When it comes to social media networks, hashtags have a huge part to play in your content strategy. These useful, relevant little labels create a well-rounded approach to marketing and help your audience find content to connect, engage, participate, and share.
If you have been on Instagram and Twitter, you are probably aware of the hashtag usage. And you have most likely used the hashtags on your posts to appeal to the target audience on different platforms.
So, whether you’re a first-hand brand or a seasoned expert to social marketing when it comes to hashtags, one thing that’s sure: you should exploit hashtag tracking for evaluating performance. Knowing the popular hashtags that drive post reach and engagement are critical to an effective social strategy.
The power of a unique hashtag can’t be overlooked, especially since they can help you dominate social media platforms. About 90% of social media users (millennials) want to connect, engage with brands, get news, and express their emotions, and hashtags are a great way to give them what they want
But what precisely is a hashtag, and how can you leverage hashtags on different social media platforms? Let’s take a closer look at the answers.
What Is A Hashtag?
A hashtag is a way to label the content on social media. It helps people find certain topics they are interested in and its related social media update. When someone shares content and uses relevant hashtags to label their post, others can search for that topic and see all posts with the same hashtags.
Hashtags serve as a medium to connect your content to a specific topic, conversation, theme, or event. It also becomes easier for social media users to discover posts, as they get to aggregate all the content on social media that use the same hashtag.
Furthermore, it provides a way for social media users to express their sentiments and important information.
Hashtags are most prevalent on social media platforms. They rocketed to notoriety on Twitter. Now you can easily use hashtags on different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.
When it comes to natural calamities, hashtags play a major role to help you learn about an event. For instance, the horrific Boston Marathon explosions, various hashtags were used. It provided minute to minute updates about the event.
- Always start with #. But it doesn’t work with punctuations, spaces, or symbols.
- Your accounts should be public. If your account is not open to the public, the content with hashtags won’t be visible to non-followers.
- Don’t jumble up a lot of words. Effective hashtags are relatively short and simple to comprehend and remember.
- Use specific and relevant hashtags. If the hashtag content is obscure, it won’t be easy to find and would not be used by other users.
- Restrict the hashtags you use.Don’t string too many hashtags in a post, always limit its use. Otherwise, it looks spammy.
Which Hashtags To Monitor?
There are quite a few types of hashtags that you can use in your social media content. Here are how you can use them and why you need to track each one of them.
Trending hashtags are a good way to leverage viral conversations and content to captivate the audience’s attention to your profile or brand.
Make sure you only incorporate hashtags that are pertinent to your product or content. Overusing them can frustrate your followers and audiences, especially if they realize that you are just after the shares, likes and comments.
However, only using trendy hashtags will also not certainly get you the desired results as merely tagging your post and content with #happiness, #tgif or #love will leave it in a sea of related posts. You will only get shares or likes from bots.
On the other hand, tracking popular hashtags can offer valuable insights into competition. See what they are doing with hashtags and use those ideas to accomplish your own goals.
Branded hashtags are effective when it comes to directing traffic in order to create awareness around your campaign or brand. A good, branded hashtag is concise, specific, and relevant, i.e. avoid any phrases or words that can be difficult to comprehend for the audience.
Furthermore, make sure that your hashtag isn’t already prevalent on social platforms as it will dilute the outcomes of your campaign.
Keep an eye on your competitors and how they are using their branded hashtags. Find out their popularity level, and most importantly leverage the tools to monitor competitor performance such as Mentionlytics.
A pro tip for branded hashtags is to track hashtags with your brand name. Twitter or Instagram users can naturally use your brand’s name hashtags without you knowing or prompting.
This type of organic popularity is a golden opportunity! So lookout for the hashtag with #yourbrandname, especially if you want to garner user-generated content.
Tracking branded hashtags is an effective way to gauge how many people are interested in and talking about your brand specifically.
Social media monitoring tools like Mentionlytics let you discover perceptions about your products, services or business on social platforms. Use this and similar tools to track hashtags and get detailed reports on hashtag performance.
Content hashtags refer to the industry-related hashtags to the business you work in or use social media for. They are not essentially popular or trending but are frequently used. For this reason, it augments the search engine optimization (SEO) of your content as users search certain topics.
Location hashtag is one of the examples of a content hashtag. These are effective if you want to engage with a local audience and tap into an already prevalent hashtag capturing their attention.
For instance, if your company is Paris based, you can leverage the hashtag like #BonjourParis to let the locals know that your brand is here.
Content hashtags can also help to create hype for an event like live tweets for the launch of a product or service is one of the ways to use it as an event hashtag.
A social listening tool like Mentionlytics helps you determine the engagement levels of event hashtags. You can also see if the event has generated buzz around your brand and increased your follower count, reach and more.
With Mentionlytics, social listening becomes effortlessly easy, and you can track and monitor your event and topic relevant hashtags and the usage outcomes.
