Hashtags are used primarily to tag content and make it easier to find information about a topic or theme. The reach that can be generated through the right combination of hashtags – typically in an Instagram caption or woven into a tweet – can influence audiences far beyond what the post would do without it.

While hashtags can play an important role in your social media strategy, monitoring how well they do is even more crucial. A recent study showed that 39 percent of businesses do not measure social media ROI due to lack of analytics, resources or expertise on their part.

Using hashtags, however, can make it easier to track campaigns with accurate results. Hashtags can facilitate engagements, insights and targeting for your brand in ways that are statistically shown to work, such as how using one or more hashtags on a post makes it 55 percent more likely to be retweeted.

If your business isn’t monitoring the engagement, insights and targeting of hashtags, here are some reasons why you should start.

Engagement

Interaction between your brand and your target audience is easy to initiate, measure and manage when using a common hashtag. The power of social media marketing relies on how well you can reach and engage your audience.

Hashtags can create a stronger engagement by connecting your brand with topics that people are interested in. For example, if you have a brand that sells activewear, using hashtags like #health or #fitness on Instagram or Twitter can connect your post with users who might want to purchase your product.

According to sproutsocial.com, tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement as those without. For Instagram, a caption with a hashtag averages 12.6 percent more engagement than posts that don’t have any hashtags.


Insights

Hashtags also can provide your business with insights on what your target audience is reacting to by collecting all of their tweets and posts through a theme.

Websites like Keyhole can monitor how your tweets and hashtags are doing. Keyhole provides a real-time dashboard that shows how many people have posted with your hashtag. It also generates the number of likes, retweets and impressions your post has received, allowing you to track how your brand is doing.

Curalate – a visual commerce software and marketing platform – conducted a study on how much hashtags affect a post’s reach on social media. After analyzing the insights of 20 brands and 36,237 posts/photos, Curalate found that the most effective number of hashtags per post was two, while using 20 or more for a single post was almost as ineffective as using none. Overall, monitoring the insights of your hashtag usage can be important to the effectiveness of your brand’s reach.


Targeting

Twitter’s paid advertising platform allows brands to target ads based on keywords – including hashtags. Targeting hashtags helps you determine which words or topics would work best for your campaign to ensure you find the right audience. You also can segment your audience further by using interests targeting – such as selecting a category like “business” and then more specifically “technology” – or by location using a particular country, state, city or ZIP code.

For example, if you are promoting a 5K race, target users who have used or interacted with hashtags related to running in that location and serve them your tweets.

When posts receive lots of engagement or likes, they may show up on the Explore tab for Instagram and Twitter users who have shown an interest in something similar in the past. Tagging your posts with pertinent hashtags can increase the reach and engagement while expanding your brand’s target audience.


It’s hard to believe that something as simple as a # can have such a large impact, but the use of relevant hashtags is now a must in the social media world. Need help monitoring hashtags for your brand? Contact SKAR today.