How to find hashtags: method, tool and monitoring

The hashtag turns ten and is celebrated on Twitter (but not only). Today it is a fundamental tool in digital strategies. But how to choose the right one? And trace it?

The hashtag has practically become a world heritage site and just today turns ten: it was in fact on August 23, 2007 that Chris Messina – at the time a community advocate and subsequently Google’s UX Designer – tweeted the proposal to use the hash sign to engage users on a conversation or topic. Since that day, the hashtag has come a long way, becoming a fundamental tool in digital strategies , in almost all the social media that are available to us today.
But how to find the right hashtags for our communication? And how to track them? What online tools can help us?

What good is the hashtag, really?

First of all, you must always evaluate if this is the case. By now we live in a surplus of information and we are all addicted to the use of hashtags to frame anything, sometimes using them inappropriately. The hashtag mainly serves three purposes:

  1. Define the topic of conversationin a memorable way;
  2. Feed dialogue(and possibly visibility regarding a theme or a brand);
  3. Keep a measurable and quantifiable historical record, because metrics are important!

Having said that, in front of our communication strategy we must ask ourselves: does it make sense? Sometimes it’s much better to define a simple campaign with a nice blend of visuals and pay-offs, for example. Visibility “at all costs” can become a double-edged sword and earn us a great epic fail if we don’t do things with our heads. The use of the hashtag requires a wide-ranging strategy that can respond to the objectives and needs of the target first and foremost. Do you therefore want to invite users to participate in a real action or do you prefer them to be spectators of your communication? It seems like a trivial reflection, but I assure you it is not.

Hashtag: how to choose the right one

Now comes the “fun” part, because the creative and strategic process to define a successful hashtag is certainly not a walk in the park. Anyone who thinks that it is enough to throw out random words during a brain storming, well, is very far from any valid hypothesis. That’s why I give you some tips that may be useful to you:

  • Set a goalright away : why make it happen? What do you need it for? What (and maybe who) do you want to get to?
  • Random Words: Yes, multi-headed meetings are useful because even the most obscene idea can help you get to the brightest one. But it takes method even in this case: mark the most important keywords, whether they have to do with the brand or its values. Identify the actions with the concept in mind and start thinking. I repeat: there are no silly ideas, only opportunities to be seized .
  • Better a call-to-action or a clear word? A syllogism or a small sentence to conclude? As anticipated: it all depends on the goals. Think short, medium and long term.
  • Basically a short hashtag is preferable, also because a long one is more difficult to memorize and steals characters unnecessarily. There are only 140 jokes left on Twitter, so # take advantage of your possibilities and don’t lose yourself in a glass of water.
  • Take advantage of the toolsat your disposal …
  • Crucial: once found, analyze all social media for presence. If you were for example Coca Cola, it might not be optimal to launch a campaign with a tag promoted by Pepsi a year earlier. Just to understand!

Tool to choose hashtags: ideas, analysis, monitoring

Online you have a wide range of tools to identify the most useful hashtags for your needs. I will mention a few:

With it is possible to search and analyze the hashtags of the network. The pay-off says all that is needed: “ Find, analyze, amplify “. It works very simply: you can see the related words of your keyword, popularity, trends, up to the influencers. With the paid version you can have even more functions, but to do basic searches you can easily use the free one. Note: Tracking for Instagram has also recently been introduced .

For example, if you want to insert more tags on an Instagram photo (and tend to have more visibility), can be very useful. It is a very basic platform (but also with an application for iOS and Android) where you can find all the trending hashtags related to themes or keywords. Until recently it worked fine, but I have found that lately it leaves something to be desired. My advice is to choose carefully between the options.

With you can immediately notice the popularity of a hashtag on different social media, with many useful statistics such as time use (hours and days), the number of tweets, RT, mentions and so on. Up to the geographic distribution and the most popular accounts that produced the most interactions. It has both an extension for Firefox and Chrome and a mobile application (iOS and Android). It can be considered a valuable monitoring and discovery tool. is a nice hashtag tracking platform for Twitter and Instagram . The free version allows you to access several interesting functions. In addition to real-time statistics, reach and impressions, Keyhole selects you accounts based on popularity (including by Klout) and time (most recent based on research) , most engaged sites, sentiment and some user demographics. .

Hashtag mon amour …

The first time I discovered the hashtag universe was of course with Twitter. Those were the days of #FF (coined on January 16, 2009) , the famous #FollowFriday in which users advised to follow friends, professionals and accounts on the basis of affection or information. Today this practice has fallen into disuse, but at the time it was really a great way to discover interesting profiles. From 2007 to today, it is impossible to say how many hashtags have been poured onto social media, but just think that on Twitter alone we are on the order of 125 million a day .

Will we continue to use hashtags in the future? I really think so. It has now become a fundamental factor of post-2000 pop culture. We make jokes, signs with our hands, it is present in songs, shows and literature. Happy birthday, hashtag. Happy birthday to us.

john wick

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