweeting about great restaurants in the area as well as posting pictures of various events around the city. Fans of the show have also been using Twitter to check on the availability of standby tickets as well as look for comments on wait time.