Hashtags are a great way to drive content visibility and reach more people on social media. At the same time, not all hashtags are made the same and while some have the potential to attract the right audience, others may not be used all that much. You can’t just add dozens of random hashtags hoping they’ll magically get your content to people’s feeds and Explore page.
So how do you know which popular hashtags to use? And how do you know if your hashtags are delivering results? The answer lies in hashtag analytics. In this post, we dive deep into hashtag analytics, what it is, why you need it, and how you can conduct it using the right tools.
Ultimate Guide to Hashtag Analytics:
What Is Hashtag Analytics?
Hashtag analytics is the process of tracking the performance of hashtags. It’s often used to assess whether the hashtags you’ve used are yielding favorable results. So hashtag analytics is particularly useful for measuring the performance of a campaign that involves branded hashtags. But it can also be used for optimizing your overall hashtag strategy.
Why Do You Need Hashtag Analytics?
Analyzing your hashtags is important for a number of reasons:
One of the most popular uses of hashtag analytics is in campaign tracking, especially for campaigns that have a branded hashtag. It helps you to understand how many people you were able to reach with your campaign and how popular the hashtag is among your target audience. With the right tools, you can even track how the popularity changes over time.
These insights can then be used in your campaign reporting to establish your ROI. You can also use them to see whether your campaign needs a bigger push to deliver even better results.
Discovering Your Best Hashtags
Hashtag analytics also plays an important role in your overall hashtag strategy. It helps you to assess which of the hashtags you’ve used were able to deliver the best results in terms of reach, popularity, and engagement. You can then use this to identify which hashtags to reuse and which ones to drop, helping you fine-tune your strategy.
Identifying Popular Hashtags to Use
Hashtag analytics isn’t just limited to tracking hashtags that you’ve already used. It can even be used to find popular and relevant hashtags to add to your posts. Some tools, like our Instagram Hashtag Generator, let you pull up hashtag recommendations for your posts and provide you with the popularity data of each hashtag. This can help you discover the best hashtags to use for your post.
How to Conduct Hashtag Analysis
Now that we’ve established the importance of analyzing your hashtags, let’s find out how you can conduct your own hashtag analysis. There are a few essential steps to follow when conducting an analysis of your hashtags.
Understand Which Hashtags to Track
First, have a clear idea of which hashtags you should track. There are several different types of hashtags, each serving a different purpose that you should analyze.
These are hashtags created by your brand, often containing your brand name or product name. They’re unique to your brand and therefore, are used to promote your brand name and products. Alternatively, you may also have campaign-specific hashtags that can be classified under branded hashtags.
For example, #ShareACoke is a branded hashtag associated with Coca Cola that gained immense popularity on social media. With influential accounts helping to push the hashtag and leading brands using it in their own posts, it quickly caught on among consumers and was used in thousands of posts.
— Andrew Zimmern (@andrewzimmern) February 8, 2022
Analyzing your branded hashtags will help you get a better sense of your brand visibility and campaign impact. It’s a great way to gauge how popular your brand and/or campaign is among your target audience.
These are hashtags containing relevant keywords about your content. For example, #landscapephotography would be a content hashtag for a photo of a picturesque mountainscape. Similarly, industry hashtags for your brand would also be considered content hashtags. For example, hashtags like #cleanhairproducts, #naturalproduct, and #naturalhaircare would be the appropriate content hashtags for an organic shampoo brand.
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Analyzing content hashtags will help you to identify relevant and effective hashtags that you should keep using for your posts. These hashtags can be a consistent element in your hashtag strategy.
If you have a company event coming up, event hashtags can be used to promote it, share live updates about it, and start a conversation around it. For example, people talking about the 2022 Super Bowl would use the hashtag #SuperBowl2022.
— Andrew Zimmern (@andrewzimmern) February 8, 2022
Analyzing your event hashtags will help you to understand the chatter around the event. This not only gives you an idea of how popular the event is but it also shows you what kinds of conversations people are having about it.
These are hashtags that are widely used across the platform at certain moments. They may not necessarily be relevant to your industry but allow you to see what people are talking about right now. So you can use them to participate in trending conversations.
Trending hashtags change frequently based on the conversations that people are having at that moment. Analyzing a trending hashtag will help you figure out which ones are worth implementing into your social media strategy.
Identify the Best Hashtag Metrics to Track
Next, you have to figure out what to look for when analyzing hashtags. This largely depends on the goal of your campaign and your analysis i.e. what do you want to find out from this? There are a few key metrics that can tell you how successful a certain hashtag is.
Reach is a metric used for measuring how many people actually saw your content. So if your goal is to raise brand awareness, this should be an important part of your hashtag analysis. You can use it to figure out if your hashtags were able to help you reach a bigger audience. Hashtags that deliver minimal reach may not be the best ones to keep using in your campaign or hashtag strategy.
This shows you how many times a certain hashtag has been used, helping you gauge its popularity. The more users it has, the more popular the hashtag. So if your campaign hashtag is seeing a high usage rate, it tells you that your campaign is highly popular among your target audience. Usage is a useful metric to measure campaign success as well as identify the best hashtags to use for your brand.
