7 Important Instagram Analytics Marketers Need to Know [+ 4 Tools!]

This post was updated on November 16th, 2019.

Before we talk about instagram analytics, let’s talk about why Instagram matters to marketers.

Instagram is a marketing powerhouse and is very beneficial for business and brands. It’s the go-to platform that businesses should be using.

The platform offers features that businesses can take advantage to make your social strategy flourish such as Instagram ads, news feed and stories.

These tools also help accomplish your marketing goals. 

Let’s take a look at some important Instagram analytics:

Jump Links:

How Beneficial is Instagram?

7 Important Instagram Analytics
1. Learning About Your Audience / Customers
2. Data Driven Content
3. Learn the Best Timing For Your Posts
4. Engagement Rate
5. Follower Growth Rate
6. Hashtag Performance
7. Instagram Story Engagement

4 Instagram Analytics Tools
1. Instagram Insights
2. Keyhole
3. Hootsuite
4. Sprout Social

How Beneficial Is Instagram? 

Let’s see what the numbers say. 

Instagram currently has over 1 billion active monthly users. It only trails Facebook (2 billion) and YouTube (1.9 billion) in this category. 

Amongst 1 billion users, 110 million are from the USA. 

But there’s more.

Instagram users also post over 100 million photos per day, which makes Instagram one of the most powerful tools to grow your business. 80% of all Instagram accounts follow a business profile

Over 200 million people on Instagram visit business profiles on a daily basis. 

Numbers like these prove that Instagram can be so much more than just a photo sharing app. 

Savvy businesses can utilize Instagram analytics to reach new customers and grow their customer base faster than ever before.

Instagram has also proven that it is able to grow and adapt with trends such as Instagram stories. 

You can easily convert your profile to a business profile, which allows you to track your Instagram analytics through the in-app insights.

Insight is Instagram’s free metric tracker, located internally in the Instagram application. 

Converting to an instagram Business Account is as easy as 1-2-3!

It should be evident that Instagram is a very popular and growing platform that reaches a worldwide audience. 

So, let’s jump in and take a look at 7 important Instagram analytics that will help you to master your Instagram marketing game. 

1. Learning About Your Audience/Customers 

Understanding your customers is the key to achieving your goals.

Whether it’s creating an engaging content, boosting sales or even building the customer experience, you have to know your customer.

Knowing your customers’ hows and whys will allow you to make a better product and stay ahead of the competition.

Instagram analytics breaks down your customers by their specific demographics, age group, gender, and location. You can use this information to focus your marketing campaign in these areas.

Instagram analytics also digs deep and helps you understand what your customers are searching for the most and their sentiment.

You can leverage this information to come up with a keyword or hashtag that will be effective for your brand and customers.

2. Data Driven Content

I know what you’re thinking – data driven content isn’t part of of Instagram analytics. 

Let me explain.

By studying your business’s Instagram analytics, you will be able to pinpoint what posts are most popular and most effectively engaging with your customers. 

You can utilize a number of different metrics over many different time ranges. This will allow you to find out what is working and replicate it with similar posts. 

3. Learn The Best Timing For Your Posts

You have to know when your target audience spends time on Instagram to select an optimal posting time.

The good news is you can easily find out!

You can look at your posts over the course of a week or month and learn when you received the most views and engagement from your audience. 

Or, you can use instagram analytics tool – but we’ll get to that later.

Learning about timing will also help you understand that poor timing may be the cause of lower audience engagement.

Your content may be great, but without this knowledge your time and effort will be wasted. 

4. Engagement Rate

When referring to Instagram metrics, engagement refers to how often other users either like or comment on your post.

Engagement means that the viewer had to make an effort to display their feelings about a post. 

Most digital marketers agree that engagement metrics are some of the most important numbers to track. 

High engagement from your audience relates to better success across all of your social media platforms. 

Engagement rate breaks down the engagement metric a little further. 

It compares the likes and comments in relation to the total number of followers your company has. 

This helps to give you a percentage that you can track as your followers grow over time. 

To track the engagement rate there is a fairly simple calculation to find the engagement rate percentage:

Receiving 300 likes and comments while having 1,000 followers would be viewed as a much more effective post than if you have 10,000 followers. 

Engagement rate helps you understand the reaction from your audience, but it doesn’t indicate the sentiment.

A controversial post could receive a fair amount of negative comments, which could give you the wrong impression of how the post is being perceived.

To understand the sentiment behind the comments received, you would need to review the comments.

Even if your engagement rate may not be as high as some other business types, you can compare your posts and see which ones are receiving more engagement. 

It has also been found that video content get 38% more engagement than picture posts.

5. Follower Growth Rate

Follower growth rate is another metric that is very important when trying to understand your Instagram analytics.

Follower growth rate is often confused with follower count. 

Follower growth rate breaks down how much your follower account has grown over a period of time.

This gives you a much better view of if your company’s following is growing or is experiencing a lull. 

Similar to engagement rate, follower growth rate can be found with a pretty basic calculation.

