Gone are the days where I have to wait until the day following a TV event to discuss wardrobes, commercials, and outrageous behavior with friends and co-workers. I can take to my smartphone, tablet, and/or laptop and send out a few tweets to voice my opinions. As someone that typically doesn’t watch much TV, there have been numerous event-based television events such as the Superbowl, Olympics and of course, the LIVE Bachelor Wedding that I tuned in to. When it is time for a commercial break (my favorite part), I have noticed the #hashtag trend is becoming more and more popular. But are you wondering if you need one for your commercial too?

  1. Second screen involvement is a must: More and more advertisers are incorporating the use of hashtags to extend campaigns to a second screen. Hashtags were used in 57 percent of nationally-run Super Bowl ads, up from 50% in 2013 and 25% in 2012. The use of a hashtag extends the brand from the first to the second screen and is a way to track the continued conversation surrounding the brand. By using hashtags, the consumers are doing the advertising for you by continuing the conversation on their social media accounts.
  2. Dare to be different: Thinking outside of the box is a necessary step when using a hashtag. One of the most clever examples comes from a brand that didn’t purchase any television spots during the Superbowl: JCPenny. Early in the 1st Quarter, JCPenny sent out two tweets that made it seem as if they had one too many drinks. After several tweets from various brands and other Tweeters; JCPenny replied “Sorry for the typos, we thought it was supposed to be colder. #TweetingWithMittens.” The typo-ed tweets garnered quite the following and response from the Twittersphere.
  3. Incentive Based Marketing: Retweet for a free bag of Tootsie Roll Pops? Tweet using the hashtag #EsuranceSave30? These are two Twitter contests I have taken part in recently—because who doesn’t love a free bag of Tootsie Roll Pops? Or better yet, $1.5 million dollars. If the incentive is good enough, followers are going to take part. The Esurance advertisement, starring John Krasinski, was giving away $1.5 million dollars as a result of the money that was being saved on purchasing a spot after the Superbowl was over.  The campaign had a total of more than 3 million tweets using hashtag #EsuranceSave30.

With nearly 25 million tweets during this year’s Superbowl alone, it is imperative that brands consider incorporating a hashtag to extend their television campaign to the second (and in my case, third and fourth) screens. A series of creative tweets, hashtags, and/or incentives are suggestions to make for a successful carryover.

Follow this #HashtagQueen on Twitter: @JGranucci

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