I am a native Californian and the last time I exercised was in grade school. Needless to say I had no personal stock in Sunday’s Super Bowl. However it was a good opportunity to see how corporations are harnessing social media to market their products. It didn’t matter if it was soda drinking Arctic bears or Beckham making men across America ashamed of their bodies, almost every commercial featured a hashtag.
Companies used the hashtag to hopefully start trending topics at the end of every commercial. If people started talking about Jack In The Box and their weird bacon marriage hashtag, then the campaign is a social media success. It’s a brilliant social media marketing strategy, and the best part is it’s not a secret. By using social media as a marketing platform, companies that pay millions to come up with ads are giving free new media marketing lessons.
As someone looking to use social media to promote your brand, it is important to take a note from Super Bowl advertising.
With so many well-done hashtag campaigns, it’s sometimes easier to pick the ones that didn’t work and analyze what went wrong. The companies that had the least success with hashtag marketing at this years Super Bowl either tried to be too funny or forceful.
If you are going to try to win your audience over with laughs you better make sure that it’s actually funny.
“Hey Audi, your cars LED lights are so bright they can kill vampires. That’s awesome! Can’t wait to tweet about it with the knee slapping hashtag #SoLongVampires. Wait a minute, what more could I say that your commercial didn’t already? You’ve given me a hashtag with no opening to talk about your cars, and vampires aren’t real and this ad is the worst.”
Your hashtag has to give people the opportunity to actually talk about a product instead of going for a cheap laugh. At last years Super Bowl, Audi used the hashtag #progressis, which is still being used a year later. #progressis makes people want to weigh in on the matter and offers a wide range of conversation.
When trying to market with hashtags, make certain that you are not trying to force people to talk about how great your new product is.
“Best Buy wants me to tweet about how they are the #betterway to buy electronics? But I just watched the commercial 1 second ago, how could I possibly know if that’s true or not. Oh well, they are on television and I am not, I should listen to them.”
Apparently some ad departments believe that if people are told to do something on T.V they’ll blindly obey. Unfortunately for them, the social media savvy crowd has a bit more integrity. Instead of creating a hashtag that brags, make one that opens up a debate about your work. If the response is great then it’s a successful campaign, if it’s awful then you can take note and head back to the drawing board.