Instagram Hashtag Campaign -How To Measure The Effectiveness Of Instagram Hashtags
Instagram Analytics How-To Guides

Instagram Hashtag Campaign -How To Measure The Effectiveness Of Instagram Hashtags

Laura Dascau
Laura Dascau

Table of Contents

Hashtags on Instagram, although small, have the huge power of increasing your brand’s visibility.

By using hashtags in your Instagram posts, you get to better categorise your content and make it easier to find by those using the platform as a search engine.

Instagram hashtag campaigns help you become more effective when developing your marketing plan.

Today we have an in-depth guide for you on how to measure hashtags efficiency, how to track them and many more helpful insights.

Let the hashtag analysis begin!


Instagram Hashtag Campaign - A Complete Guide


  1. What is a hashtag?
  2. How to use hashtags to help your business bloom
  3. The benefits of analyzing hashtag campaigns' performance
  4. How to track hashtags on Instagram
  5. What hashtags to track on Instagram
  6. What key Instagram hashtag metrics can you track
  7. How many hashtags you should use
  8. Can I track the hashtag used by influencers or competitors in Stories?
  9. What is the best way to do "hashtag research" before starting a new campaign
  10. Instagram hashtag tracking tools
  11. How to track Instagram hashtag campaigns using Socialinsider

1. What is a hashtag?


A hashtag is a word or a group of words written with the sign “#” in front of them, being chosen to represent the theme of your social media post.

Instagram hashtags can be tracked, being easy to find in the social media platform’s search bar.

Basically, hashtags represent the sorting process of Instagram, classifying posts by their topics.

This way, you will see Instagram posts which are related, being clustered under the same hashtag.

When creating a branded hashtag, your content becomes part of that group of posts which features the same hashtag.

Fun fact: The first hashtag that appeared was used on Twitter, in 2007. It was used as a way to distinguish between groups of topics.


2. How to use hashtags to help your business bloom



Hashtags are still very useful and they can be implemented in many ways to the benefit of your business.

However, playing the game of hashtags has never been easier. In what follows, we will show you how to use hashtags on Instagram to enforce your brand.

Adding hashtags

In the beginning, hashtags on Instagram started being used in the caption of the post or in the first comment, after publishing the post.

Lately, studies have shown that hashtags left in the comment are more efficient than the alternative.

If you have a public account, your post will be visible in the designated hashtag page, depending on the hashtags you used.

The best way to use hashtags on Instagram is to add them in your posts first comment and definitely avoid adding them in the middle of your post’s caption.

Hashtags in Bio

If you did not know this yet, adding Instagram hashtags in your brand’s bio is a trend. The words you add there will help users understand what your focus is.

By adding hashtags to your Instagram Bio, this will help you learn if your hashtags are working.

Create a brand and campaign hashtag

When you plan a new campaign, you should consider building a branded hashtag especially designed for that particular campaign.

This way, you will also see user-generated content which integrates your campaign’s hashtags, increasing the number of impressions by hashtags and also your reach.

Follow hashtags

Following particular Instagram hashtags will help you see more posts from a certain niche or field of interest.

This way, if you follow some of those hashtags that also suit your business, you will be able to find inspiration in others’ posts to complete your own marketing strategy.

Test related hashtags

When developing a marketing campaign for which you have already established the format, types of posts and hashtags, take a step back and try to see the bigger picture.

Maybe it’s better if you also test related hashtags to the ones you have already integrated. You will never know! It is surely worth trying.


3. The benefits of analyzing hashtag campaigns' performance


When analysing Instagram hashtag campaigns, you need to know what the outcome is.

After spending enough time on checking Instagram hashtag campaign performance, you’d want to know the advantages.

Here are just a few of them:

See what hashtags drive more engagements

Without tracking your hashtags, you may be tricked into thinking that all the hashtags you use are performing well.

You must evaluate your Instagram hashtag campaign performance to be able to determine which ones bring in the most likes, comments, and replies, contributing to your Instagram engagement increase.

With Instagram hashtag analytics, you get to see what hashtags nurture your brand’s growth.

