Hashtags on Instagram are meant to boost your posts, being part of your marketing content strategy.
However, when you start using a new feature, a bunch of questions crawl up from the corners of the mind. The basic one is: to hashtag or not to hashtag? That is really the question that Shakespeare did not know about.
Getting back to most important social media stuff, instagram hashtag performance can decide on the effectiveness of 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 Performance - A Complete Guide
- What is a hashtag?
- How to use hashtags to help your business bloom
- The benefits of analyzing hashtag performance
- How to track hashtags on Instagram
- What hashtags you track on Instagram
- How many hashtags you should use
- Can I track the hashtag used by influencers or competitors in Stories?
- What is the best way to do "hashtag research" before starting a new campaign
- Instagram hashtag tracking tools
For some of you who are really new in the social media world and you have just stepped into a realm of data and graphics, you deserve an explanation for the term hashtag to start familiarising with the term.
A hashtag is a word or even a group of words written with the sign “#” in front of them that suit the theme of your social media posts. Then, hashtags can be tracked, being easy to find them in Instagram’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 “united” under the same hashtag. When creating a 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. He wrote about it as a way to distinguish between groups of topics.
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.
In the beginning, hashtags on Instagram started being used in the caption of the post or in the first comment, after you publish the post. Lately, studies have shown that hashtags left in the comment are more efficient than the others.
If you have a public account, your post will be visible in the designated hashtag page, depending on the hashtags you used.
It is better you do not add your hashtags in the middle of your post’s caption.
Hashtags in Bio
If you did not know this yet, adding hashtags in your brand’s bio is a trend. The words you add there will help users understand what your focus is.
Create a brand and campaign hashtag
Every time you plan a new campaign, you should consider building a 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.
Following particular hashtags will help you see more Instagram posts from a certain niche or field of interest.
This way, if you follow some of that 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 read between the lines.
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.
Analyzing hashtags performance was never easy. Here's why you should evaluate the hashtags you used on Instagram.
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 the performance of all the hashtags to be able to determine which ones bring in most likes, comments, and replies.
Measure the awareness of a campaign
Analyzing your hashtags will also help you know 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, optimizing 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. This may help you 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 who are too popular and don't boost engagement.
Tracking hashtags on Instagram is not as complicated as you may think. You can find data regarding the performance of your hashtags right within the native app or using an analytics tool.
Let me show you how to do that:
A. Tracking metrics from the native app
The Instagram app gives you the chance to check the performance of your hashtags every time you launch a campaign.
To access your Instagram data from the native app, simply select the post on which you want more insight, and follow these steps:
Open a post.
- Tap the “View Insights” text below it.
- 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.
- 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 performance makes it easier to achieve your goals.
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
- 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.
Tracking hashtags with the native app has some limitations. If you choose to use the native app, you can only track your own hashtags.
While this is good enough to give you some insight into the performance of your campaigns, it is not helpful if you want to learn which are the best performing hashtags out there.
If you want to get full insights on all hashtags, you have to use an analytics tool.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here's our list of Instagram hashtag tracking tools you should try:
- Seek Metrics
- Social Searcher
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.