How to Perform Efficient Hashtag Marketing

Last updated: 05-02-2021

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How to Perform Efficient Hashtag Marketing

Hashtags have been around since 2007. Yet, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook analytics lack the capacity to track hashtag performance accurately. So, long story short, let's find out how you can start successful hashtag marketing campaigns using BrandMentions and what other benefits you'll get on the side.

Hashtag marketing encompasses all efforts submitted to create, promote, and monitor the use of a specific hashtag on different social media platforms.

Hashtag is also a way of tagging brands, people, and businesses in the online social communities.

Today people use hashtags on a daily basis. There are many purposes, and they vary from one person to another, from one social media channel to another. Unconsciously, people use generic hashtags like#love, #goodmood or #motivationto summarize their message and convey the tone of it. In other cases, people use more specific hashtags to show that their message is a part of a phenomenon or a movement. There is no need to elaborate on that, simple examples like#metoo, #merryChristmas or #superbowl would be enough.

Hashtags are super used on social networks and accurately monitoring them is both a must and a challenge. We won't insist much on why it is a must;since you're here reading this, you are probably aware of their importance. Yet, you need to know that performing efficient hashtag marketing can be a challenge. 

With BrandMentions, any social media marketer or digital marketing agency can efficiently run hashtag marketing campaigns on all important social networks:

Hashtag usage has significantly grown on social media over the last few years. They are one of the most powerful organic social media strategies and hashtag marketing is as important as any other social media strategy. BrandMentions allows you to see which hashtags a social media audience is using, but also how they’re performing over time.

Performing effective hashtags marketing campaigns is not all about promoting and making hashtags viral. It is also about monitoring the impact of those hashtags correctly.

Having access to all the mentions that contain a specific hashtag is great. Yet, having access to analytics and key insights on that hashtag is awesome.

BrandMentions offers a full hashtag analytics package. If you're asking what data points and insights you'll get to track the performance of your monitored hashtags, here's a list with the most important ones:

There are millions of tweets, videos or posts shared each day on all social networking sites.

Therefore, it is very difficult to get the content that relates to your business noticed, let alone stand out. That’s why you need to use hashtags to amplify your content’s reach and visibility.

There are many types of hashtags for your business that you can use:

Yet, it's important to know what hashtag marketing tactic to use and when. Below you can find few strategies hashtag marketing can help you out with.

To raise awareness, brands should take it seriously in identifying hashtags that represent their brand. Being more used to it, it’s easier for people to write a hashtag with your brand name rather than tagging you.

By looking at hashtags holistically, you can see how many people are aware of your brand.  You can monitor how many people are mentioning your brand or your keywords associated with your brand within hashtags.  

How to do this with BrandMentions

As you can see in the screenshots below, there are lots of mentions with the brand name #Starbucks, people talking about the brand but not mentioning it directly. Same thing happens to Nike's slogan: it is being mentioned, without the brand name being referred to. So, monitoring those mentions as well is highly important. Not monitoring them means that those brands might be losing important mentions about their brand. Mentions that can be translated into negative reviews, feedback, important problems about their products, etc.

I know what you're thinking: "Starbucks or Nike are big brands so it's normal for them to monitor their brand awareness via hashtags. Small brands are hardly mentioned."

While it is true that they do gather lots of mentions, it's not true that social media monitoring is for big brands only.

Did you hear of Clement and Pekoe? Chances are that not. They are a small coffee shop in Dublin, Ireland. Yet, if you're looking for #clementandpekoe, you will find mentions. There are a few, we agree, yet it's hugely important for this coffee shop that people are using their brand name within a hashtag. It's a clear sign that they are growing. And even if they are small, it's utterly important to keep track of their brand hashtag and see what people are posting related to it.

Basically, you start with hashtag tracking and end with influencer marketing.

People that include your hashtags (your brand name, your tagline, your products, your campaigns, etc.) automatically can be named your brand ambassadors. By tracking your hashtags, you can find a perfect candidate for being an influencer for you. It would be a perfect match because the influencer is already into your product.

Even if you don't have brand ambassadors yet, by tracking popular hashtags you canfind top influencers that are active users in your industry and might be interested in collaborating with you.

