Why Use a Hashtag?
Hashtags make it easier for people to find and follow discussions about brands, events and promotions. They also let brands track the performance of promotions across social media.
Hashtags can determine how easily you can target and track a campaign. You’ve probably seen many businesses use generic hashtags like #food or #chocolate. While these will get your update into a large conversation, using such broad hashtags is wasting your time.
Can you imagine how many posts (tweets or otherwise) contain #chocolate every minute? Managing the hashtag would be a nightmare. You’d spend weeks sorting through every instance of the hashtag to determine which mentions apply to you.
It’s worth the effort (and your sanity) to come up with a unique hashtag that fits with your particular campaign.
A good example is Subway’s #januANY campaign. Their hashtag has two key components: it’s distinctive enough to track easily and it’s simple for fans to remember.
Subway uses hashtags that are memorable and easy to track.
As you’re choosing a hashtag, follow Subway’s lead. A good hashtag is memorable, unique and relevant to your campaign.
Following those guidelines, you’ll find it’s much easier to keep track of how many people are participating in your campaign and spreading the word.
Read on to discover five tools that can effectively track, analyze and report how others are using your hashtag.
#1: RebelMouse: Embed Your Campaign on Your Website
RebelMouse is your best friend if you’re running a cross-platform campaign.
Not only does it fetch hashtag conversations happening anywhere on social media, it also offers integrated Google Analytics, social sharing, RSS feeds and content moderation.
Add to that a custom domain feature with customizable designs and CSS capabilities that let you embed RebelMouse on your website, and you have a one-stop shop for your social storytelling.
RebelMouse is your social media front page.
Burger King’s #SATISFRIED campaign used RebelMouse to pull hashtagged Instagram photos into their website and show off how fans were being satisfried.
RebelMouse embedded on the Burger King website.
Having people share the hashtag provided social proof for friends of friends and helped Burger King reach a wider audience.
#2: Tagboard: Get the Complete Conversation
Tagboard gathers text, video and image posts to give you an overall picture of what’s being said around a hashtag.
After grabbing relevant conversations from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Vine, Tagboard puts them in a user-friendly interface where you can interact with the results.
Tagboard lets you track hashtags across multiple platforms.
Audi used Tagboard to track their Super Bowl ad for #Bravery in 2013. They were able to pull in tweets, Facebook mentions and Instagram mentions.
Audi has been using hashtags with their Super Bowl ads since 2011.
#3: Talkwalker: Analyze Hashtag Campaigns
Talkwalker is more than a hashtag tracking tool. Its capabilities go far beyond letting you listen to and engage with conversations around hashtags.
Talkwalker gives you data for gender distribution, geographic distribution and sentiment analysis on your own hashtags, as well as your competitors’ hashtags.
Track more than mentions—get key demographics with Talkwalker.
All the data are easily filtered, sorted, analyzed and charted using their tool. The insights can be seamlessly exported into Excel, PowerPoint and Word so you canmanage and present results easily.
#4: Bundle Post: Generate Hashtags Automatically
Bundle Post is a very useful content management system that lets you generate, organize, schedule and post content for hashtag campaigns. It also integrates with HootSuite, HubSpot, Buffer and other systems.
Bundle Post automatically generates hashtags for you.
This tool has a specialized feature that identifies popular keywords in your content and automatically replaces those words with hashtags. After you type these keywords and phrases into the Bundle Feed feature, it goes out and finds relevant, related content for you!
#5: RiteTag: Find the Perfect Hashtag
RiteTag optimizes updates for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ with the best possible hashtags for your post, then analyzes them to let you create a library of hashtags to use.
To make publishing easier, RiteTag has an extension you can add to your web browser. Use the extension to schedule updates with your optimized hashtags from wherever you are.
Bonus Tools Just for Twitter
Tweet Binder and Twubs are specialized Twitter tools for analytics and filtering conversations, respectively.
Tweet Binder lets you enter a hashtag, then provides an in-depth report of actual conversations, retweets, associated images and links based on your hashtag. Once you get the results, you can categorize your findings by influencers, contributors or other media filters.
Tweet Binder gives you a custom ranking feature for events.
Twubs acts as a live stream for Twitter chats. It has been known to be more real-time than Twitter itself! If a hashtag conversation is moving too quickly for you, just hit the Pause button to catch up.
Use Twubs to track your hashtags in real time.
Over to you
From Google+ and Facebook to Pinterest and LinkedIn, hashtags are everywhere these days.
With the right tools, hashtags make it easier for brands to manage and maintain social media campaigns.
The tools above can help you launch, track and analyze hashtags across social networks. You can see what’s working and what’s not, how big your reach is and even how you compare to your competition. I’d say that’s pretty handy.
What do you think? What do you use to keep track of your hashtags? Have you tried any of these tools? How have they worked for you? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments below.