Measure the awareness of a campaign

Learning how to track your Instagram hashtag campaign performance will also help you learn whether your marketing campaign is working or not.

The level of brand awareness will reflect in social media metrics like engagement and traffic, back to your website.

If the campaign does not get enough engagement, optimising the visuals, hashtags or captions is required.

Track down competitors' hashtags campaigns

Using an analytics tool, you can track down all the activities being undertaken by your competitors.

Via an Instagram hashtag campaign performance analysis, you will be able to dig out some better-performing hashtags than the ones you are using.

Make sure your account doesn’t look spammy

When used in excess, hashtags don’t make things better. Make sure you evaluate your hashtag popularity and decide to eliminate those which are too popular and don't boost engagement.


4. How to track hashtags on Instagram


Tracking hashtags on Instagram is not as complicated as you may think. You can find data regarding your Instagram hashtag campaign performance right within the native app or using an analytics tool.

Instagram hashtag analytics will help you make more sense of their role in your marketing campaign. Learning how to implement hashtags into your Instagram campaign can increase your chances of virality.

Let me show you how to do that:

A. Tracking metrics from the native app

Instagram gives you the chance to check hashtag campaign performance every time you launch a campaign.

This is an image of instagram-view-insights


To access your Instagram data from the native app, simply select the post on which you want more insights, and follow these steps:

This is an image of instagram-impressions-from-hashtags

Open a post.

  1. Tap the “View Insights” text below it.
  2. Swipe up, and you’ll get a full page of data for that post, including profile visits, follows, reach, and breakdown of how and where your post was discovered.
  3. Under the Impressions metric, you’ll find ‘From Hashtags’ which tells you how many people found your profile post through the hashtags you used.

With the use of the native app, you can track insights such as impression, reach, geographical reach, and even how people who viewed your posts found them.

Instagram provides aggregate data on hashtags, and you cannot get an overview of what happens with your hashtags campaigns.

That's why using an analytics tool will help you get a breakdown of postings, other mentioned hashtags, post types, and how many likes, comments are driving.

B. Hashtag metrics that analytics tools provide

Choosing the right tool to analyze Instagram hashtag campaign performance makes it easier to achieve your goals.

screenshot from socialinsider with hashtag metrics on instagram

Here's the list of metrics that tools like Socialinsider can show you:

  • The hashtag engagement based on the overall postings that Instagram APIs provides.
  • Average engagement rate per post for the posts with that particular hashtag.
  • A list of top hashtags used with the hashtag you are looking for, ranked by usage.
  • A list of hashtags used with the hashtag you are looking for, ranked by engagement.
  • Distribution of postings with those hashtags - this metric indicates the postings’ evolution with your hashtag on Instagram.
  • Average posts per day - this metric shows you how many hashtags’ mentions you get on average per day.
  • Top 3 posts - the most engaging posts with your hashtags based on engagement
screenshot from socialinsidr with top 3 posts for socialinsider on instagram
  • Posts by type - this metric offers you insights into the type of content formats used with your hashtags on Instagram.
  • Post types ranked by engagement - this metric explains what type of content performs better with your hashtag - photo, video or carousel.
  • A list of postings with the hashtag you are looking for. Instagram provides two types of media for hashtags:

recent media - the last posts that were tagged with that particular hashtag in the caption or the comments.

top media posts - postings with higher engagement rates.

For every hashtag you put in the Socialinsider dashboard, we offer insights for the recent media and top media posts.

📌 Pro tip

If you're running a hashtag campaign and want to get a CSV file with the postings which are using your hashtag, Socialinsider can be of great help. It gives you a list of posts with the hashtags used.


5. What hashtags to track on Instagram


Tracking Instagram hashtags performance with the native app has some limitations. If you choose to use only the native app, you can only track your own hashtags.

While this is good enough to give you some insights into your Instagram hashtag campaign performance, it is not helpful if you want to learn which are the best performing hashtags out there.

Moreover, you cannot develop a competitive analysis on hashtags, if you want to check how your competitors are doing.

To get full insights on all hashtags, you have to use a third-party analytics tool.

Using an Instagram hashtag count tool, you can track any hashtag you wish.