For example:

If you have gained 75 new followers over the month of September and you started the month with 1000 followers you can calculate your follower growth by:

(75/1000) x 100 = 7.5% Follower Growth Rate for Sept.

You can then continue to track this metric over time to determine trends in your follower growth rate.

Follower growth rate will allow you to better make predictions for the future and make goals for your business account. 


If you have a negative follower growth rate (are losing followers) you can identify what types of posts are giving you this negative result. 

By tracking when your growth rate decreases, you can take steps to make positive changes. 

Let’s talk about what steps can you take to try to increase follower growth rate:

  • Post consistent content
  • Post high quality / informative content
  • Upload video content
  • Use Instagram Stories
  • Use popular hashtags
  • Collaborate with related business sectors

If more people are interested in following your Instagram account, it can often translate to more people using your product or service. 

6. Hashtag Performance

Hashtag performance is a very important metric, especially for Instagram.

Hashtags are tags added to posts to help people find your post by a specific theme. 

People can search specific hashtags to find posts that relate to content they are interested in. 

By adding popular hashtags to your posts, it will instantly make your posts become more visible to a much larger audience. 

The popularity of different hashtags show you the best type of content to post for more exposure and better engagement. 

Tracking hashtag performance can sometimes be tricky because most of the data you are able to review will be historical.

Some people may think that hashtags are a waste of time, but when it comes to being visible on Instagram or Twitter, they are vital.

Using hashtags, especially while they are trending, will allow you to reach customers that may never have known you existed before.

7. Engagement For Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories allows you to post photos, videos, surveys or external links that expire after 24 hours.

They are a great way to send short snippets of content to your followers.

They are popular because you can look through several of them in a short time span. 

Of all Instagram Stories, 1/3 of the most viewed stories come from business profiles.

What are the most important metrics to track in Instagram Stories?

  • Reach – Shows you how many unique accounts viewed your story.
  • Exits – Tell you which story users were on when they exited your story.

Reach is important because it gives you an idea of how many people have shown an interest in your content by viewing your Stories.

This number should increase over time as you produce more quality content. 

Exits can show you which slide was the least popular in the line of story posts.

If someone exited your Instagram Story through a certain post, it may be an indicator that it was not well received. 

Another metric that relates to exits and can be useful is Taps Forward.

Taps Forward shows when a user skips forward to the next slide. Like Exits, it may also show posts that are not received as well as others. 

Instagram Stories is a great example of how Instagram has continued to grow and position itself as one of the premier social media platforms.

Let’s take a look at 4 Instagram analytics tools to help you track and identify these important metrics.

Top 4 Instagram Analytics Platforms of 2019

1. Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights is the free analytics software you have access to when you convert your Instagram account to a business account.

One of the key measures it provides is what types of people are interacting with your business profile. Instagram Insights helps you learn about their gender, age range, and location.

Instagram Insights also allows you to see which posts and stories your audience has engaged with the most.

This can be helpful when trying to find out what types of posts work best for your company.

It can also distinguish between content that you have paid to promote and content that has been posted organically.

2. Keyhole

Keyhole offers all of the basic analytics offered by Instagram Insights, along with a wealth of more advanced metrics and customizable reports.

One key feature that sets Keyhole apart from the competition is their hashtag analytics tool.

The best part of this feature is that it gives you real time info, allowing you to see how your content is performing and trending hashtags.

There is also a dashboard that displays an overview of statistics.

Another popular feature offered by Keyhole is the ability to track your competitors’ Instagram accounts.

You can track their growth, activity and engagement data. You can then use this data to compare to your own key performance indicators (KPI). 

3. Hootsuite Analytics

Hootsuite Analytics works as a combination Instagram post scheduler and analytics suite.

The Instagram post scheduler helps you to plan out your posts over a period of time.

This helps you keep track with your post timing schedule and post consistent content on your profile. 

Hootsuite also offers a full analytics suite that is much more customizable and detailed than the basic offerings from Instagram Insights. 

4. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a platform that specializes in content planning and analytics. 

With content planning and publishing, you can track your content themes across all of your social media platforms, including Instagram.

Sprout Social’s software can also help you to optimize the best times and days to send your Instagram Posts.

So what does all this mean?

Understanding your Instagram analytics is vital to growing your business’s following on Instagram.

Knowing what metrics to track will help you increase your followers and post engagement.

Instagram as a part of a well rounded marketing plan can help you reach new customers in areas you may have never tried otherwise. 

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Twitter Audit: How to Conduct & Optimize Your Account

Regardless of whether you’re still figuring out how to use Twitter to boost your business, or you’re already doing well but are looking for ways to up your game, you’ll love this quick Twitter audit guide that will show you how to assess and improve your Twitter profile in less than 30 minutes. 

With the end of this quarter fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about expanding your potential and making the next quarter more successful for your business. 

This means that it’s time for you to: 

  1. Start reflecting on what you did right and what could be done better in your business, and… 
  2. Develop new strategies to drive positive change and better results.

