Hashtag Analytics: The Power of Hashtags in Social Media Marketing

By Harneet Kaur

Hashtags have been an integral part of your social media for since long. Hashtags implementation within your content works wonders for your content gaining views and in return increasing your social presence. Hashtags are links that direct a user to specific and relevant content, wherein you come across other similar content too.

Hashtags are being increasingly used on Twitter and Instagram for clubbing content under an umbrella theme. However, in a world where anyone can create hashtags, customize them and use them, it becomes important to track which hashtag(s) would be feasible to use. Hashtags have enormous potential in social media marketing as a way to bring forward your brand. Even studies have reflected how content with hashtags receives more engagement than content without it.

Using the right hashtags would propel your content in limelight. Get all the information regarding hashtags and how to maximize their power through this hashtag guide compiled by Hobo.Video.

(Source Hobo.Video)

Defining Hashtags

Hashtags are certain keywords or phrases which are preceded by the hashtag symbol (#). This is done to categorize relevant content and connect all social media content, whether it’s posts, pictures, videos, themes, or events under one giant umbrella keyword. Moreover, if you want to search a certain post on a particular topic, navigating through hashtags becomes time-saving.

Primarily used on Twitter, hashtags have now expanded their usability to Instagram, Tumblr (where they’re called tags), and LinkedIn among others.

Using Hashtags

Implementing hashtags might seem easy, but there are some basic things that you need to keep in mind. Below are some ‘right’ ways to use hashtags to get the most of it:

  1. Have a public account so that your content is viewable to others. It won’t matter which hashtags you use or if you use the best hashtags if your account is private.
  2. Use short and concise hashtags so that they’re easy to remember and use.
  3. Don’t use extraordinary hashtags as they’re hard to find and it’s unlikely that they’ll get any traffic.

Apart from growing and categorizing your social media posts under a theme, hashtags are also helpful in connecting and contributing to your community.

Certain hashtags pertain to a specific task, team, or person. These are usually customized purposefully to reflect their ideology or something they want to promote. A good example of this is hashtags made by Twitter and by different teams in the Indian Premier League.

( Source Twitter Blog)

Hashtags are also essential in raising awareness regarding the recent and current happenings around the world. They are used to support a movement and cause. The #MeToo movement that took social media by storm in 2018 had over 19 million tweets under its hashtag on Twitter by 2019.

(Source: Columbia Journalism Review)

Another movement, #BlackLivesMatter garnered widespread support from all around the world.

(Source: Twitter)

Currently, the Farmer’s Protest going on in India is gaining worldwide support with hashtags like #FarmersProtest, #IStandWithFarmers and #Tractor2Twitter has several hundred thousand posts and tweets under them. Singer Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg came out in support of these and post their tweets (shown below), this movement gained global momentum.

(Source: India Today)

As an influencer too, hashtags are vital in growing your brand and helping target audiences find you. You can’t expect people to flock to your profiles and blogs if you don’t try to self-promote your work or posts through hashtags. It is essential to understand your competition and determine what would work for you, in your niche.

(Instagram Hashtags Used In An IG Post. Source Follows.com)

Hashtag Analytics

So far, we have learned the use and importance of hashtags. But how do we determine which hashtags to use? This is where hashtag analytics come in handy. Hashtag Analytics are tools that help you gain insight into the popular hashtags that are trending, the best hashtags that fall under your social media post, and a tracker for how they’re performing over time.

SM hack has categorized hashtags into 5 kinds:

  1. Brand Hashtags: like the name of the brand or its tagline- #OnePlus, #NeverSettle
  2. Campaign Hashtags: to promote a campaign of a brand or movement- #FarmersProtest
  3. Trending Hashtags: one’s which are enjoying plenty of engagement- #TBT, #MondayMotivation
  4. Content Hashtags: one’s which are relevant to your content, in case it’s about books then- #books, #reading
  5. Event Hashtags: to promote your events, conferences, or live sessions- #IPL2020, #AskSRK

There are plenty of tools that can be used to track hashtags. These tools are necessary for social media marketing as they can provide valuable information regarding the success or failure of a hashtag campaign.

Here’s how you can build-up your hashtag search using two basic, beginner steps:

  1. Find Popular Hashtags

One of the most simple steps to find relevant hashtags is to go to the social media platform and type keywords in the search or explore box. Through this, you can find the top used hashtags based on your keywords through the results your query returns. These hashtags would be top-listed with thousands to millions of posts under them, and this works for most social platforms. You can also search them on some free hashtag search tools like Best-Hashtags.

(A Screenshot from Best-Hashtags)

For Twitter, it is done simply by going to the explore tab where all the popular topics and hashtags currently trending are listed down.