How to do this with BrandMentions

Allow us to offer you an example from our field. We analyzed the #sociallisteninghashtag and we found that TwittaNerd (Award-Winning Influencer & Digital Marketing Strategist) can be a potential influencer for us. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship. 

Back to one of the classic reasons why people use hashtags: you, as a marketer, can turn it in your favor. By tracking popular hashtags like #coffeelover #fridaymotivation you can literally get access to people’s mind, wishes, emotions, and struggles. Treat it like a huge source of user-generated content. After a good selection and hashtag analysis, there is a chance you get some fresh, original ideas for a marketing campaign, a product update or a strategy change.

Or, if you are a dynamic company that depends on day-by-day news, you should track trendy hashtags. Popular conversations around them can make you participate, be part of a movement or get inspired for future campaigns.

How to do this with BrandMentions

Within BrandMentions's Dashboard, go to the Trending Hashtags section. You'll find there trending hashtags from your industry and we're sure you'll get plenty ideas from there. The chart is fully actionable, so you can also see the mentions containing a specific #.

Introducing a hashtag and then tracking it gives you much more information than a number of users, the reach and engagement. Put your digital glasses on and look deeper. With a hashtag analysis, there is a possibility to discover new target groups that are engaged with your brand. Next step would be to create, adapt, and reach this public by a new specific marketing strategy.

How to do this with BrandMentions

Let's take the Uber brand for instance. You might think there is nothing left to cover for Uber. Yet, with a quick search, we found a startup doing pharma delivery and using #uber.

Indeed, this year has been a special one when it comes to the pharmaceutical market and Uber has been currently covering pharma delivery as well, since August 2020. But this mention dates back to March 2019, one year before all the current situation evolved as it did. Therefore, what started with a mention, ended in a productive collaboration and a new service for Uber.

Influencer marketing started to get its popularity because of the huge results influencers where bringing by promoting a brand in online (directly or indirectly). It is as risky as it is amazing. Working with influencers is based on a contract but there are many cases when influencers weren't serious about the collaboration or even were discovered to be fake influencers.

In order to double assure yourself, introduce specific hashtags for the influencers to use, so you can personalize their approach and also track their work. This method has its advantage, especially if the influencer is active on more than one platform. By using tracking tools, you can also check on the influencer’s success (reach and engagement of the posts).

How to do this with BrandMentions

Go to the Influencer section, search for the one that interests you and filter by social network, date, content, hashtag or anything you want. You'll easily see that influencer's activity, their performance, impressions or frequency.

Tracking hashtags on all social networks might seem like a never-ending job. Yet, the truth is that when using a tool that is specially made for this type of job things are infinitely easier. Reporting is easier, tracking the performance of the campaign becomes a walk in the park and getting ready to launch new hashtags in the wild is not that scary anymore. Whenever you're having doubts or feel overwhelmed due to hashtags, give this article another read.

Twitter may have invented social media hashtags, but Instagram put them on the map. It's a very competitive market here, we know. Therefore, standing out through a solid Instagram marketing campaign is not a walk in the park.

So, check out the following hashtag strategies and ideas and start creating successful hashtag campaigns:

Getting hashtags suggestion can start by looking at the Explore tab. The Explore tab is a collection of posts generated by your previous likes, followers. You can see here Instagram content liked and followed by your fans, where users with similar interests can find you and vice-versa. The feature is available on both mobile and desktop devices.

The first thing you should do is scoop through the posts that are relevant to you and similar to what you're trying to share. Then, look at hashtags and select only the hottest ones.

Instagram search feature offers lots of possibilities to find out what you're looking for. There are all sorts of trips and tricks to get trending hashtags and trending posts & people. By searching for a hashtag, Instagram will autocomplete lots of ideas you could use.

If you've found an Instagram hashtag that is relevant to you, follow it and see top posts once people share them. Searching for certain hashtags will develop new ideas and show you similar hashtags.

All your posts that use hashtags will be pushed into the hashtag pages, where you can follow those hashtags, look at top posts and most recent ones.

For example, the #lagodibraies hashtag is related to hashtags such as #dolomitesunesco, #braieslake and more. Check out the printscreen below:

Check top posts to get new ideas and engage with those posts to bring fans to your page. Make sure you make a correct selection of hashtags when adding them to your posts. The hashtags should reflect what your post is about. Don't create a crowded post with lots of hashtags.