A quick Twitter audit will enable you to achieve just that – understand what works for your business and how you could improve your social activity to increase engagement, boost your follower count and improve your conversion rates.

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What is a Twitter Audit and Why Does it Matter?

Set Your Goals

Start With Your Profile

Audit Your Twitter Audience

Audit Your Tweets

What is a Twitter Audit and Why Does it Matter?

A Twitter audit is an assessment of your Twitter account and overall performance. 

A quick Twitter analysis like this will help you better understand your audience, fine-tune your content strategy, stay consistent and determine ways you can improve your online presence and return on investment.

Twitter audits should be done frequently – at least once every quarter – and they are fairly fast and easy to do.

Let’s jump right into the “How”.

Set Your Goals

Before you start with the actual audit, you need to define what success means for you and what you are hoping to get out of your Twitter activity.

Generally speaking, Twitter is best for raising brand awareness and providing timely customer service, but your goals will depend on your current business situation and your overall social media strategy. 

Read more on how you can develop a full blown social media strategy that works for you.

Start With Your Profile

Your profile determines your visitors’ first impression about your business.

Auditing your profile will help you ensure that you make a great first impression and that your visitors understand what your business is about and what you provide in terms of value.

Auditing your profile comes down to updating three elements: your Twitter bio, your Twitter profile pictures and your pinned tweet.

A good Twitter bio is short, clear and concise. Avoid using vague phrases and marketing buzzwords, and just explain what you do as you would to a friend.  

You only have a couple of seconds to capture your visitor’s attention before they click away so make sure that you use simple language and a clear statement that shows the value you can provide.

Your bio may be good already, but go over it one more time to make sure that all details are correct and up to date. 

Audit your Twitter profile pictures to make sure that your branding is consistent across all online channels. Update your profile photo to the latest logo of your company – your profile picture size should be at least 400 x 400 pixels. 

Also, update your header image (1,500 x 500 pixels) so that it matches your company’s messaging. 

You can use the header to reinforce your brand, promote a new product, or make an announcement.

Upon rebranding a couple of months ago, we decided to use our header image to increase brand awareness among our visitors and followers.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s header image is all about his personal brand as well.

As you can see, you can get creative with your header image – it’s social media and people are here for informal conversations after all!

Another thing that visitors see immediately upon landing on your profile is your pinned tweet – which is why we included this point in the “Profile Audit” section instead of the “Tweet Audit” section.

Pinned tweets are tweets that appear on the top of your profile for as long as you don’t unpin them or pin another tweet.

At Keyhole, we usually use the pinned tweet to promote new content or to make an important announcement, like we did with our big rebranding a couple of months ago. 

You can use your pinned tweet for different purposes:

To announce a new initiative…

To promote a new story…

To promote a new product…

… or to inform about a current campaign.

Smart Bird Social have published a great piece on the reasons why you should consider pinning tweets to the top of your profile.

SUGGESTED READ: Optimize Your Twitter Profile to Improve Visibility

Audit Your Twitter Audience

The next thing you want to look at is your audience. 

The audience audit is a crucial step since it helps you understand the kind of people that follow you and this serves two purposes.

  • It will help you create a better content creation strategy and publish content that this audience is interested in seeing.
  • It will help you see if you’re on the right path and if you’re doing everything right to attract the audience that will help you achieve your goals.

The Twitter audience audit is done in two steps.

STEP 1: Understand Who Your Audience Is

The first thing you need to do is understand what you audience is about and what their interests are. 

This will help you determine the kind of content that would resonate best with them, and in turn, increase your Twitter impressions, engagement rate, and will ultimately help you lose less followers and increase your following.

Thankfully this is easy to do and all you need to do is to get on Twitter analytics and check the audiences tab.

Here, you’ll be able to see your audience demographics, their top interests, gender distribution, as well as the change in your follower numbers for the past 30 days. 

This should give you a general idea of the kind of audience your content resonates with.

STEP 2. Check For Bots

Once you know your audience, you want to check how many of your followers are real people. 

Chances are your profile has at least some percentage of bot followers.

Think you’re an exception?

In 2018, Twiplomacy published a list featuring the world leaders and their fake followers as calculated by Twitter Audit.

This shows you that no one is immune to bots.

To do a quick audit of your own account, go to https://www.twitteraudit.com/ and enter your username.

Now, here’s the thing.

Fake followers can’t harm your account per se, and you can’t do much about your fake followers (unless you want to pay to have them removed).

What this audit will help you do is understand where you stand in terms of your actual following and will also help you determine your real engagement rate. 

STEP 3. Find Your Top Followers

If you want to step the Audience audit a step further, you can also perform a more advanced analysis and find out who your top followers are. 

You can easily do this using a social listening tool that allows you to track hashtags and monitor conversations and use these insights to connect with influential and engaging followers.

SUGGESTED READ: The Top 25 Social Media Monitoring Tools

Audit Your Tweets

The next step is to audit your tweets and evaluate your performance. 

