With inducements to follow #thenextbigthing, #pickyourteam, and #nodrama, it seemed like hashtags were taking over the Super Bowl -- and for good reason. Hashtags are an effective way to engage with followers, promote discussion, and generate buzz about your brand.
The ways that brands successfully utilized hashtags during this year's Super Bowl can be replicated in your business' marketing strategy to similar effects.
Super Bowl Stats
How did Super Bowl commercials engage with social networks during the game? The Twitter blog claimed that there were 24.1 million total tweets about the game, the halftime show, and the advertising.
- Twitter was mentioned in 26 out of 52 national advertisements (50%), whereas Facebook was mentioned in only 4 (7%).
- Hashtags -- which are functional on several platforms, including Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, but not Facebook -- were used in 38% of the national ads.
What is the result of this kind of engagement? According to Adobe, "Visits and page views to companies that advertise on TV during the Super Bowl show a 20% increase in visits on the day of the game and maintain higher than average traffic for a week following the game."
Related: Hire one of our online marketing vendors to improve your hashtagging
Use Branded Hashtags
Best Buy (#infiniteanswers), Volkswagen (#gethappy) and Budweiser (#clydesdales) all produced branded hashtags for Twitter. These hashtags connect both with their Super Bowl commercials and with their overall branded image.
Best Buy promotes itself as a repository of technical knowledge, and Volkswagen, as a means for attaining happiness. Budweiser's long-running utilization of Clydesdale horses within their marketing resonates strongly with customers year after year. It builds anticipation and a visceral connection to the brand; viewers sat through the commercials and asked, "Come on, where are the Clydesdales?" (Budweiser added 10,000 new Twitter followers after their ad aired during the Super Bowl.)
- Branded keywords can be utilized as hashtags to add depth to the discussion of your brand on Twitter and expand the reach of your engagement.
Use the News
The largest spike of tweets per minute occurred immediately following the conclusion of Beyoncé's halftime show (268,000 TPM); the second largest peak, however, took place when the lights went out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This event generated 231,000 tweets per minute. A number of brands took advantage of the buzz surrounding this event by producing clever and witty responses within minutes.
- Oreo tweeted, "Power out? No problem," and included an image which stated, "You can still dunk in the dark."
- Tide: "We can't get your #blackout, but we can get your stains out. #SuperBowl #TidePower."
- Walgreens: "We do carry candles. #SuperBowl."
Clever, appropriate, and --most importantly -- speedy responses to news items and trending topics can gain your brand attention and promote engagement across a wide variety of viewers. To prepare in advance, you can produce several responses to potential events and then tweak them to fit the parameters of the situation.
You can also respond on the fly as needed. No one expected the power to go out in the beginning of the Super Bowl's third quarter, but by the time the lights came back on 34 minutes later, a number of businesses were able to take advantage of the event to promote their brands.
- Pay close attention to special events like the Super Bowl, the Grammy's, and other large cultural influencers. More social network users are active during these events, enabling you to engage a large number of potential followers by entering the discussion.
The brands that garnered the most buzz during this year's Super Bowl used social media, specifically hashtags, to augment their marketing campaigns. Follow the example of brands like Oreo and Budweiser to effectively engage your customers with hashtags.
Photo credit: www.sleeplessmedia.com