Our free Instagram Hashtag Analytics tool can provide you with this data. Just input the hashtag you want to analyze and the tool will show you the number of Instagram posts tagged with it. It also displays a few related hashtags that you might want to incorporate into your content.
Engagement and Interactions
Engagement and interaction metrics show you how many times people interacted with your content through likes, comments, shares, and even saves. This is another useful metric for understanding the impact and relevance of a certain hashtag. You can use these metrics to identify the best hashtags to use for your brand and the ones you should keep using. You can also use it to measure your campaign success.
Use a Hashtag Analytics Tool
Once you’ve figured out which hashtags to track and which metrics to measure, it’s time to start conducting your hashtag analysis. There are plenty of hashtag tracking tools that can help you with this. Some of the best options include:
A social media scheduling tool at its core, Later also comes with a robust hashtag analytics feature for Instagram. This gives you a detailed breakdown of your hashtag performance, with the ability to track metrics like likes, comments, impressions, reach, and saves. You can also find out more details about each hashtag such as how the frequency of use has changed over time.
This powerful social media analytics platform gives you real-time metrics on the hashtags you want to track. The hashtag tracking feature is available for all major social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. It provides you with key hashtag metrics such as reach, impressions, and sentiment.
You can also get a detailed breakdown of your hashtag performance including how many posts were created, how many unique users used it, how the usage changed over time, and who were the most influential users.
Iconosquare is a social media monitoring tool for all major platforms including TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. It comes with a Hashtag Tracker that lets you analyze hashtag data from the past 30 days. You can use this to keep track of metrics such as frequency of posts, total number of posts, top 10 posts, total engagement, and average engagement. It also gives you a media type breakdown on the hashtag you’re tracking.
Hashtagify is a powerful hashtag analysis tool that can give you a detailed breakdown of individual hashtag performance. It gives you visualized insights into the popularity score and the monthly and weekly trend score of each hashtag. You can use it to discover related hashtags, top languages used, top countries, and spelling variants used.
This tool also shows you the top people dominating conversations around your hashtag. And you can filter these results by level of influence, specialization, and follower count.
Questions to Answer with Your Hashtag Analysis
After pulling up all the data you need about your hashtag performance, identify the key questions you want to answer in your analysis using this data. These may include questions like:
How Is My Campaign Performing?
You can answer this question by looking at how many people you were able to reach with the hashtag and how many unique users used it. The total number of times your hashtag was used can also help you understand its popularity.
Additionally, you can find out the impact that your campaign had on users by looking at the engagement data. Are people liking, commenting on, and sharing posts that contain the hashtag? If your hashtag tracking tool can provide you with sentiment analysis, this is also an important KPI to understand the overall sentiment around your campaign and how people feel about it.
Which Hashtags Deliver the Best Results?
You can answer this question by comparing the usage and popularity data of your hashtags. Which ones are used the most and which ones are driving the most engagement? This will help you figure out the top hashtags that you should continue using in your social media strategy.
How Many Hashtags Should I Use?
By assessing the number of hashtags used in your top-performing content, you can figure out the optimal hashtag amount to fine-tune your hashtag strategy. While you can use multiple hashtags for your posts, that doesn’t mean you should overload your caption space with dozens of hashtags. The ideal number may vary by platform, so it’s important to test and see the optimal hashtag amount for different social networks.
Which Hashtags Should I Stop Using?
Look at the hashtags with low reach and engagement volumes to identify ones that you should drop from your hashtag strategy. These may be highly relevant to your industry but they’re not necessarily the best ones to use if they’re not delivering any results. They’re just going to crowd up your caption space – space that could be used for other, more impactful hashtags.
Where Are My Hashtag Users Located?
This question can help you figure out which geographic locations you were able to reach with your hashtags and which languages were used. It’s a great way to get a better sense of your audience and realign your marketing campaigns to resonate with them.
Who Are the Influential People Using My Hashtag?
If your hashtag tracking tool shows you the most influential accounts that used your hashtag, you can figure out who is leading the conversations around your brand. This is a great way to identify potential influencers to work with. Since you’re identifying people who are already talking about your brand, you stand a good chance of convincing them to work with you.
Up Your Hashtag Game
Hashtag analytics is vital for optimizing your hashtag strategy and measuring your impact. Make the most of the steps and tools highlighted above to start tracking your hashtags and discover insights that will help you boost your marketing strategy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you do a hashtag analysis?
You can do a hashtag analysis by using a hashtag tracking tool and analyzing important hashtag metrics.
How do you find out which hashtags are working?
You can find out which hashtags are working by looking at metrics such as reach, usage and popularity, and engagement.
How can you tell if a hashtag is popular?
You can tell if a hashtag is popular by looking at how many posts were created with it and how many unique users it has.
What is a hashtag strategy?
A hashtag strategy involves crafting a plan that defines which hashtags to use and how many hashtags to use in your social media posts.
How do you create an effective hashtag strategy?
You can create an effective hashtag strategy by tracking your hashtag performance and identifying the best hashtags to use for your posts.