Guest post by Shane Barker.
Social media has become essential for brand promotion. With nearly 4 billion users, it provides you with the opportunity to potentially reach 50% of the world’s population. While campaign design is the flashy front end of the process, it has be supported by strong back-end measurement of the impact in order to be optimized.
That’s where using the right hashtags can help. While hashtags let you group similar content under a single roof, you can also leverage them for tracking and detailed analysis.
That’s where hashtag tracking comes in. Hashtags can help you spread the word about your brand beyond your audience regardless of the type of content you create. It’s also possible to track them, and doing so can help you find out how well your campaign has performed.
Here are three essential things to know about creating, using, and monitoring hashtags in social media marketing campaigns.
How to Do Hashtag Tracking
Here’s how to set up hashtag tracking to help monitor your social media campaign progress.
1. Create a Hashtag
The first step in hashtag tracking is to create a unique, branded hashtag for your social media campaign, enabling you to monitor effectiveness.
You can come up with a few hashtags manually that are relevant to your brand name or the campaign name. However, a better method is to use specialized tools for hashtag generation.
These tools simplify the process of creating a hashtag for your campaign. Simply enter a primary keyword related to your campaign and the tool will display a list of hashtags from which you can choose the ones that seem the most relevant.
Tools like Kicksta can also create hashtags based on parameters you specify.
Creating a unique hashtag will help you cut through all the noise and determine how successful your campaign was.
2. Select a Hashtag Tracking Tool
After you’ve selected a hashtag and launched your campaign, you’ll need a hashtag tracking tool that can help you understand the impact of your campaign. Such tools include Hashtagify and HashTagsForLikes.
Just enter the hashtag you want to track and the tool will display detailed insights to help you analyze the success of your campaign. You’ll be able to see the popularity of the hashtag, the monthly trend, weekly trend, and more.
You’ll also be able to see who’s championing your brand the most plus other related hashtags. This can help you spot other hashtags to incorporate into your campaign to give it even more traction. Other metrics you may see include the countries, languages, etc..
Now that you know how to track your branded hashtags, here are three other types of hashtags you may want to consider tracking for your campaign.
Types of Hashtags You Should Track
While branded hashtags can give you detailed insights into the performance of your campaign, you can also monitor and track other hashtags. Here are three you should consider tracking:
1. Content Hashtags
These hashtags relate to the content of your post. While tracking them won’t give you a complete picture of the progress of your campaign, it can help you figure out which additional hashtags you should be using in the campaign. By monitoring multiple such hashtags, you’ll be able to find ones that can give you better traction.
2. Trending Hashtags
These are hashtags that can give your campaign instant traction. You can find these hashtags on the platform itself. For instance, Twitter shows the trending hashtags on the right sidebar (click “Show more” at the bottom of the “What’s happening” box).
You can then select the ones that seem relevant to your brand and track them using tools for Instagram, Twitter, or other social platforms. Then incorporate only the best-performing ones into your campaign.
3. Event Hashtags
If you’re taking part in an event, you should definitely consider tracking the hashtags for that event, too. By monitoring those, you’ll be able to determine whether or not incorporating them into your campaign has any impact.
Once you’ve selected the hashtags to track, here’s a quick look at the metrics you should monitor.
Hashtag Metrics to Monitor
Among the important hashtag metrics that you should monitor for your social media campaigns are:
- Hashtag Popularity: Regularly follow this to find out if your campaign is becoming popular.
- Reach: Hashtag reach tells you about the number of people seeing your hashtags. Broader reach means more people are noticing your campaign.
- Demographics: Hashtag demographics show you if the hashtag is helping you reach your target audience.
- Number of Posts: This metric is important because it shows you how many people have started using your hashtag in their posts. A larger number suggests that your hashtag is becoming more popular, and so is your campaign.
- Top Users: Seeing the top users who are using your hashtag can help you find potential influencers for your brand.
Hashtags can serve as a great way to expand your reach and engagement. Tracking them enables you to understand the true impact they’re having on your campaign. So this is important to add to your social media marketing plan.
To do hashtag tracking, first create a unique branded hashtag to include in all of your campaign posts. Then use hashtag tracking tools to monitor it.
Additionally, you should also monitor content, trending, and event hashtags. While tracking them, look at metrics like hashtag popularity, the number of posts, and demographics.
Do you have any questions about hashtag tracking? Ask them in the comments section below!
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.