Log in to your native Twitter analytics dashboard and select the Tweets tab. Here you can select a date range of your preference, and you’ll be shown a breakdown of your activity within your selected time frame. 

This report will show you your Tweet activity, including your top tweets, your tweets and replies, as well as the impressions and engagement rate next to each one of your tweets. 

On the right-hand side, you’ll be able to see the number of likes, replies and link clicks you’ve acquired during this period as well. 

Click the export data button to download a CSV of the report.

This report should give you a clear idea of what’s landing well with your audience and how you can optimize and improve your activity for maximum engagement. 

If you want to get down to the nitty gritty…

You can also use an analytics tool like Keyhole to track keywords, monitor social conversations and learn more about your audience and how they feel about your brand. 

This will help you understand what’s working for your target segment and identify patterns that will ultimately help you optimize your strategy and create more engaging tweets and stories that resonate with your audience.

SUGGESTED READ: The Ultimate Sentiment Analysis Guide

Another reason why you might want to consider using a third-party tool to audit your account is that the native Twitter analytics app will show you a performance report limited to a narrow time window. 

Keyhole allows you to export your data in any custom time range you choose and see trends, events and overall performance on particular days or create robust reports for a longer time period.

Performing a Twitter audit is a quick and easy activity that can ultimately determine your Twitter success and how well your message resonates with your audience.

The key in performing a successful Twitter audit is to make quarterly Twitter check-ins part of your routine.

This is the easiest way to evaluate your performance: quarterly Twitter audits will allow for a timely response to industry trends and your audience’s changing requirements – all this without being overwhelmed by the amounts of available data.

SUGGESTED READ: Twitter Analytics: A Guide to Drive Traffic and Boost Sales

If you haven’t done a Twitter audit until now, go ahead and schedule some time to see where you stand.

You’ll be able to make informed decisions about how you can make next quarter’s social strategy better and more lucrative for your business.

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

How to Find Micro Influencers on Instagram to Boost Sales

Updated on November 7th, 2019.

Influencers have the power to win the hearts of consumers.

It is no surprise that some of the biggest brands in the world are using influencer marketing to promote their products and services.

Influencer marketing is effective, but not a all brands have enough budget to afford a top tier influencer.

Fortunately, there are micro influencers on whom these brands can rely.

Micro influencers are everyday consumers who possess a large social media following; generally between 1,000 and 10,000, though some have up to 100,000.

These influencers offer better audience access and higher engagement than macro influencers at a fraction of the cost.

One major social media website on which you can easily find micro influencers is Instagram.

In this post, we’ll demonstrate how you can use micro influencers on Instagram to boost sales and how you can find Instagram influencers.

Jump Links:

Micro Influencers Should be Relevant to Your Niche

Showcase Your Product Experience with Micro Influencers

Give Influencers the Freedom to be Creative

Finding Instagram Influencers
Turn to Your Audience
Use Hashtags

Micro Influencers Should be Relevant to Your Niche

Influencer marketing can be used for achieving different goals, such as driving engagement, increasing brand awareness or sales.

To be able to achieve these goals, you must promote your content to a relevant audience.

This means that you must work with micro influencers who are relevant to your niche and have a significant following.

Ideally, you should find an influencer who is considered an expert in a subject that is relevant to your niche.

If you fail to do this, you won’t be able to reach your target audience and there will be no point in using influencers to promote your brand.

Showcase Your Product Experience with Micro Influencers

When consumers see a compelling product content, they may become interested in trying that product.

In order to make a major impact on your audience through micro influencers on Instagram, you must showcase their experiences using it.

This can compel and inspire followers to buy the product or service to enjoy the same experience themselves.

For example, if you want to promote your product, you can have an influencer use it and share their reviews about it with the audience.

Micro influencers on Instagram can make a video of your product, share stories or simply post a picture with an inviting caption.

The goal here is to demonstrate how your product is enhancing an influencer’s experience.

Because the influencer’s following trusts them, this will compel the audience to try your product themselves.

In a similar fashion, you can promote your services too by having the micro influencer show to their audience how your services enhance their experience.

Give Influencers the Freedom to be Creative

This is perhaps the most important thing to remember when working with micro influencers on Instagram.

The reason why micro influencers have managed to grow their audience is that their audience trusts them and they know what content attracts the audience.

They know their followers, so they know the type of content that will appeal to and engage their audience.

Let them give honest reviews about your product and allow them to promote your brand in their own way.

If you tightly control the content that an influencer shares about your product or services, there is a risk of the audience losing their trust in the influencer due to inauthenticity.

If that happens, you won’t be able to successfully promote your brand.

Now that you know how to use micro-influencers, will you promote your brand through influencer marketing?

If so, there’s a missing piece of the puzzle.

I still haven’t told you how you can find Instagram micro influencers.

Finding Instagram Influencers

Turn to Your Audience

When searching for Instagram micro influencers, you should start with your current fan base since you know that a connection already exists.