Know Your Social Media Platform
When it’s about hashtags, every social media platform has a different strategy to make use of the hashtags. It is imperative to conduct thorough research on how it works for various networks. Most of the platforms provide a guide on how to make hashtag selection like Instagram and Twitter.
Here is how you can use hashtags for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Twitter is referred to as the origin of hashtags. In fact, it is said that the tweets with hashtags get twice the engagement as compared to the tweets without hashtags.
Hashtags in Twitter posts make it easy for users to search for specific topics, let you participate in relevant discussions, hold a Twitter conversation, and document chats thread to browse.
With the limitation of characters per tweet, it’s prudent to avoid using too many hashtags. You should use at most two hashtags for your posts on Twitter. More than two hashtags can actually decrease the level of engagement so limit its usage.
Twitter hashtags are typically centered on a topic of conversation or a specific event that aims to connect and engage to the intended audience.
Instagram is one of the other social media platforms that use hashtags and let its users’ sort and filter content with the help of hashtags. Instagram helps 80% of its users to make a purchase decision for a product or service.
The hashtag usage on Instagram has significantly increased so much that an average post on the platform contains around 10.7 hashtags.
Unlike Twitter, Instagram allows users to add up to 30 hashtags in their posts. But make sure you refrain from using the irrelevant ones as it can trigger the spamming content and you can lose your followers.
Relevant and specific hashtags maximize engagement and reach, so it’s preferable to use as many hashtags as you can in your posts. For this reason, Mentionlytics hashtags analytics report stands out from the rest.
It provides insightful information on your hashtag usage for the specific period you want to know about and lets you know of the hashtags that propelled the engagement levels.
Hashtags never truly gained that popularity on Facebook, but using them can help your posts gain visibility, appeal to new community members and maximize your reach and engagement.
The best approach for hashtag usage on Facebook is to keep it precise with up to 1-2 hashtags that are genuinely relevant to your message or content.
When Facebook followers go for a hashtag search rather than the typical one, they want to discover and engage with the latest trending discussions. So even though hashtags aren’t really popular on this platform, using them can help your brand gain visibility.
LinkedIn enabled hashtags on their platforms and have created a dedicated search method that allows users to focus and leverage the hashtags. This means incorporating up to three hashtags to your company post on LinkedIn can help people discover and engage with your content better and faster.
Although LinkedIn poses no limit on the number of hashtags that you can use within your post, it is recommended keeping it between two to three.
Technically, Pinterest doesn’t differentiate between posts with a hashtag or a search term. While the platform allows the use of hashtags, it won’t make a big difference to your engagement levels irrespective of its usage.
It is preferable to simply include the relevant keywords within the description, instead of hashtags.
How To Track Hashtags: Important Metrics To Measure Success
Now that you know about the ways you can incorporate hashtags on your social media platforms, it’s time to see if they are even effective or not.
For starters, you need to monitor them accurately using the right metrics. There are various ways to determine how well your hashtags performed.
Here are some of the top metrics that can help you determine the success of your hashtags:
Not only is it imperative to make sure that people are seeing and using your hashtags, but it is also vital to get people interacting with them. Posting your content with hashtags that actually gets the users to retweet and share your messages will expand your campaign’s reach.
How many people really see the hashtags that you use on your social platforms? If you are not able to maximize your reach, it means you are not using the appropriate hashtags.
Try out different approaches and tools to see what works best for you and deliver results. Track your post reach and engagement with Mentionlytics. It can help you find the most relevant hashtags to drive engagement and appeal to a new audience.
Who are those using the hashtags to be specific? Make sure that the right kind of audience is engaging with your posts. They should be ones you aim to target and connect with so that your messages make an impact and resonate with your targeted users.
How popular and trending are the hashtags that you include in your posts?
Popular hashtags also tend to be the ones that are most searched, so it’s good to have those hashtags in your content that are trendy and can boost your reach and engagement.
But remember, you don’t have to spam your followers with unrelated but popular hashtags just to get a few likes and shares.
Ready To Monitor Your Hashtags With Precision?
Your social media efforts do no good if you don’t monitor the performance of your campaigns and brand. Hashtags are critical to social media strategy, and it is imperative to evaluate how well it performs.
You have heard about the data-driven approach. If you track your hashtags regularly, you can see the dynamics and patterns of usage. This can help you link the outcomes to your current strategy and help you tweak them to what get you desired results.
A feature-rich tool like Mentionlytics lets you measure the important metrics to give you a holistic performance report regarding your content reach and engagement with the usage of hashtags.
The platform is not just limited to hashtag tracking. It also lets you maintain your online reputation by helping you find the right influencers, brand mentions, conversations, and most importantly, competitor analytics both on social networks as well as websites.
Ready to amplify your content marketing efforts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms? Mentionlytics can help you with hashtag tracking and analytics to make informed decisions! Your brand’s popularity is just around the corner.