#Hashtags Are the Future – Facebook Should Take Note

STwitter Hashtags Facebook Super Bowluper Bowl Spoiler Alert:  If you haven’t already seen the Super Bowl, the Ravens beat the Niners 34-31.  Aside from the big game, we learned a lot about the use of social media.  Besides text messaging, social media was the preferred way to talk about the game to peers; whether that be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+.

What was the top social media tool used?  How did Twitter square up against Facebook?  What did ads/commercials use the most in their strategy?

Let’s take a look at the numbers to figure out how social media played a role in the Super Bowl and what we can learn about brand strategy.

  • 75% of brands integrated social, mobile, #hashtags or apps in their ads/commercials (Source:  Jeremiah Owyang-Altimeter)
  • Twitter mentioned in 50% of commercials, Facebook 8% and Google+ 0% (Source:  Marketing Land)
  • Beyonce vs the Blackout – Beyonce Google searches rose 7236%, while “the blackout” was the most searched item of the Super Bowl (Source:  Search Engine Land)
  • #Hashtags were used in 38% of ads/commercials (up 31% compared to 2012) (Source:  Jeremiah Owyang)

Aside from Corporate URLs to continue the conversation, #Hashtags were the most used social tool throughout the Super Bowl (while Facebook was only used 7%, a mere 4% DECREASE).  The Super Bowl is one of the most watched cable event of the year with advertisers paying ~$4M for a 30 second commercial spot–you bet brands did their research and used what they feel is the best social tool.  And…I agree. 

To continue the conversation or add input, #hashtags are easy to use and easy to follow.  To find out more information about a specific topic, most search #hashtags, NOT Facebook posts.  In fact, most don’t even use Facebook search (except to find people/groups).  Facebook Graph Search usage will vary from user to user, but I still don’t see it being used to find trending topics, but instead to find people and research data amongst friends.

Facebook needs to figure out either how to utilize #hashtags or help users continue/discover the conversation.  How else can I figure out “what’s trending” on Facebook?  Try using #hashtags on Facebook posts and nothing happens.  Most people use #hashtags to find new content (its the new-age “tag”) because its easy, convenient and accurate.  How will Facebook bounce back?  We should expect them to react fast…they need to soon or else they’ll see a decrease in usage next year.