To find popular influencers in your niche, combine the techniques described above. Search for places and competitors to see who their collaborators are and what trending Instagram hashtags they use.

Influencers that succeed on Instagram don't use lots of hashtags and cut irrelevant content. They keep it simple and apply niche keywords that put images right in front of their target audience.

Another strategy to find trending hashtags is to use Instagram hashtag apps on your phone.

For iOs, Hashtag Expert for IG works great and gives you trending topics on various categories. Below you can see a broad example for the Music category:

The mobile app makes it easy to search for hashtags in a large database of Instagram hashtags, copy the ones that are relevant to you and paste them in your social posts.

For Android, Leetags is a hashtag generator that gives you recommendations based on the keywords you're searching for. It indicates the hashtag popularity in percentage.

You can filter the results based on popularity and relevancy. Plus, you can customize your searches to select the number or add dots above the hashtags. To avoid repeating the same tags, you can have them shuffled when copying.

There are many websites with trending Instagram hashtag lists. All-hashtag.com is one of the most popular websites for generating hashtags. It is free to use so anyone can test it out and find ideas.

The hashtag generator allows you to select top, random or live hashtags. If you want to see trending hashtags, then select Top and you'll get a list from today, the last 7 days, last month and all time.

Knowing what hashtag to use on Twitter will surely increase the success of your marketing campaigns. So, here are some ideas to check out:

What better way to start than with the integrated search engine from Twitter for following trending topics? You have two options to see Twitter trends:

Below you can see an example for trends in US for a specific day. The popularity of hashtags are different from one day to another so each day you can find different hashtags based on the location you set.

You can find popular Twitter hashtags that apply on a specific day each of the month, such as #MondayMotivation, #WednesdayWisdom, #ThursdayThoughts, or on national days, or based on the user behavior (#icebucketchallenge) and the latest news that appear in a country (#coronavirus).

Choose general posts that you can use every week to schedule social posts in advance and then follow daily trending hashtags to boost your engagement and get more followers on Twitter.

Another option to capture high social media reach is to use tools that will search for popular hashtags based on a specific location. This way, you get more accuracy and better localization.  Trendsmap is an example of such a hashtag tool.

The navigational tool works very simply and offers you geo-targeting topics based on your search. Scroll down, up, left, or right, zoom in or zoom out to see what's trending on Twitter or find better niched hashtags. People talk about different events from one city to another, not to mention from one country/state to another. You can easily spot the differences and the topics by looking closely at the location you are in or you are targeting.

The map of hashtags helps you get a pulse on that segment and understand the events that are happening.  Adapt your message and use Twitter trending hashtags in your posts to get engagement from that audience.

Whether your brand is national, international, or local, this tool will offer you awareness and context.

Another example is the Hashtag Tracker that shows you how many people are mentioning a popular hashtag in a period of time or language. Run a quick hashtag research and voila. Once you find relevant hashtags, run them through the social listening tool to see the metrics and the mentions within the posts.

Get information on popular posts on Twitter with a hashtag, which you can retweet, mention, and get more traction and more visibility. You can build up the topic by using the snowball effect, which is an amplification process that starts from something with a small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger.

Another way to find popular hashtags for Twitter is to look on websites that have collections and generate a list. Trends24 is a website that shows you hashtags every hour for lots of countries and cities.

Another example is #tagdef, where you can find popular hashtags by time frame, including current, weekly and all-time top hashtags, members. It is available for 8 languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, and Dutch.

The website also gives definitions of trending hashtags and topics, helping marketers find out more that there is on the topic before starting to share information on social media. This way, you learn what's about to use it correctly and attract people's interest.

Unlike Twitter and Instagram, most of Facebook's posts are private, so finding trending hashtags on Facebook might not be as effective. The hashtag system works better for company pages that use hashtags mainly for their marketing campaigns.

Don't get yourself discouraged. If you are currently using hashtags in a campaign on Twitter or Instagram, start including those hashtags in your Facebook content.

This makes it easier to integrate all your social channels as one.

One option would be to actually search for the hashtag on Facebook; depending on what you're searching for, you can be lucky and find some good ideas and lots of Facebook posts, or the results can be poor.

Another option would be to use tools such as BrandMentions to track Facebook hashtags for a period of time and find popular pages and popular Facebook posts.

