03 Dec My Favorite Hashtag Tracking Tools
*UPDATED ON 12/21/2015: Topsy is no longer in action, and my marketing heart hurts! I’ve added one more tool – Keyhole.co
Analyzing and measuring your campaign’s success (or lack thereof) is essential in your social media marketing development. One way to analyze the success of a campaign, or to measure the growth of your reach is to get into the habit of hashtag tracking.
Paid hashtag tracking tools can be expensive but will make the process less laborious. For the rest of us, resourceful hashtag tracking requires organization, consistency, and a few free tools.
Before you start:
- Test and pick your tracking tool: Refer to my list below after you’re done with this section. Play around with various tools until you find one you feel comfortable with.
- Choose the hashtag(s) you’ll be tracking: Will you be tracking a general hashtag for your brand or a hashtag for a specific campaign? Both? Jot down which hashtags you need to stay on top of. Don’t forget to run an initial audit to see where the hashtag stands before you start.
- Determine how long you’ll be tracking your hashtag(s) for: As I mentioned above organization and consistency are your best friends when it comes to free hashtag tracking. Make sure you have ample lead time as to when you will begin using and tracking your chosen hashtag or hashtags. Most tools will only track 7 days worth of data at a time.
- Set up your tracking document: Set up a hashtag tracking document where you can gather your hashtag data. The tool you choose may determine what you keep track of. This can be the number of posts the hashtag is used in, impressions for the hashtag for a specific set of time, photos posted using the hashtag etc. Choose the metric that matters to you and that you have access to.
- Set reminders: Most free trackers only give you information going back a specific amount of days or number of posts. Set a reminder so you never miss the deadlines to gather your info.
Tracking your hashtag
Now that you’ve got yourself all set up, it’s time to start gathering information. Here are some of my favorite hashtag tracking tools:
- Twitter Search: Twitter’s own native search can be a good starting point to track a hashtag. Quantifying your finds will have to be done manually – know anyone that loves counting tweets?
- Keyhole.co: Keyhole doesn’t require you to sign into their service to get hashtag stats (and is the only service on this list that won’t ask you to). You’ll receive a report containing sample data from your search criteria with beautiful charts which break down share of posts, related hashtag and keywords, plus more.
- Tweetreach: This tool is one of my all time favorites. Unfortunately free analytics or “snapshots” as they are called within this system will only capture activity for the last 100 tweets that use your hashtag.
- Tweet Binder: This tool will give you analytics for up to 1,500 tweets from the last 7 days.
- *UPDATE: Topsy is no longer in action, and my marketing heart hurts! Topsy: I use this tool mostly for hashtag research, but it can come in handy for keeping track of your hashtag also. Topsy is an archive of tweets, and entering your hashtag into the search (within 30 days) will give you the amount of tweets within the date range.
Hashtag tracking with limited resources will be tedious, but not impossible. For brands with a high volume of tweets, the best bet is to go for a paid analytics/tracking platform. As for tracking hashtags on other networks, like Instagram you can use the built in search, or a service like Twubbs – which will pull content that uses the hashtags, but again quantifying will have to be done manually – so get used to counting!
What are some of your favorite hashtag tracking tools? (paid or free)