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Your Complete Guide to Hashtag Analysis

Whether you’re a seasoned hashtag expert or a social marketing novice, one thing is for sure: you need to track and analyze your hashtags. Hashtags is one of the most powerful organic social media strategies, but to maximize their performance, you need to track your hashtags.

Using appropriate tags will help people access your content and talk about your brand. Relevant tags also make it easier for your target audience to find your content and help brands find relevant content to share.

This guide contains everything you need to know about hashtag analysis so you can increase your brand’s reach and engagement on social media.

What is hashtag analysis?

Hashtag analytics refers to the collection of metrics and data for hashtags within a social media network such as Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter (rebranded as X from July 2023). Hashtag analytics falls under social media analysis brands use to inform strategy and make decisions.

How to follow hashtags

Follow hashtags natively using Twitter Analytics And Instagram Analytics or social media management software.

Use a native app

You can use Twitter Analytics to measure your engagements, impressions, replies, retweets, and other important metrics. You can access Twitter’s native analytics dashboard using the Twitter Analytics website or via a mobile device. You can access Instagram Analytics via desktop or mobile as well.

Native analytics are great free tools, but social media management software like Sprout will keep track of all your social media analytics in one platform.

Using Sprout Social

With Sprout, you can view hashtag analytics for all your networks in one central location, saving you time by running analytics natively on each app.

Sprout Social’s Trends report tracks which hashtags your audience is using, how they’re performing, and what topics are relevant to them. This allows you to build your content strategy around what your audience is interested in, rather than relying on hashtags that are popular but not relevant to your brand or audience.

Sprout Social's Twitter Trends report showing the most frequently mentioned topics and hashtags.

And use Sprout Listening to find out how often people talk about your topic, what related terms they use, and what the sentiment is around the topic.

Introducing Sprout's Social Listening Conversation which shows key metrics for specific keywords and hashtags across social media.

Adding these keywords and hashtags to your posts will help generate more engagement and conversation around your brand online. From finding the most relevant hashtags for your brand to tracking the performance of your posts on social media, Sprout will help you analyze your strategy effectively.

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Important hashtag metrics to follow

Tracking hashtags is important to determine if a hashtag is working for your social strategy. Here are some of the best ones social media indicators This will help you determine the success of a hashtag.

Popularity

Frequently used hashtags tend to be searched for often, so it’s a good idea to include tags that have proven to be popular. Just be careful not to spam your followers with irrelevant but trending hashtags for the sake of popularity. Popularity also helps define the success of campaigns. If you notice that a campaign hashtag is popular with your target audience, you know it’s resonating.

Reach

Reach is an important part of your hashtag analysis because it measures how many people are actually seeing your content. If your reach isn’t very high, you’re probably not using the best hashtags for your campaign or strategy.

Engagement and interactions

Not only do you need to make sure people are using and seeing your hashtags, but you also need to make sure they’re engaging with them. Posting hashtagged content that encourages people to share it will increase the reach of your campaign. Engagement metrics also help you measure the impact of your campaigns.

Users

Who specifically is using hashtags? Make sure you see users in your target audience using and searching for the same hashtags as you so your message resonates.

Types of hashtags to follow

There are several different types of hashtags you’ll use in your social media content. Here’s why it’s a good idea to follow each one:

Location hashtags

Use location-based hashtags to expand your strategy internationally. Region-specific hashtags help you connect with your target audience in relevant locations. For example, if you’re an athleisure brand based on the West Coast, you might use the tag #CaliforniaFitness.

Screenshot of the Instagram Explore page displaying content from the hashtag #CaliforniaFitness.

Event hashtags

If you want to incorporate industry hashtags, consider using event hashtags. You can use these tags when your brand is hosting an event, attending a conference, or if you’re tweeting about a major national or international event (e.g., major sporting events). You can use these tags to live tweet, which can help generate interest around your event and increase reach and engagement on your content.

Tweet AfroTech with several event hashtags including #AfroTechWorld and #AfroTechWorld2022.

Branded hashtags

These types of hashtags are created to promote direct branding of your business and typically include a brand name, product, or service. For example, Pretty Little Thing uses #EveryBODYinPLT and #PrettyLittleThing to promote their clothing on Instagram.

Pretty Little Thing Instagram page. The clothing brand includes two branded hashtags in the bio, #EveryBODYinPLT and #PrettyLittleThing.

Tracking branded hashtags, especially campaign-specific hashtags, is a great way to see how many people are talking about your business specifically.

Campaign/Advertising Hashtags

A campaign/advertisement hashtag is a hashtag that your business creates for a specific campaign, launch, or digital advertisement. It helps generate buzz around a specific activity of your business.

For example, Starbucks uses campaign hashtags every time it promotes a new drink.

Tweet from Starbucks Coffee with the campaign hashtag #CaramelMacchiato to promote one of their signature drinks.

These hashtags are ideal for tracking because they are specific to each campaign’s goal versus recurring brand or content hashtags. social listening to monitor your campaign hashtags and their success with your audience.

Trending hashtags

You can view trending hashtags natively on Twitter and Instagram Explore pages via desktop or mobile by tapping the magnifying glass icon. Both platforms will display the volume of people talking about or using each trending hashtag. Trending Facebook hashtags You can discover them by typing hashtags into the search bar at the top of the platform on desktop or mobile. Facebook will suggest hashtags as you start typing.

Not all trending hashtags are relevant to your brand or industry, but analyzing them will help you identify the best tags to incorporate into your strategy or campaign. Using trending hashtags that are relevant to your content and brand voice will expand your reach and awareness. By reviewing analytics, you can see how trending hashtags differ from others.

Hashtag Tracking Tools to Use

There are a bunch of social media management tools like Sprout which offers hashtag tracking.

Sprout Social

Sprout’s hashtag tracking tools and automated data reports make tracking and monitoring hashtag analytics more efficient, helping you increase your reach and grow your audience faster. Sprout’s Twitter Trends report shows you hashtags associated with your brand, along with the context of those posts. You can also track specific hashtags and keywords over time to analyze growth with the Twitter Keyword Report.

Sprout's Twitter Keyword Report showing a graph of keyword volume and a graph showing keyword share of volume.

For Instagram, track the most used hashtags by engagement and add key hashtags to follow in social media feeds to see who is using them. Additionally, you can track tags that are relevant to your brand to ensure you are engaging with important conversations and trends.

Hashtagify

Hashtagify.me is a hashtag analysis tool for Twitter and Instagram. With this tool, you can stay up to date with trending hashtags in your industry. See how each hashtag is performing by popularity and other metrics. Also, see spelling variations, related hashtags, and top users by followers/influence.

Hastagify top hashtag influencers report showing engagement metrics and user insights.

Keyhole

Keyhole is a social media analytics and reporting tool that tracks hashtags across major social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Keyhole allows users to look at common metrics like reach and sentiment, and also see how many posts were created using a hashtag, unique users, and most influential users.

Keyhole Social Trends query showing hashtag analytics for #WorldCup over a 30 day period.

Discover insights through hashtag analysis

Now that you know more about native and non-native tag tracking tools, don’t wait another day to test and track your hashtag analytics. Sign up for a free trial to see how Sprout hashtag tracking tools will help you iterate your social strategy.

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