Like with many other things in marketing and life in general, the setup is super important. To start monitoring your hashtags, you have two options:

Regardless of the option you'll choose, there will be no difference in the quality of the monitoring. It's simply a project management choice.

If you choose to have a project dedicated to just one hashtag only, you know that the project is reporting mentions related to that hashtag only. If you have projects monitoring several keywords, simply go to the Tracked Keywords filter and choose to see the report on your hashtag only.

Of course, there are a lot of fine-tuning settings that can be done to make sure your tracking is as relevant as possible. We want to highlight a few of them that can impact your tracking quite a lot. Let's start with social accounts!

But we know that sometimes, this is not what you need. So, make sure to exclude your own social accounts if you don't want to receive mentions from there and do the same for other social accounts that you don't want to track. This is a very important step in the setup process as we know you want to get results as relevant as possible. If you don't want to include your own tweets or posts in your analysis or if you want to eliminate a specific account other than yours, make sure you set up this section.

And there might be cases when you want to turn the world wide web upside down looking for all the instances your hashtag was monitored, anywhere on this Earth.

But there might be cases when it makes sense to be more niched. Cases when it makes sense to monitor only a specific social network, or a specific country/language. Analyze your use case a bit and check the option that makes more sense for you and your monitored hashtags.

Once the setup is done according to your needs, you'll get relevant mentions for your monitored hashtags. By default, you'll get data from the past 30 days. You have the possibility of extracting historical data for up to one year if you want to dig deeper into a specific hashtag.

With BrandMentions, the hashtag marketing monitoring process is done in super depth and on all social networks. To keep this article as actionable as possible, in the following lines we're going to focus on the process of setting up hashtag marketing campaigns on three social platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Facebook introduced hashtags back in 2015. Time has passed, yet not much has been shared by this social network on how exactly hashtags work on Facebook. Their own analytics don't give much insight on hashtags either. Facebook published some guidelines on how to use hashtags; the guideline doesn't seem to have been updated in the past 4 years, yet it could be useful for you to check it.

Despite all these, hashtags are used on Facebook and they bring great success.

So, knowing all these benefits, you're probably using them already with your marketing or branding campaigns. The question remains: how do you monitor them?

BrandMentions monitors everything related to your brand that is publicly shared on Facebook, hashtags included.  As you can see in the screenshot below, you can easily get all the list of mentions and hashtag insights on Facebook, literally two clicks away.

OK, you might say, I have all this data, now what? If we look at the screenshot above, you might get discouraged by the high number of mentions reported. Allow me to make a comparison with a joke you probably now already:

How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator? You open the refrigerator door, put the elephant inside and close the door!

How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? You open the refrigerator door, take the elephant out, put the giraffe in and close the door!

It's way easier to get insights on your mentions when you have a segment created. What is a segment? Basically, a list of saved filters. As you can see in the screenshot below, we have saved two segments for our #taycan monitoring project: Turbo and 911 Segments.

Analyzing the mentions using segments is not just easier to manage, but also a big help when analyzing insights and data points.

Look for instance at the screenshot below. It's extremely easy to understand data not only from a quantitative point of view but also from a qualitive one. Analyze head-to-head not only the number of mentions each segment got but also their reach, negative mentions, likes reported to the number of mentions and so on.

With BrandMentions, you get lots of analytics for each mention in particular, but also for all your mentions altogether. Check out the best and the least performing mentions. Analyze them and try to understand what led to their success or why they didn't get any traction. Check the number of shares and comments directly from the tool, from the Mentions section.

Go to the Analytics to check the overall performance of your monitored hashtags.  As you can see in the screenshot below, you can easily spot spikes. Try to understand what happens there and why? Keep in mind that all charts are fully actionable, so you can easily see the set of mentions for a specific situation (a specific day, language, sentiment, etc.)

A vitally important section to check when searching for hashtags on Facebook and other social networks is the Influencers section. Here, you can find out lots of data points, but the two most important reasons people check this section are:

You have reach and impressions data that helps you out a lot with the two aspects above. On top of that, you can check all the mentions of any influencer straight from this section. So, even if you're monitoring some specific social accounts, whether you are hunting for brand evangelists, here's the place to check.

