4 Hashtag Tracking Strategies Every Marketer Must Know
Are you using hashtags the right way? Be sure about their relevance by using these 4 hashtag tracking strategies.
Image Source: SproutSocial
Are you sure the hashtags you’re using are relevant to your brand and audience? Have you ever tracked their metrics? Find answers to these questions and more.
Hashtags have become a pillar of social media marketing. Hashtags started as a trend on Twitter, but now you see hashtags on almost all social platforms.
According to Twitter’s research, tweets with relevant hashtags got 2x more engagement for brands and nearly 1.5x engagement for individuals.
Apart from that, hashtags provide many other benefits as well.
Using hashtags, you can:
- Provide context to your posts
- Control your online visibility
- Group together and organize your content
- Search for influencers, content, and users
- Engage with your followers
- Build follower communities
- Improve brand recognition/awareness
But, irrelevant hashtags can become a liability for you.
Don’t believe me?
The same Twitter report I cited above states that using more than three hashtags in a tweet can reduce your engagement rate by 17%. If you’re using the wrong hashtags, you might be hurting your engagement more than anything else.
That’s why you need to understand how to monitor your hashtags’ performance. But first, let me tell you about the hashtag metrics that can help you with the task.
Which Hashtag Metrics Should You Track?
Though incredibly powerful on social media, hashtags can be tricky to track.
Before you start tracking your hashtags, you need to determine the purpose of using them. Do you want to improve your reach or are you interested in boosting your brand’s visibility? Will the hashtags be used to spread awareness about a new product or direct traffic to your website?
Once your hashtags’ goals are clear to you, pick those metrics from below which can help you achieve your goals.
It can be challenging to grab eyeballs on crowded social platforms. But if you add a couple of trending hashtags to your posts, you can stand out from the crowd.
Hashtags that are popular on a given platform are often searched for more often. So, by checking platform analytics, you can identify the most popular hashtags there. Just ensure that they are relevant to your followers and content.
If you’re using hashtags to grow your follower count, it’s wise to track your hashtags’ reach.
Hashtags that are used by very few people or that are narrowly niched can do nothing for your following. On the other hand, hashtags that are widely used can make you visible in the right circles and bring you new followers. To determine your hashtags’ reach, find out the number of impressions they are garnering.
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew precisely which hashtags resonate best with your target audience? You’d be able to laser-focus your messaging and get more bang for your marketing bucks.
I feel you.
You can analyze your hashtags using tools like HashTagsForLikes and Ingramer. You will get real-time data about the user demographics of every hashtag you’re monitoring. If a hashtag’s user demographics align with those of your ideal customer persona, the hashtag is a good fit for you.
It’s not enough that people are seeing and using your hashtags. They should also be resharing them, especially if the hashtags in question are campaign- or event-related. You can track the number of reshares on your hashtags to zero in on the most resultful ones.
How to Track Different Kinds of Hashtags
There are many kinds of hashtags you can use in your social media posts, and each kind has a different method of tracking. Let’s learn more about this…
When you create hashtags around your brand name, they are called “branded hashtags.” They are mainly used for growing brand awareness and monitoring social conversations like KITKAT does with their #KITKATSanta hashtag.
Image via Twitter
To track brand mentions, use social listening tools, keeping your target platforms on the radar. Whenever your hashtags are used, the tool will notify you and analyze the sentiment in the associated post
Say you’ve just started a blog, you’ll obviously want to spread the word about it. In that case, you can use popular content hashtags that are relevant to the topics you’re writing about on your blog. Your industry hashtags also fall into this category.
For instance, if I want to share this post on social media, I will use hashtags like #SocialMedia or #Hashtags so that people know the context of my article.
To find the most popular hashtags in your domain, dig into your target platform’s analytics or use tools like RiteTag. Try to look for hashtags with moderate volume but good engagement.
If you want to boost your content’s virality quotient, piggyback on trending hashtags. But to leverage them, you will have to create relevant, in-the-moment content.
If you’re targeting Twitter, the sidebar will automatically display all the top trending hashtags. You can search for the ones that align with your content or align your content to the hashtags. For other platforms, you can check their native analytics or use hashtag analytics tools.
If you’re writing about a big event or hosting one, be sure to include event hashtags in your posts. Using event hashtags, you can boost your event’s visibility, reach, and possibly even the number of attendees. It’s also a great way to create buzz before, during, and after the event.
To get the most out of your event hashtags, keep monitoring them using the tools mentioned above. If you dig into the comments, you will be able to zero in on potential followers and reach out to them.
You can also get real-time feedback on your events, which can be used to identify areas for improvement. Hashtag tracking can help you with crisis and reputation management as well. If you’re really proactive, you can spot crisis situations and manage them before they flare up.
Hashtags created for specific campaigns or product launches are great for grabbing eyeballs.
Need an example?
Starbucks nails this tactic by creating special hashtags every time they launch a new coffee flavor. After that, they encourage their customers and followers to use the hashtags in related posts.
Image via Twitter
This way, they are able to engage their followers in a community and earn free publicity for their new products. Tracking campaign hashtags is easy since they are very specific and have a narrow audience. You can use social listening tools to do this task.
Ready to Up Your Hashtag Game?
Tracking hashtags is easy if you know the right tools and tricks. The metrics and platforms I’ve mentioned can get you off a flying start. Once you understand how hashtags work, you will be able to predict the most resultful hashtags.
You can also configure timely alerts in your social media marketing tools to notify you whenever a particle hashtag in your niche is getting traction. Then, you can jump in and boost your reach and visibility.
Do you have any questions about social media marketing? Let me know in the comments. I’ll get back to you with the answers soon.