5 Hashtag Tracking Methods

The tips above will make it much easier to track your hashtags and avoid potential problems down the line. If you need more tips for finding hashtags, check out this post.

Now, let’s look at some specific techniques you can use for hashtag tracking.

1. Track Contests
One of the most popular uses of hashtags on social social media is to track contests. Instagram contests are very popular right now and brands are using hashtags to keep track of contestant entries. You’ve probably seen the “use #contesthashtag to enter” posts on Instagram and Twitter before. Here’s an example of Lay’s using a hashtag to promote an Instagram contest.

This generated a ton of user-generated content for Lay’s. Followers and influencers used the hashtag #DoUsAFlavor to pitch new flavors and often included product shots in their pictures.

2. Track Offline Campaigns
Have you ever seen a commercial on TV that included a hashtag? Hashtags in commercials have become very popular over the last few years as hashtags have become more mainstream. Hashtags give marketers a way to effectively bridge the gap between offline and online marketing.

One of the most recent examples of companies using hashtags to track offline campaigns was during the 2016 Super Bowl. Even though the overall usage of hashtags in Super Bowl commercials dropped from 50% in 2015 to 45% in 2016, it’s still a popular trend.

The hashtags gave companies like T-Mobile, Snickers and Hyundai a chance to see how people reacted to their commercials in real time instead of having to wait until the next day or rely on other outlets to supply them with the information.

Start thinking of ways you can use hashtags to track radio promos, commercials, events and other offline activities. It could be as simple as including a hashtag on any marketing materials you hand out for specific campaigns.

3. Track Real-Time Conversations
The beauty of social media is the ability to get information in real time. Specifically when you look at a site like Twitter, which is heavily used as a way to stay on top of current topics. For instance, Apple holds an annual event where the company unveils its upcoming products and plans for the future. People streaming or attending the event live, use the hashtag #AppleEvent when Tweeting about it. That allows Apple to easily see how people feel about new products in real time.

This is particularly helpful when you’re launching a new product or service. Create a hashtag, and have your team do some social listening to see conversations as they’re happening. You can easily respond to any issues and engage in conversations surrounding your launch.

4. Track Paid Ads
If you’re running Twitter Ads, it’s a good idea to incorporate a hashtag. Even though you may be measuring new email subscribers, click-through rate and conversions, you also want to consider the conversations people are having around your campaign. Including a hashtag in your Promoted Tweets lets you connect all mentions of your hashtag back to your ad.

Verizon launched a co-marketing campaign with Star Wars, and used promoted Tweets to spread the word. By using a branded hashtag, Verizon can easily track conversations and responses to their ad, even if people don’t mention Verizon.

If you plan on running Twitter Ads, make sure you include a special hashtag to go along with your Tweets.

5. Track Branded Hashtags
Sometimes hashtags will start to become associated with your brand without you even realizing it. You should always be tracking mentions of your brand on social media to see what your audience is saying and to reply to any complaints or issues.

But you can also take that a step further by analyzing what specific hashtags are used when people mention you in Tweets using the Socialtap Trends Report.

This handy report shows hashtags and topics that people frequently mention when they mention you on Twitter. Seeing what hashtags your company is associated with can spark ideas for new campaigns and give you a snapshot of how effective your custom hashtags are.

Not only do hashtags make it easy to track entries, but it also helps promote the contest organically. Every time someone uses the hashtag, their followers will see it and be tempted to join in too.