Since they’re already interested in your content, you should examine their interests by looking at the pictures they post and the people they follow.

Then, you should analyze similarities among your fan base.

Do they all follow the same influencer or brand? Does your analysis indicate that many of the Instagram pages you’ve looked at have common content themes?

By finding these common interests, you’ll be able to create a target lookalike audience to draw connections with others like them.

If any of your followers themselves have a large following, it is an added bonus for you.

Reach out to them and recommend an exchange of service or product for a review or Instagram post.

It’ll be easier to convince them as they are already familiar with your brand.

Use Hashtags

The best method to find the right influencer is to simply search for the correct hashtag or keyword that’s relevant to the product you’re trying to promote.

For example, if you want to promote a fashion product, you can run a hashtag search for queries like #ootd or #instafashion.

You can then determine how popular an influencer is by looking at how much engagement their posts are getting or their follower count.

You can calculate engagement with the following formula:

Are they getting likes and comments on their posts, and if so, how consistently are they posting?

It is common to find influencers who have purchased their followers and likes, and barely get any authentic engagement on their posts.

Avoid partnering with these types of influencers!

Tools like Keyhole offer hashtag tracking and keyword tracking. This can help you find influencers who have already published posts with your search terms.

If the content they are posting is relevant to your niche, you can reach out to them to market your products or services.

An example of a keyword tracker on Keyhole.
An example of a keyword tracker on Keyhole.

In addition, you can also track all posts that contain your hashtags in real time.

This way you can analyze the engagement levels of the audience in your niche with influencers on Instagram.

You can determine the impact of influencers on their audience through engagement rate insights.

The hashtag you choose to search should be somewhat specific to reveal satisfactory results.

For example, if you wish to search for Persian cats, a hashtag search around #Persiancats would yield much better results than just #cat alone.

The hashtag #persiancats garners more specific results than a general hashtag like #cats.
#persiancats garners far more specific results than #cats.
The hashtag #cats doesn't provide specific enough results to select an appropriate micro influencer.
#cats provides many more results – almost 92.5 million more.

Alex of VM Interactive says that the more specific your hashtag is, the more actionable results you’ll get.

With the help of an Instagram hashtag analytics tool, you can simplify your research.

You can use specific keywords relevant to your niche to pinpoint conversations related to your business and target audience.

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Incorporating Memes, Emojis, and Gifs Into Your Social Strategy for Higher Engagement

A meme of Evil Patrick rubbing his hands together, scheming about how to incorporate memes, emojis, and gifs into your social strategy for higher engagement.


Everyone loves them, but not everyone knows how to use them.

Memes are all over social media. They’re fun, catchy and easy to consume.

That’s why, over the past couple of years, memes have become a communication tool used by the entire internet collective.

A meme of Leonardo DiCaprio doing a "cheers" to all the best memes.

What we’ll talk about in this blog post is how you can use this ongoing trend to get people talking about your brand and ramp up your engagement rates.

Without much ado, let’s dive right in.

Jump Links:

Digging into Definitions

Why are Memes So Popular?

Why Marketers Should Take Advantage of Memes, Emojis, and Gifs

How to Use Memes and Emojis the Right Way
1. Promote Your Products
2. Entertain Your Target Audience
3. Play on Trending Topics
4. Raise Awareness About an Issue

Key Takeaways
Know the Meaning of Your Memes
Don’t Try to Be Overly Clever
Stay Current
Stay On Brand
Measure Twice, Cut Once

Digging into Definitions

You know the drill.

Before we get down to the specifics and show you how you can use memes and emojis the right way in your marketing, we need to make sure you understand what each of these terms mean.

According to Wikipedia: “An Internet meme, commonly known as simply a meme, is an activity, concept, catchphrase, or piece of media that spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via the Internet. An Internet meme usually takes the form of an image, GIF or video.”

Memes are a piece of media, and a GIF is a type of media that a meme can be presented as.

GIFs are graphics that supports both animated and still images. 

A meme saying "I don't always do memes, but when I do it becomes a marketing success."

And how about emojis?

The Myriam Webster Dictionary defines emoji as “any of various small images, symbols, or icons used in text fields in electronic communication (as in text messages, e-mail, and social media) to express the emotional attitude of the writer, convey information succinctly, communicate a message playfully without using words, etc.”

What you might be surprised to hear is that memes are not a new phenomenon. 

The word “meme” was coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976, in his book The Selfish Gene

Dawkins was a biologist who came up with this concept to express the way ideas were spreading from person to person.

And all this happened way before the Internet appeared. 

So, memes are not a new thing – they’ve just taken another form with the rise of the Internet. 

But, one question remains, why are memes so popular in the internet age?

The first thing you might think is: well, they’re visual, and social media is all about visuals!

Although the visual element is important, memes are much more than just an image – they represent an inside joke. 

An example of Ruffles using a popular meme to indicate a man's preference for Ruffles over his partner.

