There’s a minor journalistic debate currently happening surrounding the marketing, particularly how social media played into the Super Bowl ads, that is happening right now between Matt McGee and Bobby Grasberger. McGee said that Twitter was the big winner amongst social media sites as he claims that 50% of the ads included mentions of Twitter. Grasberger says that only 3 of the ads mentioned Twitter with the others using hashtags which can be used on multiple platforms.
In ways, both are correct. In other ways, they both missed two of the bigger points.
First, it’s clear that businesses can stay social media agnostic and prevent social media overload by using this technique. As Grasberger pointed out, hashtags can be used on Twitter, Instagram, and Google+. He didn’t mention Pinterest but they work there as well.
In a good marketing strategy where there are so many mentions of social media on television, print, radio, and online, it’s as if there are no mentions. The overload has made people immune, so a simpler message stands out more. The ad companies did their studies before putting together the costly Super Bowl ads and over 90% decided to either use the inclusive hashtag rather than social media icons or URLs, or to not mention social media at all.
Both were smart, but the hashtags are clearly rising with so many social sites adopting them.
Which brings up the second takeaway – Facebook is shooting itself in the foot by not incorporating hashtags. Sure, the users don’t want them, but that hasn’t stopped Facebook in the past. Sure, they stand out as “not needing them” but they’re not getting benefit from them, either. If they would finally joint the trend, they could do some real damage, particularly with search.
Hashtags are big for marketing. They should eventually be big for Facebook as well.