By Dan Schlacter

We are days away from a historic Twitter opportunity: the College Football Playoff championship game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks on Monday, January 12, at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.

You might not like the Bucs or the Ducks, and you might not like football. But, if you have a Twitter account, you might still care about the game.

This is how I tweet. (Photo credit: Maddie Taylor)

This is how I tweet. (Photo credit: Maddie Taylor)

According to TV Media Insights, ESPN’s telecast of the first College Football Playoff game between Oregon and Florida State University totaled 2.56 million tweets by 799,000 unique authors, and was seen by 10.13 million people. That’s 10 million people engaged online who could easily visit your website during a commercial break.

Assuming the championship game will have an even larger audience, it promises to offer a valuable channel for “real-time marketing” that shows off your creative side, reaches new audiences and gains new followers … even if your brand or industry has nothing to do with college football.

Keep these tips in mind as you tweet during the big game.

Create your playbook – Write down what you want to do during the game and who is going to do it. This should not involve an intern (no offense, interns). Whoever handles your Twitter account during the game must have the experience and authority to know when she can and can’t audible.

Play your position – Identify your best connection to the game, and run with it. For example:

  • Health care: Congrats to @OhioStateMed on celebrating 100 years. We look forward to working w/ the next generation of physicians!
  • Tech: .@WinTheDay blitzing like crazy. Is your data safe from getting sacked? #SackLunch #PassProtection
  • Education: .@OhioStateAthletics posted a GSR of 89%. for info on how #PreK leads to higher grad rates. #StudentAthletes
  • Logistics: .@GoDucks took 3 plays to go 80 yds. We’ll take your shipment global in 24 hrs. #MovingTheBall
  • Real estate: .@OhioStateAthletics establishing residency in the #RedZone. #LocationLocationLocation
  • Sunless tanning: Lots of bare legs on the field! Wearing shorts this winter? #GoBucs @GoDucks #GoBronze

Know the players – You’ve probably already noticed who in your Twitter feed is following the playoffs and bowl games. They are your best targets for *MTs, RTs and favorites. Follow these handles and hashtags to keep up with trending topics and memes between the whistles.

  • Opponents and athletic departments: @OhioStAthletics, @WinTheDay, @GoDucks
  • College Football Playoff: @CFBPlayoff
  • ESPN and analyst team: @ESPN, @cbfowler, @KirkHerbstreit, @heatherespn
  • #GoBucs, #GoDucks, #CFBPlayoff, #CFBChampionship

*If you don’t know what any of that means, you don’t need to be tweeting during the game.

Will you be tweeting during the game? Look for me between the tackles: @danschlacter.