Facebook Hashtags All About the Second Screen Audience

Facebook’s introduction of hashtags to its network may open new marketing possibilities for targeting the growing audience that uses mobile devices as second screens. According to Nielsen, nearly half of smartphone and tablet owners currently use their devices during TV viewing, often accessing content directly related to the shows they are watching. This demographic is ideal for planting ads, similar to what Twitter is doing with promoted tweets.

“It’s been Twitter’s major pitch to advertisers to tack little hashtag addendums and catchphrases onto the end of their commercials,” writes Mike Isaac for AllThingsD. “From there, a viewer can do a quick search for the hashtag to track conversation about the ad and connect with other folks. Same with TV marketers: Identify a hashtag with your show and viewers can talk about the action in real time.”

“So, if you’re a viewer watching an NFL game on the couch and search the hashtag #MondayNightFootball, for instance, that’s prime real estate for companies such as Frito-Lay or Budweiser to slot a promoted tweet right in there,” suggests Isaac.

Facebook says there are typically 88-100 million users active on its network during prime time television hours. While its hashtags are only available to a small percentage of users initially, and not yet on mobile, this will most likely change soon, offering Facebook an opportunity to catch up to Twitter.

Facebook may face an obstacle getting viewers to associate hashtags with Facebook rather than Twitter, but it already seems to be working on Instagram.

“I anticipate Facebook’s adoption will only make the language more accessible to the mainstream; stick the hashtag in everyone’s faces, and you’ll be forced to learn what it means,” writes Isaac. “That, paired with the fact that it’s floating over to other platforms like Vine, Path and most recently Google+, and I’d guess it reaches a tipping point.”

Related News:
Facebook Borrows from Twitter Ad Playbook with Hashtags, ETCentric, 6/17/13
Aiming for the Real-Time Interest Graph, Facebook to Introduce Hashtags, AllThingsD, 6/12/13

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