In other words, to understand the meaning behind a meme, you need to have some sort of insider knowledge. Otherwise, you’ll just see an image with some text on it, and won’t truly comprehend the meaning of the message.

As a result, memes make people feel like they’re part of a community and the associated sense of belonging that makes them so widely used and appreciated. 

A meme created by Ruffles to encourage Ruffles consumption.

Plus, memes are created by the general public. Anyone with an idea can create a meme. Whether the meme will go viral is uncertain. 

However, people love creating memes and love giving their two cents.

Now, you might wonder, what do “inside jokes” have to do with you as a marketer, and exactly how can you use memes to boost your brand?

Why Marketers Should Take Advantage of Memes, Emojis, and Gifs

People avoid ads. Period. 

There are so many ads in the online space that most internet users feel overwhelmed and annoyed, and have either…

  1. Gotten used to seeing ads so frequently that their brains are automatically filtering them out or…
  2. Users use ad blockers to get rid of advertisements.

With odds stacked up against traditional advertising, brands need to come up with new and innovative ways of raising awareness and getting on the radar of their potential audience. 

That’s why native content, product placement, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing and other forms of modern advertising methods have been gaining so much popularity. 

Memes are the same – they’ve become a universal language shared among the internet collective. They offer a nonintrusive and fun way to spread your message and get your brand seen by otherwise hard-to-reach customers. 

Brands using memes. In this case, Ruffles using the Arthur Fist meme to illustrate frustration when your roommate eats all the ruffles.

People in the smartphone era are used to sharing memes and using emojis to communicate on social media. 

So, including memes and emojis in your online marketing strategy will help you entertain your followers, bolster engagement and shares, as well as show your audience the human side of your brand.

Plus, most of the time, memes won’t cost you anything. 

A meme of a tattoo being done poorly.

You don’t need to spend any money on producing images or video; the graphics are already there, and all you have to do is to come up with a great idea on how you can use these images as part of your campaign.

This takes us to the most important part of this article:

How to Use Memes and Emoji the Right Way

Including memes and emojis in your marketing is anything but easy – and should be approached with care.

Memes often include humour and satire and are widely used as a form of social commentary. A lot of times, they ridicule current events and mock human behaviour. 

The result?

With memes, there’s a fine line between being funny and insulting, and it’s easy to fall in the wrong category. 

And when it comes to emojis…

When used the right way, they can greatly enhance your ads and posts… but use them wrongly and you can easily distract and confuse your audience. 

Below, we’ll list a couple of ways you can use memes as part of your social media strategy and show you some examples that will illustrate what you need to watch out for when developing your own content.

1. Promote Your Products

One of the top reasons brands decide to use memes in their marketing is to promote their products. 

Different brands do it differently, and some are better than others.

Netflix, for example, has created a separate Instagram account named @netflixisajoke – this account only publishes memes!

Unlike a lot of other brands, Netflix uses their own content to create memes.

Let’s take a peek:

Netflix's joke account, @netflixisajoke, presenting a Pitch Perfect meme on their Instagram.
Netflix's joke account, @netflixisajoke, presenting a meme on their Instagram.

Other companies, like Gucci, have also jumped on the meme bandwagon. 

Gucci running a meme campaign.
Gucci running a meme campaign.

Gucci posted different memes featuring their products, and then explained each meme in their caption, similarly to how a curator would explain a painting. 

Gucci running a meme campaign.

For this campaign, the reactions were mixed.

Some loved their idea and how Gucci’s feed mimicked an online gallery, but many people didn’t quite understand what the brand was doing.

You can use social listening with a tool like Keyhole to gauge reactions to your meme campaigns or conduct sentiment analysis. 

Here are some of the reactions:

Reactions to Gucci's meme campaign.
Reactions to Gucci's meme campaign.

The good news is, the people who didn’t like the campaign are not Gucci’s target audience. 

Gucci sells high end luxury products and target adults with high income who can afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a single product. 

Generally speaking, this target audience may not be as fluent in memes their younger counterparts. 

Adding a caption that explained the meaning behind the meme in an innovative way was a strategic move given their campaign goals and audience. 

2. Entertain Your Target Audience

Not everything about your content needs to be or should be about promoting your products.

BarkBox is a monthly subscription service that provides a monthly box of dog products to dog owners.

If you check BarkBox’s Instagram profile, you’ll notice one interesting thing…

Not many of the posts on their feed are about their products. 

Barkbox running a meme campaign on their Instagram campaign.

In fact, they like sharing entertaining quotes about dogs or memes featuring dogs.

Barkbox running a meme campaign on their Instagram campaign.

The brand’s strategy is all about entertaining their target audience: dog owners and dog lovers. 

Barkbox running a meme campaign on their Instagram campaign.

With 1.5 million followers on Instagram only, it’s safe to say: BarkBox knows how to play the meme game! 

They’ve garnered brand awareness by sharing entertaining, easy to understand memes on their Instagram. 

3. Play On Trending Topics

More often than not, the difference between a good joke and a bad joke is timing.

