How to Track Hashtag Performance

Tom Tom
March 3, 2017 ・ 6 min read

If you’re running an online business, you must be aware that hashtags are something more than just a bunch of phrases identifying discussions on a specific topic.

It’s been more than 10 years since Chris Messina invented hashtags. It’s too bad he didn’t file a patent! Hashtags momentarily caught on and they still thrive as they’re easy to use and effective.

In the case of hashtags, “the genius lies in simplicity.”

If used well, they can be a powerful weapon and great support for your marketing efforts. Doesn’t matter if you run an online clothing store, a digital agency, a SaaS business, or whatnot.

In today’s lesson, we will focus on how to track hashtag performance using available marketing tools and other solutions. Scroll down to learn more about hashtag analytics.

Why do hashtags matter?

Hashtags basically work like links. They create a colossal network of conversations gathering people around certain topics, products, brands, and anything else that gets its own hashtag.

They connect people and initiate conversations around a specific hashtag. Let’s say you’re a cyclist intending to buy a Specialized road bike. However, you have some reservations as you’re uncertain of a couple of things. You then go to Instagram, type in #specialized (or any other hashtag used by the brand) and find all the people riding Specialized bicycles. You can reach out to them and ask for a first-hand opinion or experience.

Tracking hashtags allows you to quickly jump into relevant conversations happening across social media.

On the other hand, hashtags are a valuable resource for social media marketing campaigns. They generate buzz and quickly spread the news across the web. Stay with us to learn more.

Hashtags in social media marketing

Hashtags are a great weapon of choice when it comes to building your online presence as a business.

Here’s why:

1. Creating a dedicated hashtag supports establishing your brand image and recognition on the market and in social media.

For example, Specialized, the bike company I mentioned earlier, uses the #iamspecialized hashtag which is similarly used by the owners of their bicycles.

Screenshot of Specialized (bike manufacturer) Instagram post featuring branded hashtags.
#iamspecialized – branded hashtag for Specialized bikes.

While writing this post, I’m drinking my all-time favorite soda pop which is Coca-Cola. The brand is well-known for using the #ShareACoke hashtag.

Coca-Cola tweeting with their branded hashtag #ShareACoke.
How to use hashtag #ShareACoke on Twitter.

Or take a look at Salomon and their hashtag strategy:

By tracking relevant hashtags, brands can easily perform sentiment analysis to determine what their target audience really thinks of their products. They can also smoothly engage in conversations maintaining a good PR and boosting their social media strategy.

2. Hashtags are your way of reaching consumers talking about your product and things related to your business.

First of all, thanks to hashtags you get to know your customers. You learn who and how uses your product. By getting to know your customers you can adjust your product better as they talk about its strengths, pain points, and improvement suggestions.

They can be a starting point for new marketing campaigns or even brand repositioning.

3. Hashtags support your marketing campaigns.

They raise awareness of your marketing campaign by increasing its social media reach. When the people interested in your campaign share the post containing your hashtag, it gets bigger exposure and social media reach as more people get to see it.

That’s why it’s important to use hashtags even on platforms where they are not automatically linked (newsletters, outdoor advertisement, etc). People are more likely to use the hashtag when they see it constantly in different places.

Finding hashtags is easy, but the real challenge is to find the right one to support your marketing campaign. That’s why we prepared a thorough guide on how to find the most popular hashtags.

You can use the built-in search engines on different social media platforms, but I recommend using hashtag tracking tools, such as Brand24, to find relevant hashtags that can support your posts.

Alternatively, you can create your own hashtag! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out our instructions on how to create a hashtag that will trend.

Tracking hashtag performance (with a hashtag tracking tool)

Hashtags have huge potential and can improve your marketing activity. The thing is, however, that if you want to measure its effectiveness in numbers, you need hashtag analytics tools.

One of the most effective and affordable social media analytics tools that allow you to track hashtags is Brand24. It’s a social media monitoring tool that provides a wide range of analytical tool.

It’s a paid tool, however, you can take it for a two-week spin for free (no card required).

Then, if you like it, you can choose one of three subscription plans starting at $49.

How does it work

Brand24 is a social media monitoring tool that collects real-time mentions of predefined keywords or hashtags.

Media monitoring options at Brand24.
Media monitoring options at Brand24.

They can be related to your business, industry, market, competition, or basically anything you want.

Each mention (in this case a hashtag) is analyzed in many ways. The tool provides you with data on social media reach, the number of interactions, sentiment filter, influencer score, and more.

All mentions appear in your dashboard or land in your inbox in the form of email notifications which you can adjust in many ways. If you use Slack, mentions can appear directly in one of your Slack channels.

The charts below present the number of mentions and their social media reach over a certain period of time. You can set the time range as you wish. However, historical data is limited so if you’re to launch a campaign, remember to set a project a couple of days earlier.

Tracking hashtag performance with Brand24.
A quick hashtag analysis available via Brand24.

What’s good about the hashtag tracking tool is that you can compare the data from different projects. This way, you can analyze the hashtag performance in comparison to the older campaigns or the ones of your competition.

Brand24 is a hashtag tracking tool with a 14-day free trial available. Register today!

Don’t forget to set up alerts, so the hashtag tracking tool will notify you about the sudden rise of the popularity of one of your branded hashtags.

Engagement

Real-time mentions landing in your dashboard, inbox, or a Slack channel allow your immediate response to people mentioning your hashtag. And time is crucial while analyzing hashtag performance, especially on Twitter, where they are extremely popular.

For example, Zelmer, one of the biggest home appliances manufacturers in Central Europe, created a quite successful marketing campaign based on hashtag performance.

Here’s an entire blog post about this fantastic campaign.

Conclusion

Brand24 is an effective, yet affordable social media monitoring/analytics tool. If you feel like that’s what you need, feel free to start a free, two-week trial (check out the floating widget to the right). What’s more, it has a number of other applications to benefit your business. You should especially take a look at social listening.

If you want to track hashtags performance, there’s a good chance Brand24 will become your go-to tool.

I hope you found this post informative and if so, I’d really appreciate you sharing it. Thanks!