Hashtags strategies are the most controversial Instagram marketing subject.
- Where should I place my hashtags?
- To hashtag or not to hashtag?
- Can I include hashtags in IGTV?
- Do hashtags work for discoverability if added to the description of IGTV video?
And the list goes on.
When it comes to hashtags effectiveness, Instagram doesn't provide enough data. However, they confirm that some certain posts are not appearing in Explore and hashtag pages to keep Instagram an authentic and safe place.
Based on our latest study for beauty brands - 29k posts of 75 top US beauty accounts - we noticed that overusing hashtags does not increase the engagement rate for posts.
So what's the lucky number for hashtags on Instagram?
There is no secret recipe to guarantee your success. You can define the right concentration of hashtags for your Instagram strategy by testing it for a couple of months.
In this article, I'm going to show you how hashtags analytics is the only way to get the best out of your marketing campaigns and how to track down independent hashtag performance.
How to analyze the hashtags performance on Instagram
- Why is it useful to track your hashtag performance
- How can I track hashtags on Instagram?
- What hashtags can I track on Instagram
- 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 hashtags tools
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 fooled to think that all the hashtags you use are performing. You must track all the hashtags to be able to determine which ones bring in most likes, comments, and replies.
- Measure the awareness of a campaign
Tracking your hashtags will also help you know whether the campaign is working or not. The level of awareness will reflect in engagements and traffic back to your website. If the campaign does not get enough engagements, 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:
1. Tracking metrics from the native app - using posts insights
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 you'll get a breakdown of postings, other mentioned hashtags, post types, and how many likes, comments are driving.
2. Metrics that analytics tools give you
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 provide us.
- Average engagement rate per post for the postings with that particular hashtag.
- A list of top hashtags used with the hashtag you are looking for ranked by usage.
- A list hashtags used with the hashtag you are looking for ranked by engagement.
- Distribution of postings with that 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 gives 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 a 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 possible to help you know the best performing hashtags out there. If you want to get full insight on all hashtags, you have to use an analytics tool.
Using an Instagram hashtag count tool, you can track any hashtag you wish. You can also perform hashtag research to determine how your competitors are faring. 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.
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 others. Most Instagram hashtag analytics tools are optimized for posts. You can also track down Instagram Stories engagements using Instagram Stories analytics tools.
Hashtag research is the only way to ensure that you use the best hashtags. You should find hashtags that attract engagements and those that are trending at the time of your posting. The hashtag you use should also appeal to your target demography. Follow these simple steps to do 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 bring engagements to your specific posts.
Create your brand's new hashtags and add them to your bio. Adding your brand hashtag to your bio helps popularize your brand. 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 hashtag, you get insight 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 my Instagram hashtags toolkit:
Using hashtags to boost the performance of your content on Instagram is not something you can wish away. Hashtags are an integral part of the Instagram culture and play a key role in creating engagements.
However, using hashtags blindly is as good as not using any. If you want to gain more from Instagram hashtags, you must be willing to use data.
Instagram hashtag analytics tools will help you understand the performance of each hashtag.
You can track down the best performing hashtags by having a comprehensive analysis of the engagements.
Before you start using any hashtag, make sure it works for you.