Instagram Analytics: How to Track Hashtag Performance on Instagram

Tom
August 31, 2019 ・ 8 min read

An Instagram post and hashtags are just as inseparable as fish and chips, Starsky and Hutch, or Tequila and great decisions. They are an inevitable part of your marketing activity. Here’s why: you need them to grow your account.

instagram hashtag analytics

Instagram analytics will give you necessary data you need to grow your account. It’s not enough to use 30 trending hashtags and track your performance. Instagram hashtag analytics is much more complicated and time-consuming than many might expect.

You can track Instagram hashtags on your own, but the best way to approach this task is to use an Instagram hashtag analytics tool. A dedicated tool will track hashtag usage, identify top trending hashtags within your industry, and help you post more relevant content your audience will interact with. Once you know how to use hashtags strategically, you can bring your social media game to the next level.

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Instagram hashtag analytics translates into numerous benefits, such as:

  • engagement
  • exposure
  • brand awareness
  • customer insights

Firstly, let’s dive into basic Instagram analytics metrics:

Engagement

In general, social media posts with hashtags raise the engagement of your audience. Simply Measured found out that it’s a 12.6% growth.

Social media engagement should be one of your Instagram metrics as it proves how your content resonates with your target audience. Social media managers calculate engagement by number of likes, comments, and shares a post or Instagram account receives.

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What’s more, if content gets engagement, Instagram recognizes it as valuable and boosts its visibility in Instagram search engine, and in the Explore page.

Exposure

Hashtags create a network of connections and categorize social media content. Using the right number of relevant hashtags in your Instagram posts guarantees exposure to broader audience – whether you target influencers, brand ambassadors, or potential customers.

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Brand awareness

The bigger exposure the higher your brand awareness.

Creating unique Instagram hashtags for your company, marketing campaigns, or content supports your brand image and online reputation. They help in establishing your position as an expert in your niche, and make your presence more memorable.

Customer insights

By following your hashtags, you can get to know your target audience better.

You can see who they are, how they use your product or service, or what their problems and expectations are. It’s a massive source of business intelligence you can act upon.

Let’s what’s ahead of us today:

What relevant hashtags should you use?

Your success on Instagram depends on the hashtags you choose. Depending on the goal of your marketing campaign, you should put a predefined set of Instagram hashtags under each post.

You should always put certain hashtags with your posts:

  • your branded hashtags
  • your campaign-specific hashtags
  • trending hashtags

Your branded hashtags will help you discover who, where, and when shares your Instagram posts. Instagram analytics tools will automatically monitor aggregated data. You can use the Instagram insights to improve your social media strategy.

Instagram hashtag analytics: examples of hashtags

Once you have Instagram hashtags that matter for your business, you can start tracking hashtags using one of hashtag analytics tools, for example, Brand24.

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Company hashtag

Company hashtag is one of the ways to build your brand awareness and establish yourself as an expert in a given niche. Measuring the performance of a company hashtag on Instagram will show you how many people talk about your company, what sentiment it generates, and how many people it reaches.

Specialized uses #imspecialized hashtag.

Event hashtag

Instagram is a perfect match for event marketing.

It’s a way to spread the news about your event and attract audience’s attention: get more attendees, sponsors or speakers.

During an event, you can post pictures from lectures, some behind-the-scenes pictures or videos. All of them can be hashtagged with your hashtags.

During and after the event, you should track Instagram hashtags to collect user-generated content and keep your social media feed interesting for other users.

Hashtag campaigns

Instagram is ideal for running hashtag marketing campaigns.

Adding a dedicated hashtag to your campaign allows you to measuring its performance.

Before you start tracking Instagram hashtags, establish the goal of your campaign. Your brand awareness campaign will look completely different than a social media campaign.

The goal of the campaign will determine the hashtags you will track. Brand awareness campaign will require you to use a branded hashtag. For a social media campaign, you need to track different set of hashtag data. Apart from hashtag reach, you should track metrics such as:

  • sentiment analysis
  • user-generated content
  • social media engagement
  • the most popular public profiles

Why is Instagram hashtag analytics important?