The same is true for marketing: the difference between a good campaign and a bad campaign is often timing.

Brands that understand timing can create powerful campaigns that go viral and reach hundreds of thousands of people. 

For example: take Seamless. 

Seamless is a food delivery service that got the attention of internet users all around the world for their 2014 #OscarNomNoms campaign.

Just after the 2014 Oscar nominations were announced, Seamless went viral with their series of Oscar film spoof posters featuring food and beverage. 

Seamless' #oscarnomnoms meme campaign.
Seamless' #oscarnomnoms meme campaign.
Seamless' #oscarnomnoms meme campaign.

People raved about the campaign – almost immediately users started creating their own parody movie titles and puns using the OscarNomNoms hashtag. 

The company took advantage of the 2014 Oscars to create memes and trending content. 

And here’s how Budweiser did something similar, only with emojis:

Budweiser's 4th of July Twitter emoji campaign.

4. Raise Awareness About an Issue

Another way to use memes or emojis is to raise awareness about a cause.

The World Wildlife Fund’s emoji campaign aimed at raising awareness about endangered animals is a great example.

WWF #EndangeredEmoji Twitter Emoji campaign.

In 2015, the WWF partnered with Twitter to create a set of 17 emojis that represent 17 endangered animals, and urged Twitter users to make a symbolic donation by tweeting one of these emojis. 

Now that you’ve seen a few strategies you can use memes and emojis to boost your brand and get on your audience’s radar, let’s go over a couple of the things you need to remember before using memes as part of your marketing.

Key Takeaways

Know the Meaning of your Memes

If you’re using viral images as memes, you need to understand their meaning before you can create something your audience relates to. 

If you miss the mark, things can get weird pretty quickly – and your memes can be shared for all the wrong reasons. 

Some may argue that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but just to be safe, do your research before you create and publish your content. 

Don’t Try to Be Overly Clever

One of the most popular use of emojis apart from adding an emoji to a message, are the “decode this emoji” type of messages.

These messages are great as they urge people to guess the right answer and engage. 

Deadpool took a huge risk with their emoji billboards when announcing the movie’s premiere:

Deadpool using emojis in their ads to promote their movie.

However, the message was simple and easy to decode so people found it refreshing, funny and entertaining. 

Unlike Deadpool, Chevrolet completely missed the point of using emojis with they wrote an entire press release in emojis. 

Chevrolet's emoji only press release.

It looks like Chevrolet didn’t know that people online have short attention spans…

Ain't nobody got time for dat meme.

Stay Current

Keep up to date with recent news and the topics that are discussed widely on social media. 

This will help you choose relevant memes and join conversations that are trending. 

Stay on Brand

Emojis and memes can be great for creating a buzz and boosting your engagement rates. 

You need to make sure that the memes you use are in alignment with your brand voice. This is one of the hardest tasks for many brands and marketers.

To pick the right memes for your business, you need to study your audience: 

Who are they? What do they like? What kind of content do they consume? What are some of the challenges they face? What topics are they interested in?

Answering these questions will help you create a persona and ensure that each piece of content you create enhances your brand image and interests and entertains your audience.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

With memes, there’s a fine line between being funny and being offensive. 

In March 2015, Starbucks launched the #RaceTogether campaign which encouraged Starbucks staff to write RaceTogether on Starbucks cups, and start conversations about race with their customers. 

Although it might have started as a noble initiative, the campaign resulted in a public backlash.

Starbucks Race Together campaign.

The lesson is clear: when talking about sensitive topics, think twice before launching a campaign.


Sometimes, regardless of your intentions, your campaigns will not land and will not be well received.

This can happen to anyone – not all campaigns go viral.

However, if your campaign gains publicity for all the wrong reasons, and some part of what you created has offended a group of people, own up to your mistake and apologize. 

Your audience will understand. It is people who are running your brand, after all, and all people make mistakes from time to time.

And that’s about it…

Success kid meme.

Now keep calm and meme on!

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Using Hashtags to Find Influencers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Finding influencers has become much easier over time – especially with the explosive growth of social media and information that is now available.

You can use available data from social networks and social media analytics tools to rank their influence objectively.

Using hashtags will bring your influencer marketing to the next level by filtering out influencers based on your contextual needs.

For example, if you’re looking for influencers to promote the Audi A4, you don’t need to use generic users who are influential in ‘cars’ — that’s too broad!

Instead, hashtags like #AudiA4 can help you find influencers with true reach and power over their audience to promote the Audi A4.

Want to learn how?

This article will walk you through some simple methods to find influencers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using hashtags.

Jump Links:



If you’re looking to find social influencers, Instagram is a great place to start.

Instagram has grown to be larger than Twitter, and is definitely a tool you should incorporate into your social strategy if you haven’t already.

One simple way to find social influencers on Instagram is to search for relevant hashtags, such as #AudiA4, and take a peek at the profiles of images that appear in the Top Posts of the hashtag.

You can also use a tool like Keyhole to track hashtags and sort results by highest number of engagements or likes.

