I don’t know how or why hashtags came to be, but they’re here, and you really should be using them. You know what else you should be doing? You should actively be tracking those hashtags too.
I know, I know—that can be a real buzzkill. You’re just trying to run your business! And on top of all the marketing you do through social media, you now have to monitor your progress? Whaaaaat?
Never fear! While words like “tracking” and “monitoring” seem to conjure up thoughts of “doing work” and “putting in effort”, when it comes to tracking hashtags, it actually doesn’t take up too much of your time.
Checking In to Check Your Progress
What’s important to understand about hashtag tracking is that it’s a minimal effort that goes a long way: with so many free tools at your disposal, a majority of them are built to be a quick and painless resource.
Those who track their hashtags are looking for a number of things. Some people want to understand their hashtags before they use them; they’re probably looking to see which hashtags are the most popular, so that when they post their content, it’ll definitely be noticed. Others may be interested in seeing the after; that is, comparing different content and their success, based on the hashtags used.
If you really wanted to, you could spend hours researching hashtags and all their ins and outs. Of course, you probably don’t want to. And you don’t need to! Which is why I really preach hashtag tracking as a quick check-in thing, something that only takes a moment of your time, but can also provide sufficient insight into your social efforts.
Get Competitive… Without Being Competitive
As a social media professional, I understand algorithms, but as a person, I’m like, “We have the technology to cure cancer but instead we perfect algorithms?!”
You may already know that algorithms can make or break your social media growth, but what you may not know is how hashtags are a great way to work around those pesky non-cancer curing rules. Most platforms have an option to see both the most popular and recent posts under a hashtag, the latter of which can give you a fair chance of being discovered.
To really “work” this convention requires using the right hashtags, and that’s where properly monitoring them comes into play. Between all the limits and stipulations social platforms enforce, you only have so much room in a post to use the right hashtags, so you’re going to want to choose the most popular.
The beauty of a trending hashtag is that it’s bound to be seen by a lot of people, even if the post itself doesn’t become popular. There are certain hashtags some people always use because they’re applicable (for example, if you run a coffee shop, you may always use #coffee, even if it’s not trending) but a good mix of relevant and trending hashtags is the best way to ensure you get noticed.
One more thing: you should definitely only use trending hashtags if they have something to do with your content. Otherwise, you might as well just be spam!
Track What You Love
I can’t say this enough: monitoring your hashtags shouldn’t be a doozy! It should really only be a teeny-tiny step in your whole posting process, something you do between smoothing out the perfect text caption and hitting “Publish.”
There are a lot of factors that go into making a post successful, and hashtags are only just a small part of it—but like all smart parts, they can come together to make a whole. You already know you should be using hashtags, so why not ensure you’re using the right ones? It just makes sense.