Bear in mind that, in general, companies are unaware of the necessity of tracking the performance of their social media activities.

A study from Altimeter shows that 39% of businesses don’t analyze their social media actions due to lack of tools and expertise.

The good thing is that tracking hashtag performance on Instagram is relatively easy and straightforward: there’s a couple of metrics you can track to monitor your progress.

Let’s see what they are.

1. Volume of mentions

Instagram hashtag analytics starts with the volume of mentions.

This is the most elementary metric. It’s good to track it over a certain period of time. Here’s how it looks like in Brand24.

1. Volume of mentions.
Monitor your Instagram hashtag performance

Above you can see some data about Tour de France’s #TdF2017 hashtag I was monitoring in July. The blue line indicates the number of mentions and the green line represents social media reach they generated.

Volume of mentions is a good indicator of the popularity of your hashtag. You can observe the volume of conversations about your company, event or marketing campaign.

It’s important to keep track of these numbers: if the number of mentions grows, decreases or stays the same. Hashtag tracking tools will report this number daily.

2. Social media reach

Another super important metric you can track is the social media reach of Instagram hashtags.

Social media reach is the number of social media users that might have stumble upon your hashtag in social media. It’s an algorithm based on the number of followers a user has. It means that if I share an Instagram post with your hashtag, my followers will see it. This is how they add up to the overall social media reach of your hashtag.

Instagram hashtag analytics lets you discover how your hashtags spread and what audience it reaches.

By comparing social media reach with engagement numbers, you can find out what your engagement percentage is.

To get your engagement percentage, take the number of interactions (likes, comments) and divide it by social media reach your hashtag generates. This percentage shows what part of the audience engaged with your hashtagged content.

3. Engagement

We can’t talk about Instagram hashtag analytics without discussing engagement.

Engagement indicates how many users interact with posts mentioning your hashtag. It includes the number of likes and comments.

This metrics shows how your hashtagged content resonates with your target audience.

Hashtags are key to getting more engagement on Instagram, especially trending hashtags. This video shares some good tips on how to find the best Instagram hashtags to grow your Instagram account:

4. Influence

Another metric to track hashtag performance on Instagram is Influence.

It sounds rather enigmatic but can be measured indeed.

In Brand24, influence is an algorithm that combines of the number of followers, and engagement metrics: comments and likes. On this basis, each Instagram profile that mentions your hashtag gets an Influencer Score. 

It helps you identify the most influential authors.

Having look at the influence of Instagram profiles mentioning your hashtag, you can identify influencers that might be interested in promoting your product – people who will support your company and product by talking about them in their social media. It will give you access to their audience.

5. The most active social media authors

Instagram hashtag analytics involves tracking the most active Instagram authors.

This metric shows Instagram profiles that use your hashtag most often.

This is another way to identify social media influencers to work with your company and promote it.

Who needs Instagram hashtag analytics?

  • Instagram influencers from various niches
  • YouTubers present on Instagram
  • Online stores
  • Saas businesses
  • Small, medium and large companies growing their social media presence

How to track hashtag performance on Instagram?

One of the ways to track your hashtag is to use Brand24 which is a media monitoring tool. It supports Instagram hashtag analytics.

Once you create your free account, you need to create your first project. Since we’re talking here about Instagram hashtag analytics, you should enter your hashtag. Don’t forget to include the hashtag sign.

If you enter a couple of hashtags, you get combined data about all of them. If you enter one hashtag, you get data about one hashtag. You can create multiple projects.

How To Track Hashtag Performance on Instagram
Monitor your Instagram hashtag performance

Then, in Summary tab, you can see a short summary of the most important KPIs.

How To Track Hashtag Performance on Instagram
Monitor your Instagram hashtag performance

All mentions can be found in Mentions tab:

How To Track Hashtag Performance on Instagram
Monitor your Instagram hashtag performance

All the most important data is inside Analysis tab:

How To Track Hashtag Performance on Instagram
Monitor your Instagram hashtag performance

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