Whether you’re a seasoned hashtag expert or a social marketing novice, there’s one thing that’s certain: you must track and analyze your hashtags. Hashtagging is one of the most powerful organic social media strategies, but to maximize their performance, you need to track your hashtags.
Implementing the right tags will drive people to your content and get them talking about your brand. Relevant tags also make it easier for your target audience to find your content and help brands find relevant content to share.
This guide contains everything you need to know about hashtag analytics so you can increase your brand’s reach and engagement on social media.
- What is hashtag analytics?
- How to track hashtags
- Important hashtag metrics to track
- Types of hashtags to track
- Hashtag tracking tools to use
- Uncover insights with hashtag analytics
What is hashtag analytics?
Hashtag analytics refers to the collection of metrics and data for hashtags within a social media network such as Instagram, YouTube and Twitter [rebranded to X as of July 2023]. Hashtag analytics fall under the umbrella of social media analytics brands use to inform strategy and make decisions.
How to track hashtags
Use a native app
You can use Twitter analytics to measure your engagements, impressions, replies, Retweets and other important metrics. You can access the native Twitter analytics dashboard using the Twitter analytics website or via mobile device. You can access Instagram analytics via desktop or mobile as well.
Native analytics are excellent free tools, but a social media management software like Sprout will keep track of all your social media analytics in one platform.
Use Sprout Social
With Sprout, you can view hashtag analytics for all your networks in one central location, saving you time from running analytics natively on each app.
The Sprout Social Trends Report tracks which hashtags your audience is using, how they’re performing and relevant topics. This enables you to build your content strategy around what your audience is most interested in, rather than just latching on to hashtags that are widely popular, but have little relevance to your brand or audience.
And use Sprout Listening to find out how frequently people are talking about your topic, what related terms they’re using and what the sentiment around the topic is.
Adding those keywords and hashtags into your posts will help generate more engagement and conversation around your brand online. From finding the most relevant hashtags for your brand to tracking social post performance, Sprout will help you effectively analyze your strategy.
Important hashtag metrics to track
Tracking hashtags are important to determine if a hashtag is working for your social strategy. Here are a few top social media metrics that will help you determine the success of a hashtag.
Hashtags that are used often tend to be searched often, so it’s a good idea to include tags that have proven to be popular. Just make sure you’re not spamming your followers with irrelevant but trending hashtags for popularity’s sake. Popularity also helps define the success of campaigns. If you notice a campaign hashtag is popular among your target audience, you know it resonates.
Reach is an important part of your hashtag analysis because it measures how many people actually see your content. If your reach isn’t very high, you’re probably not using the best hashtags for your campaign or strategy.
Engagement and interactions
Not only do you want to make sure people are using and seeing your hashtags, you want to make sure people are also interacting with them. Posting hashtagged content that gets users sharing will expand the reach of your campaign. Engagement metrics also help you measure the impact of your campaigns.
Who, specifically, is using the hashtags? Make sure you’re seeing users within your target audience using and searching for the same hashtags that you are so your message resonates.
Types of hashtags to track
There are several different types of hashtags that you’ll be using in your social media content. Here’s why it’s good practice to track each one:
Use location hashtags to scale your strategy internationally. Region specific hashtags help you connect with your target audience in relevant locations. For example, if you’re a West Coast based athleisure brand, you might use the tag #CaliforniaFitness.
If you want to incorporate industry hashtags, consider using event hashtags. You can use these tags when your brand hosts an event, attends a conference, or if you’re tweeting about a large event going on nationally or internationally (i.e., big sporting events). You can use these tags to live Tweet, which can help generate traction around your event and increase reach and engagement on your content.
These types of hashtags are created to promote tagging your business directly and usually include a brand name, product or service. For example, Pretty Little Thing uses #EveryBODYinPLT and #PrettyLittleThing as a way to promote their clothing on Instagram.
Tracking branded hashtags—especially campaign-specific hashtags—is a great way to see how many people are talking about your business specifically.
A campaign/ad hashtag is a hashtag that your company creates for a specific campaign, launch or digital advertisement. This helps to generate buzz around one specific thing that your business is doing.
For example, Starbucks uses campaign hashtags each time they’re promoting a new drink.
These hashtags are ideal for tracking since they’re specific to each campaign’s focus compared to recurring brand or content hashtags. Use social listening to monitor your campaign hashtags and how well they’re catching on with your audience.
You can review trending hashtags natively on Twitter and Instagram’s Explore pages via desktop or mobile by tapping the magnifying glass icon. Both platforms will show the volume of people talking about or using each of the trending hashtags.
Not all trending tags will be relevant to your brand or industry, but analyzing them will help you identify the best tags to incorporate into your strategy or campaign. Using trending hashtags relevant to your content and brand voice will extend your reach and awareness. By reviewing analytics, you will be able to see how trending hashtags differ from other ones.
Hashtag tracking tools to use
There are a heap of social media management tools like Sprout that offer hashtag tracking.
Sprout’s hashtag tracking tools and automated data reports makes tracking and monitoring hashtag analytics more efficient so you can increase your reach and grow your audience faster. Sprout’s Twitter Trends Report shows hashtags associated with your brand, along with the context of those messages. You can also track specific hashtags and keywords over time to analyze growth with the Twitter Keywords Report.
For Instagram, track top hashtags by engagement and add key hashtags to track within social media feeds to see who they’re being used by. Plus, you can follow tags relevant to your brand to help ensure you’re interacting with important conversations and trends.
Hashtagify.me is a hashtag analytics tool for Twitter and Instagram. With this tool, you can stay up to date with trending hashtags in your industry. View individual hashtag performance by popularity and other metrics. Also discover spelling variations, related hashtags and top users by follower count/influence.
Keyhole is a social media analytics and reporting tool that provides hashtag tracking for major social media networks including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Keyhole allows users to review common metrics like reach and sentiment, and also see how many posts were created using a hashtag, unique users and the most influential users.
Uncover insights with hashtag analytics
Now that you’ve got more know-how about native and non-native tag tracking tools, don’t wait another day to test and track your hashtag analytics. Sign up for a free trial to experience how Sprout’s hashtag tracking tools will help you iterate your social strategy.
3 ways to get more from your data with Sprout custom reportingPublished on October 12, 2023 Reading time 5 minutes
How 3 brands use a Tagging strategy for marketing to get better insights, fasterPublished on October 4, 2023 Reading time 7 minutes
Unlocking insight: the power of data visualizationPublished on October 3, 2023 Reading time 8 minutes