For millions of Americans, engaging with the Super Bowl through social media has become as essential to the experience as pizza and Buffalo wings.
Across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, fans of the game (and its accompanying entertainment and advertising) racked up 43.9 million related interactions this year.
That’s according to preliminary data from Nielsen, which estimates that Super Bowl LIV was the most social TV telecast over the past year.
The number of social interactions is even more impressive considering the fact that the game attracted 99.9 million viewers on Sunday.
During the broadcast, social activity peaked just after the halftime show, which featured sizzling performances by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.
At about that time (approximately 8:30 p.m. ET), Twitter’s platform was buckling under the weight of roughly 144,000 interactions.
It’s no surprise, then, that Lopez was the top social talent account of the game, with 2.2 million engagements.
Patrick Mahomes, quarterback for the victorious Kansas City Chiefs, was the most socially engaged athlete account associated with the game, with over 514,000 engagements.
Earlier this week, Twitter revealed the brands that delivered the best Super Bowl performances on its platform.
Aligning with Nielsen’s data, Pepsi ruled the night by sponsoring the halftime show. On Twitter, other big winners included Doritos, Google, Tums, and Hyundai.
Across top social platforms, Planters and its “baby nut” secured the most brand-related interactions (about 176,000), according to Socialbakers.
Separately, the social marketing firm wanted to know which brands amassed the most new followers on Twitter after their Super Bowl ads were broadcast on TV. In this category, the big winners included Turkish Airlines, OLAY, Weather Tech, Sabra, and Planters’ “baby nut.”
Now more than ever, social platforms are the main arena in which Super Bowl brands need to prove their worth.
“Today, to win big in the Super Bowl, brands need to ensure that their content works not only for TV but also for social media,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO of Socialbakers.