If the stars align, Sunday is one of those days that I can hang out in my office at home to get some work done and watch some football while the kids take a nap.  If you watch any amount of TV there is no doubt that you have noticed every show now has at least one hashtag, if not multiple hashtags, associated with it.  Twitter has become the platform driving second screen engagement. I have also noticed that more and more commercials have started to include hashtags.  Shows I get.  People are passionate about them and want to engage with others who share that passion.  Commercials I'm skeptical about.  Brands are trying to move from just pushing content to being part of the conversation.  They are doing this by creating a topic for people to engage around.  My question was is it working?  Let's take a look at a few campaigns.

Bud Light has been airing a commercial with the hashtag #WhatsYourSupersitition

The commercial itself is great, a classic Bud Light commercial, but I was curious to see how the hashtag was performing.  Here are the stats for the past week.  (When you sign up for a Tellagence Demo account you can test this for any keyword.)

Stats for the week of 11/11 - 11/17 for the bud light campaign #Whatsyoursuperstition
Stats for the week of 11/11 - 11/17 for the bud light campaign #Whatsyoursuperstition

You can see that on Monday Night Football (11/11) and Sunday Football (11/17) there is a spike in activity.  The real issue here seems to be that over the past week there has only been 325 tweets using the hashtag.  By comparison the word NFL has been mentioned over 660,000 times in the last week.  No doubt that football fans are passionate and can be a bit weird if they think it helps.  Maybe there are not enough strange NFL fans out there who see this commercial and decide to tweet about it?  One thing to think about is what is the motivation of the consumer to do this?

Another example is VISA running #MyFootballFantasy (Campaign overview)

The pitch is that you need to share your football fantasy and use your visa card for a chance to make your fantasy come true.  Again VISA is a long time advertiser in relation to the NFL.  They have done many contests over the years but this one directly tied into social media with the use of the hashtag.  They have done a few commercials around this but this one with Jim Harbaugh is one of my favorites.

So how did this perform?  There is an incentive for the user.  You Tweet and use your VISA card you have a chance to win something.

VISA campaign for NFL - #MyFootballFantasy
VISA campaign for NFL - #MyFootballFantasy

Better engagement but also something you would expect given the consumer can win something.  What is interesting is that the YouTube video has been watched over 2.7 Million times.  So why aren't people tweeting about it at the same rate, especially when they have a motivation?

In Nitin's last post he does a great job at outlining the issues that are at play here.  At the first level both of these brands are clearly for profit organizations.  In the next layer, Nitin talks about the community purpose and community drivers.  This differs from platform to platform.

Twitter is clearly a member driven community.  People interact with other people on Twitter around common interests.  These interests are the basis of relationships and these relationships drive conversation, as I noted in my last post on context.  Both of these brands are trying to come in and set the agenda for these communities.  In a member driven community that is very hard to do.

Take a look at YouTube.  This is  a sponsor driven community because these brands put up content and people respond.  The driver for most people with this content is entertainment not engagement.  This is why on the VISA channel you see views of 2.7 million on the Jim Harbaugh video and almost 4 million views on the Julio Jones video.

The real question for brands is what is the motivation of your audience and how do you align your campaigns to those objectives? This is where we will continue to see the maturity of social beyond the push mentality we have today to a community based approach.  The challenge to this is building community at scale which is where we find more and more brands asking us about influencer marketing programs.  Being part of a community is possible at scale and much more effective than pushing your agenda but it is going to take time for brands to realize that and shift their approach.