We've tried to highlight the main items you should check when monitoring hashtags on Facebook. Of course, BrandMentions offers lots of other insights and data points, yet we hope this will be a good starting point.

The very first hashtag ever used  (with this social media purpose) was on Twitter. Therefore, there have been more than 13 years now since hashtags "are a thing" on Twitter - the social media channel with the most seniority when it comes to hashtags. 

Thus, performing hashtag marketing campaigns on Twitter is more than a whim, it's a must. We don't want to repeat ourselves with the info that we've already shared on how to do hashtag tracking for Facebook.

When it comes to Twitter filtering, you'll get plenty of those on BrandMentions. And they are decisively useful as they can help you out get only the relevant mentions for you.

Let's say that you are monitoring a highly mentioned hashtag, like #taycan. The tool will report thousands of mentions containing this hashtag. Yet, what is important to know is that you can narrow down the results and investigate only the ones that matter for you most. You can check only the ones mentioned by Twitter accounts with a high number of followers, only retweets or only the ones coming from a set of specific Twitter handles.

A very important chart to keep an eye on is the "Mentions by Weekday" one. As you can see in the screenshot below, you can easily get an idea of the most and least active days when it comes to Twitter activity. Twitter is an unbelievably dynamic social network so it's important to know when people are more engaged with your brand. In our example, it seems that Monday and Sunday are not good days to get people engaged with the brand so, if the marketers from Taycan were interested in engaging their fans, they should be doing it on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays as they seem to be more active then.

If you're performing a hashtag tracking on all languages, you will also get a nice chart with all the languages your hashtag was mentioned on Twitter. This is crucially useful to monitor the spread of your hashtag and also to discover new audiences.

It's nice to know where, when and by whom your hashtag was monitored. But so is knowing in what context. In our case, we have our monitored hashtag next to keywords like electric cars, or Audi E-tron.These keywords are relevant for our monitored hashtags. But, if they were totally unrelated to the context of mention, that should raise some eyebrows.

Just like in the case of Facebook monitoring, you can easily identify influencers on Twitter. Look for the people that mentioned your hashtag most and analyze your gain from the exposure they offered you. You can search for new partnerships or give up old ones if they are not bringing the desired results.

With Instagramers using over 30 popular hashtags per post, monitoring hashtags on this social platform is definitely a must. 

Instagram is so far the only one that motivates users to stick to the main purpose of hashtags by introducing “follow the hashtag” feature. This made users focus on searching for favorite hashtags and use hashtags for being searched. This should translate into a more dynamic activity when it comes to monitoring hashtags on Instagram.

Again, we don't want to get you bored by repeating the same info, so please check the previous chapters as we're going to highlight here only the particularities on hashtag tracking on Instagram.

Instagramers use many hashtags per post, that's a known fact. So, it's useful to check all your mentions excluding some hashtags. You can fine-tune your search even more and get all the mentions that are written in English and are in a specific context.

In our case, the challenge was to visualize all the Instagram mentions that use #everycancounts on public accounts, but in the context of a competition that was around monitoring hashtags. So, the context of mention filter helped a lot here. For more accuracy, we've also eliminated some hashtags we don't want to get mentions with.

For instance, as you look at the mention below, you'll see just a bunch of hashtags and an image with some garbage on grass. The tone of the mention is negative, as it highlights a real problem; yet, as our monitored hashtag is used, there is also a good side, thinking that this person is interested in ecological actions.

Moreover, Instagram can make you or break you in less than a few hours. So, check your negative mentions of your hashtags to stay in control of your brand reputation.

A chart that you can keep an eye on within the dashboard is the "Latest mentions one". The name of the chart is self-explanatory, yet we insist on this chart because although you have all the mentions in the Mentions section, from here you can get a quick idea on how old your latest mentions really are and what is the pace you are being mentioned at.

With Influencer marketing being so big on Instagram, the top influencers chart is definitely a must-track one. You'll get the list with the people that mentioned your hashtag most on Instagram, ordered by number of followers. This way, you can easily identify the people that have a potential of being your brand ambassadors.

Hope this guide was helpful in getting the most out of your hashtag marketing campaigns on any of the social networks you are looking at. BrandMentions has a lot to offer when it comes to hashtag analytics as it is a tool made specially for this type of marketing projects. Make sure you're not overlooking anything and check out all the insights the app has to offer.


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