(A Screenshot of Twitter Explore)

2. Find Related Hashtags

You might think that by using popular hashtags, your content might go viral easily. However, that’s not the case. This is because if the hashtag is popular, then it means there is an enormous amount of competition within the posts and tweets to get visibility. Many times, by using only popular tags, content gets lost within the large influx of content being posted under it.

This is where related hashtags come handy. These hashtags are counterparts to the popular ones within a similar category. These are not used as much as popular ones but provide a greater chance for your content to gain engagement due to less heavy content influx.

Finding related hashtags is quite simple on Instagram as it has a dedicated tab for tags when you perform a search. Therein, you can see hashtags with the post each of them has and how popular it is. It also works by opening one tag and you’re presented with relevant tags underneath it.

(Tags Column in Instagram)

For a more advanced approach to use hashtags, hashtag analytic tools come in handy. These tools provide extensive hashtag usability insights which help brands make the best of hashtags. Some of the most popular Hashtag Analytic tools available are:

  1. Hashtagify.me

Hashtagify.me is an online tool that helps in hashtag marketing on social media. It helps you find the right and relevant hashtags for your campaign along with giving you insights about how well they work and lets you explore and analyze the popular trends for Twitter and Instagram. You can even track your Twitter account to get insights and suggestions for your next tweet.

Not only does it help you monitor your own account, but it also gives you insight into what your competitors are using. For hashtags, it gives you a detailed report about one based on the popularity and correlation along with the language and the variation in which it is being used. It’s a paid service and the start price is $29/month.

(Source TalkWalker)

2. Keyhole

Keyhole is another popular tool to get your hashtag campaign going. It provides users with in-depth analysis regarding real-time campaign reach and impact, monitoring related brands and influencers, insights on events, positive and negative mentions of brands, and a lot more.

The best feature is the easy-to-understand manner in which these detailed reports are presented. This is a paid service with plans starting from $49/month.

(Source Keyhole)

3. RiteTag

RiteTag provides users with hashtag recommendations and suggestions for images and texts. All this is done with real-time hashtag monitoring and analysis. You can use the grouped set of tags Ritetag provides or you can automate it accordingly. Moreover, RiteTag optimizes your content by automatically adding hashtags or replacing them with better and relevant ones for increased reach and engagement.

The only low-point is that it shows just the frequency of use of a hashtag rather than detailed analytics about it. Plans for hashtag suggestions start at $49/year.

(Source Business 2 Community)

Apart from these paid versions, there are certain free hashtag tracking tools available that don’t have advanced analytic features but can do the work especially if you’re just starting out.

Hashtags for Every Platform

Every platform works differently, hence why each of them has different strategies for hashtag use. It is important to know how you can use hashtags on each platform to make optimal use of the feature.

Twitter

Twitter uses hashtags in a primary way to raise awareness about something. Hashtags there usually pertain to specific events or current happenings or trending topics. They are the main feature of the platform. It’s advised to use 1–2 hashtags on your tweet which are greatly relevant to it. This can increase your engagement by twice the numbers. The more hashtags= more engagement rule doesn’t work here as it looks like spam.

Instagram

Instagram allows users to add a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. Since it’s an image-sharing platform, this proves to be helpful to categorize your content in as many hashtag categories as possible. Using all 30 hashtags is useful for users that are just starting out to get traffic to their content and profile. Over time, many famous accounts drastically decrease their use of hashtags on their posts since they gain a solid organic following and their content reach isn’t sorely dependent on hashtag promotions.

(Source Instagram)

Facebook

Using hashtags on Facebook can propel communities and groups of people to discover and interact with your content. Using 1–2 hashtags which are relevant to the brand and promotion can increase content reach. Since users are converting their profiles and groups to private, it is difficult to know the exact reach your hashtag might have. But still, using them and them being forwarded in these private groups even can prove to be fruitful to your brand.

(Source Sendible)

Pinterest

Pinterest hashtag analysis isn’t quite knowledgeable yet as it’s unknown how they affect a pin’s reach. Since it works as a photo search engine, adding 2–5 searchable hashtags in pin descriptions is advisable. Do not use extraordinary hashtags as those might get lost in the crowd.

(Source Blogging Wizard)

LinkedIn

LinkedIn being a professional platform for job seekers and employers, hashtag use should be kept at a minimal 3–5 per post. You can add them anywhere within the post you write or in the description if you’re sharing an article. You can use more hashtags too, but avoid overusing them. Hashtags can be searched using the search bar and trending hashtags can be viewed under the “news and views” section on the homepage.

(A LinkedIn Post Using Hashtags)

Hashtags have been around for a long and they’re the most basic thing you can implement in your social media marketing strategy as a beginner to increase your reach and engagement. Starting with the basics, you can gradually adapt the advanced methods as you grow to keep up with the current marketing trends in social media.

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