With a hashtag counter, you can also perform hashtag research to determine how your competitors are managing their campaigns.

You can track down individual hashtags used by your competitors and determine the ones that are performing better. This is the best way to fish for trending hashtags.


6. What key instagram hashtag metrics can you track


When it comes to tracking instagram hashtag metrics to assess your hashtag campaign’s performance, there are a few things you should look for.

  • what are the top hashtags used
  • the frequency of their use in user-generated content
  • the average engagement of the posts that feature those hashtags
  • a sentiment analysis of the hashtag posts

By assessing these metrics, you figure out what to focus on when designing your next Instagram content campaign.

Make sure the hashtags you use for your posts are relevant for your campaign, brand values and post type.

With Socialinsider, you can check Instagram hashtag metrics like:

  • top hashtags by count
  • top hashtags by avg engagement
  • hashtag popularity
screenshot from socialinsider with popular hashtags

With these metrics, you will assess what other strong hashtags are used with the one you have already used for your posts.

  • Sentiment

screenshot from socialinsider with sentiment analysis

The hashtags you use in your posts lead to users’ reactions. And the sentiment analysis shows positive, negative and neutral feedback in relation to the hashtags you use.

It is better to be aware of users’ sentiment regarding a certain hashtag to adapt the way you approach those hashtags in order to satisfy their needs.

  • Engagement, followers

screenshot from socialinsider with creators using a certain hashtag

By clicking Creators in the Social listening tab, you get to see all the creators who used the hashtag you were searching for.

This way, you will see individual metrics for creators’ posts in which they have integrated the use of that particular hashtag.


7. How many hashtags you should use


The maximum number of Instagram hashtags is 30. However, even if brands were tempted to use all the space they could get to invent new hashtags, this high number didn’t prove to be efficient.

Based on Instagram hashtag campaign performance, most posts which have so many hashtags are considered spammy and this was reflected in Instagram Analytics, noticing a dramatic drop in post impressions, reach and engagement.

Posting videos and images that feature a smaller number of hashtags is more efficient. Most brands who have successful Instagram campaigns use between 3-7 hashtags per post.

Irrespective of other brands’ businesses, you will never know what is your perfect number of hashtags until you test more on your posts.


8. Can I track the hashtag used by influencers or competitors in Stories?


Since you’ve become used to developing Instagram marketing campaigns, you may be wondering whether you can track the hashtags that influencers have used in their Insta Stories.

Instagram Stories operate on a different algorithm from Instagram posts. It is not possible to track hashtags used in stories by other people.

However, this is a positive factor for those who wish to protect their hashtags from other users.

Most Instagram hashtag analytics tools are optimised for posts. You can also track down Instagram Stories engagement using a third-party Instagram Stories analytics tool, like Socialinsider.


9. What is the best way to do "hashtag research" before starting a new campaign


Hashtag research is the only way to ensure that you use the best hashtags.

You should find hashtags that fuel engagement and the ones that are trending at the time of your posting. The hashtag you use should also appeal to your target demographics. Follow these simple steps to perform detailed hashtag research.

  • Collect as many hashtags as possible related to your niche. When you search Instagram with the keywords for your niche, you will see the trending hashtags on top.
  • After selecting your target hashtags, check to see if they are banned.
  • Check how many posts on Instagram already use the hashtags you intend to use. It is good to use popular hashtags, but you should also look for ones that increase engagement for your specific posts.
  • Create your brand's new hashtags and add them to your bio. Brand hashtags act as a trademark and should be reserved for the long hold just like the logo.
  • Research your competitors' hashtags to understand how they use them. By researching competitors’ hashtags, you get insights into the performance of other metrics and hashtags you did not know about.

Researching competitors' hashtags is the best way to come across new trending hashtags that you are yet to start using.


10. Instagram hashtag tracking tools


Here's our list of Instagram hashtag tracking tools you should try:


11. How to track Instagram hashtag campaigns using Socialinsider


Tracking Instagram hashtag campaigns' performance is imperative for your Instagram marketing strategy.

With a specialized Instagram hashtag tracking tool, you can easily find out how your hashtag campaign performs and how hashtags influence your content marketing outcome.

