Hashtag Tracking Methods

Hashtag tracking is useful for advertising agencies, public relations firms or departments, senior executives, news agencies, journalists, and those involved with marketing. It is useful for all of these groups and even for individuals who are working to build up an online following.

Real-time hashtag tracking tells what is going on, moment-by-moment. Hashtag analytics is an analysis of what happened in the past. Different types of people have specific reasons why using a hashtag tracker could be important to them. The most important use of hashtag tracking is to determine popularity.

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Here are the different groups that benefit from hashtag tracking.

Hashtag Tracking Methods

Online Influencers

Part of this group are people who found fame using the Internet. One might consider them to be online stars. They gain attention from being bloggers or vloggers (video bloggers). Others in this group include politicians and those leading political movements. At least they hope to be. This group also has some movie stars and television stars, especially reality television stars. Finally, there are business and intellectual “thought-leaders,” who develop a following because what they say is interesting and important.

The influencers themselves use hashtag tracking and analytics to see how far their influence goes. Those in other groups described below use hashtag tracking to follow what the influencers are doing.

The Business2Community notes that there has been a huge growth in social influencer marketing over the past few years. This is because it can be extremely effective in reaching a targeted audience.

Neilson reported after conducting a survey of over 28,000 people from 56 countries, that 92% of the people trust online recommendations from other people, more than advertisements. These people can be friends, family, or someone they do not know.

Advertising Agencies, Brand Managers, and Public Relations

Advertising agencies, brand managers, public relations firms, and public relations departments in any organization need to use hashtag tracking.

Advertising Agencies and Brand Managers

Advertising agencies and brand managers use hashtag tracking and analytics to monitor and manage advertising campaigns. This helps to see what is working and what is not. Hashtag tracking helps find and connect with the social influencers described above. Analytics show the results of the efforts. This is something the clients of the advertising agencies want to see and brand managers need to know.

By using a good hashtag tracking tool, the process is highly automated. The advertising campaigns are able to have modifications made in real-time, based on popular hashtags, allowing the advertising agencies to change their tactics in response to audience reaction or lack thereof.

By tracking influencers, they get an abundance of information, which includes:

Most importantly, they get the contact information that allows them to connect with influencers. This creates an opportunity to engage them with enthusiasm or by paying them and then benefit from the help of influencers to increase their online perception in a favourable way.

Hashtag tracking and analytics allow advertising agencies and brand managers to follow what any competition is doing.

Hashtag analytical reports show the impact of all of these efforts using real data in ways that make for impressive campaign results. This makes clients happy and helps brand managers keep their jobs.

Public Relations

The goal of public relations is to stay on top of what the public is thinking about something. There are both proactive and reactive methods. Proactive methods include press releases and announcements. Reactive methods are about managing crises and reacting quickly to mitigate any damage.

Hashtag tracking allows public relations to follow both the good and the bad about the things they are protecting and promoting.  Using these methods it is possible to build an online following, inform them, and potentially better manage their opinions.


By using hashtag tracking and hashtag analytics, not only is it possible to track the social media behaviours of existing clients or customers; it is possible to find new ones.

Analysing social media behaviours around topics that are important to an organization is a terrific way to find consumers who are potentially new clients or customers for the organization. The key is to engage the consumers in a meaningful way that is synergistic with other marketing efforts.

Marketing efforts have the same needs as advertising agencies, brand managers, and public relations to track the effectiveness of any marketing campaigns. The same goes for the need to reach out to influencers and build a positive online community.

Popular hashtags may be somewhat ephemeral. They come and go along with the changes in interests on social media. This is why it is so important to track them in real-time in order to capture any opportunities that may exist for only short periods.

Tracking what the competition is doing is a critical component of any marketing efforts. Hashtag tracking allows comparison of an organization’s marketing effort directly against their competitors’ effectiveness. This provides benchmarks used for goal setting and campaign results analysis. Additionally, it gives a more complete understanding of the targeted demographic.

Senior Executives

Senior executives use hashtag tracking to learn what social media users think about their organization. Moreover, executives can use these methods to gauge the effectiveness of those working to promote the company through advertising campaigns, brand management, public relations, and marketing efforts. This provides a double-check on those efforts. Moreover, it allows executives to make better management decisions in real-time.

Analysis of hashtags is helpful for strategic planning in order to set performance goals. This helps discover what worked or failed, who did a good job or did not, as well as where improvements are possible in future efforts.

In-depth understanding of the social media behaviours of the target market demographic, allows executives to monitor the positive and negative aspects of public opinion that are most important to an organization. Sharing this information with key employees improves collaborative efforts.

Being proactive in the use of hashtags allows an organization to make themselves distinctive and stay ahead of any competition. If the target market includes a large component of social media users, this opportunity is valuable. Social media users are very quick to give opinions. Tracking this helps learn what consumers like and what they do not like.

This significant resource for monitoring hashtags is useful for launching new products or services. Definitive audience opinion analysis is possible when asking social media users in advance about their opinions before the release of new products or services.

News Agencies and Journalists

The Internet is non-stop. Some bloggers have scooped major news agencies by using the Internet more effectively. Stale news is not good.  With hashtag tracking, it is possible to immediately identify new trends in real-time and respond accordingly.  There are ways to set up automatic alerts for hashtags, as well as scan for newly created hashtags that suddenly become popular.

Journalists have the chance to use hashtag tracking and analytics to develop good ideas for assignments to cover. Insights that come from hashtag analysis can spark creative ideas about interesting stories. By keeping an eye on the popularity of hashtags, it tells a journalist about the potential audience for any topic. This is especially useful if a journalist needs to pitch a story to an editor before being able to write about it.

Journalists themselves can become influencers by consistently writing quality content that is of interest to a particular audience. In this way, they become an expert in that field or on that topic.

Hashtag Tracking and Analytical Tools

For those new to hashtag tracking here is a list of tools to consider, some are free with paid premium accounts, others are paid services with a free demo or free trial:

Free/Paid Premium Tools

  • Hashtagify – The free service shows relationships between hashtags.
  • Hashtags.org  – Has free accounts and paid premium accounts.
  • Ritetag – Has free accounts and paid premium accounts.
  • Tagboard – Offers a free search for a single hashtag to create a pinboard that visually shows hashtag use across different social media and they offer paid premium accounts.
  • Trendsmap – Free tool for basic use and a paid premium account that shows real-time Twitter trends on a world map.
  • Twubs – Free tool or paid premium accounts used to create communities and track Twitter activity.

Paid Services

  • Bundle Post – Organize hashtag posts, schedule them for automatic posting, offers a free trial.
  • Hashtracking – Hashtag tracker and hashtag analytics, offers a free trial.
  • Keyhole– Hashtag tracker and hashtag analytics, offers a free trial.
  • Quintly – Tracking and analytics, offers a free trial.
  • Rebelmouse – Tracking and analytics, offers a free demo.
  • Talkwalker – Tracking and analytics, offers a free demo.
  • Tweet Binder – Tracking and analytics for Twitter only, offers a free demo.
  • Tweet Reach – Tracking and analytics for Twitter only, offers a free demo.


Hashtag tracking and using hashtag analytics is becoming increasingly important for advertising agencies, public relations firms or departments, senior executives, news agencies, and journalists who find it to be an essential tool in their work.

This modern form of audience research happens in real-time. It is highly effective in following public opinion trends. When used effectively it is also predictive of new trends as they emerge.

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