I found this small analysis by Danny Sullivan over at Marketing Land an interesting one to share. Its about the use of website URLs verses #hashtags in Superbowl commercials – one of the biggest events of the year and a very focused area of attention which reaches 100’s of millions of people across traditional TV and social channels like Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.
From a high of 57% three years ago, hashtags were only in about one-third of Super Bowl ads in 2017.
When social platforms like Facebook started to become all the craze, many people questioned the purpose of building their own website and instead hosted their content creations on Facebook and engaged with hashtags to get exposure to their content. A very powerful way to get in front of targeted audiences. But hosting your content exclusively on these platforms like many small businesses have done to save cost and the hassle of managing and website puts you at the mercy of these platforms. We saw this happen with MySpace remember?
This boosted the use of company @handles and #hashtags and domains like Facebook.com and Twitter.com in ads and commercials. It even went as far as many businesses and people in general dumping their blogs and websites for the convenience and low-cost, and simply surrender to platforms such as Facebook for presenting themselves to the world. Many still do it to this day. Its easy. Its cheap, and it works. But for how long? Is this a good long term strategy?
Here is a graph showing the use of #hashtags and websites URLs in Superbowl commercials:
For the first time since the #hashtag craze, website URLs are back. Facebook and Instagram were mentioned in only 6% of those Super Bowl ads.
Perhaps hashtags aren’t as a sexy as they once were and Facebook is not the generous landlord it once was?
A tip for small business: Make sure you have some owed media online such as your own website where you own the domain name, the website content and control the hosting. Use social media to reach more people, but in the end you need to have them engage with your owned media and build a relationship with you and your business without a Facebook in between controlling and watching over the relationship.