More than 65 million consumers posted on Facebook while watching the Super Bowl. More consumers looked at social networks during the game, giving marketers more ways to target shoppers—and in at least one case to repel them.

Yesterday’s Super Bowl was the most social football game ever for Facebook and Twitter.

65 million consumers posted Super Bowl-related comments yesterday on Facebook, that’s up from 50 million Facebook users a year earlier.

Facebook’s numbers, which included 265 million posts, comments and Likes, were likely helped by the social network launching a Super Bowl-specific feed during the game where consumers can comment on the game—and the surrounding hoopla around it, including ads. Facebook also let advertisers target consumers within the feed based on what participants are discussing. Meanwhile, there were 28.4 million Super Bowl-related tweets on Twitter yesterday, up from 24.9 million in 2014.

The numbers would likely have been even higher had more TV advertisers included calls to action in their spots, which reportedly cost $4.5 million for a 30-second ad, says Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at the business research and advisory firm Altimeter Group.

“Most brands had a hashtag at the end of a spot, but they were generally only on for a second or less,” she says. “And the hashtags weren’t very rewarding.” For marketers’ hashtags to drive a message on Facebook or Twitter, they need to be engaging so that they give consumers a reason to include it in their posts, she says.


“There wasn’t much imagination on behalf of the advertisers to give their ads a social afterlife,” she says.

However, a handful of brands, most notably were able to drive consumers to discuss their brands’ campaigns on social networks. For instance, Always feminine hygiene products ran an ad that encouraged consumers to use the term “like a girl” positively. The ad, which included the hashtag #LikeAGirl, attracted 403,000 tweets during the game, according to digital marketing firm Amobee. That was nearly 170,000 more than any other Super Bowl advertiser and 85% of the #LikeAGirl mentions were positive.

The downside of more consumers interacting with each other on Facebook and Twitter is that the social networks provide a forum for shoppers to react negatively to their ads. For instance, Nationwide Insurance’s ad, which sought to highlight the dangers of household accidents by having a child talk about all the life moments he would never experience because an accident killed him, led to more than 238,000 social mentions, 88% of which were negative, Amobee says. That included a messages from high-profile celebrities like film director Judd Apatow, who tweeted, “That PREVENTABLE accidents ad from Nationwide was awful. Way to ruin my day insurance jackasses. How do we prevent them shitheads??!!”

“It was a downer,” says Lieb. That type of ad invites consumers to react according on social media.