Socialinsider is a complex social media tool that splits into analytics and listening tools, featuring hashtag campaigns.

Let’s take a look at the hashtag “#hudabeauty”. Here, in the social listening dashboard, you can see all your hashtag campaigns, including the number of posts, language and topics for every campaign.

screenshot from socialinsider with creating a hashtag campaign

I clicked the #hudabeauty campaign to see its performance. In Content, you can see a lot of hashtag metrics like the total number of posts featuring this hashtag, the posts developed by creators which include this hashtag, and posting time.

This data will help you create a bigger picture when it comes to the use of every hashtag, paying attention to every detail, including user-generated content.

screenshot from socialinsider showing posts evolution

By scrolling further down, you also get to see metrics like types of posts that feature the hashtag and the top topics in which the hashtag was used.

screenshot from socialinsider with posts types from huda beauty

Seeing the top topics in which your hashtag was used can help you learn what other niches or industries use it and why.

Maybe you find a pattern and get to develop long-term collaborations with influencers who use the hashtag in different type of posts than you do.

The possibilities are infinite if you use all these actionable insights provided.

Next, you can also check the top 3 posts that use your hashtag. Here you can see more individual metrics for the posts, like comments, likes, reach, impressions, engagement rate, engagement evolution and the rest of the hashtags associated with the one you searched for.

screenshot from socialinsider with top 3 posts from huda beauty

Gathering this type of insights about the hashtag you’ve researched can help you notice how the engagement rate may fluctuate depending on the Instagram account making the post.

Moreover, you can also see which type of content that used the same hashtag as you did got a higher engagement rate.

Analyze the post and how it was created. Maybe it can inspire you to develop better Reels and carousels to attract users’ attention.

Last but not least, you should also check the Creators dashboard from the social listening tool to see how many creators used the hashtag and how they’ve integrated it in their content.

screenshot from socialinsider with huda beauty creators' posts

The great part about this page is that you can categorize the creators using the hashtag by their number of followers, ranging from nano to macro influencers.

In this way, you are more likely to find the appropriate influencer to work with in the future, in case you decide you need influencer marketing for your brand.

All these insights you can get via Socialinsider’s social listening tool help you get a deeper understanding of Instagram hashtag campaigns' performance.

By making use of the smallest details, you get to adjust your content strategy for the better, increasing visibility and brand awareness.

Final thoughts

The use of hashtags can really change your marketing game for the better, bringing a lot of benefits for your business.

Besides seeing all metrics grow and your brand awareness flourish, you will also have more satisfied customers when noticing your online presence.

Hashtags can propel you in the online world and everyone can learn about your brand by using hashtag searches.

However, it is essential to track the performance of your Instagram hashtags via a third-party analytics tool to see which are the helpful ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Do hashtags improve performance?

Hashtagging is one of the most powerful organic social media strategies, but to maximize their performance, you need to track your hashtags. Implementing the right tags will drive people to your content and get them talking about your brand.

2.Are hashtags on Instagram effective in 2023?

Yes, hashtags still work. It's important to remember that hashtags aren't going anywhere in 2023. In fact, they're back in full force. With a strategic and creative approach, they can be an extremely powerful tool for reaching your target audience and promoting your content.

3.Do hashtags boost SEO?

Hashtags help SEO on Instagram, but only if they are directly relevant to your content and help provide context that aids the Instagram search engine in understanding what your content is about. Using too many hashtags, or irrelevant hashtags, will not help your SEO (and could potentially hurt engagement)

4.Is less hashtags better?

Limit your hashtags to 3 to 5 on Instagram. Yes, you technically can include up to 30, but we've discovered that fewer is really going to get you better engagement and reach.

5.What is a hashtag strategy?

An Instagram hashtag strategy is an intentional and calculated plan of using hashtags on Instagram. Hashtags on Instagram categorize and organize your photos. Hashtags also help Instagram to serve your posts to the most relevant users.

Laura Dascau

Laura Dascau

Content Writer @Socialinsider

I am a curious, focused learner born to tell stories to win over readers' hearts. Always embracing vulnerable authenticity.

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