You can peruse the profile and compare against metrics such as engagement to determine if they are a viable fit.

When checking their profile, you can also check to see if they have an email on their profile, identify as an influencer, blogger, or have their own website.


Twitter is another lucrative platform where you can find influencers.

Many users use Twitter as a direct distribution method, sharing their thoughts, opinions, and resources such as blog posts.

To use Twitter to find influencers, use the search bar and type in the relevant hashtag you’d like to search.

We’ll continue to use #AudiA4 as our example.

You’ll see a timeline of tweets for that particular hashtag. Twitter defaults to displaying the top search results, but you can also sort by latest Tweets, people, photos, and videos.

You can scroll through the list and begin to find influencers for your brand.

Some key metrics to examine when identifying influencers on Twitter are engagement, including Retweets and Likes.

You can click on their profile to learn more about the user, and examine metrics such as their follower count.


Hashtags on Facebook are typically used less in comparison to platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, but there is still a plethora of opportunity to find influencers on Facebook.

In the Facebook search bar, type in the hashtag relevant to your industry that you want to search.

You will see all posts show up. You can choose to filter the search results by who the posts are coming from, post type, tagged locations, date posted, and more.

Explore a users profile to determine if they are a suitable influencer for your campaign.

Using hashtags to find influencers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter will help identify users who may already be positively engaging with your brand, and will be a good fit for your marketing campaigns.

You can also use Keyhole to identify top influencers within a tracked keyword.

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Reddit Marketing: What is Reddit & How Can You Use It As a Marketer?

Everyone knows Reddit is a content goldmine – but how can you make the most of Reddit as a marketer?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of Reddit, covering the layout, jargon, and types of users—and give you the actionable advice you need to make the most of this incredibly popular, yet underused social marketing platform.

We’ll also jump right into one of the most successful case studies of marketing on Reddit, walking you through their strategy and dissecting how they succeeded.

Most importantly, we’ll show you how to use Reddit marketing effectively for your business, how to engage with Reddit audiences, and how to aim for the front page.

Let’s dive in.

Jump Links:

What is Reddit?

How Reddit Works

A Reddit Glossary of Terms

The Basic Language: aka “Reddit Speak”

How to Market on Reddit

How to Use Subreddits for Marketing

Reddit Marketing Case Study: Nissan

What is Reddit?

Chances are, if you’ve spent any time online, you’ve heard of Reddit. 

Referring to themselves as “the front page of the internet,” Reddit is a spellbinding mix of news, social annotation, product reviews, interesting links, and general geekery all rolled into one gargantuan platform. 

If something hits the front page of Reddit, it usually ends up unfurling way beyond this popular platform, as most viral news sites will source their content from Reddit.

A snapshot of the Reddit front page.

Reddit is also the birthplace of many internet memes—making some of the most ordinary people famous in the process.

In July 2019 alone, 168 billion pages were viewed on Reddit. The platform has over 330 million monthly active users, with 42% of them being between the ages of 18 and 24. It’s the third most popular website in the US.

Reddit is big. Very, very big.

How Reddit Works

When you first come to Reddit, it can be overwhelming.

To the inexperienced, it is a sea of text-based links, upvotes, downvotes, karma, and many comment threads. It seems like a chaotic bulletin board gone wrong. 

Until you look deeper into its layout, you cannot truly appreciate its beauty.

In simple terms, Reddit is a democratic message board.

Every post and comment can be voted on, meaning users always dictate which content rises to the top.

This has allowed Reddit to maintain a grassroots culture, despite its enormous size.

Reddit contrasts other social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where timelines and content are generally controlled by algorithms and user profiling.

A Reddit Glossary of Terms

Here are the major need-to-know Reddit terms:

Front Page 

If you’re a new visitor or not signed into your Reddit account, the front page is made up of the site’s most talked about and popular posts and “subreddits” of the day.

Once you are signed in, your front page will show highlights from the subreddits that you are subscribed to.

Making the front page is the holy grail to Reddit marketers. Hitting the front page means you’re the most talked about piece of content online for that day.


Reddit is made up of a number of subcommunities called “subreddits”.

Subreddits are typically categorized by interests and are designated by an “/r/”, which also translates to the subreddit’s URL.

For example, the gaming subreddit is known by r/gaming (which has over 6 million users!), the Android subreddit is r/Android, and healthy recipes can be found at r/EatCheapAndHealthy

A list of Subreddits that are popular within Travel.

Subreddits can be either public or private, and cover every possible niche you could imagine. 

Spend some time on the platform exploring your subreddit of interest, learning the rules of posting, which posts get the most engagement, and other nuances specific to that community. 

Upvoting and Downvoting

Reddit works on a voting system where users can either “upvote” or “downvote” posts and comments with the intention of the community as a whole voting on what makes the best content.

Upvotes work similar to how “liking” works on Facebook, with the exception that each upvote is counted towards an overall score.

Upvoting a post can mean you agree with the comments made, you approve of the sentiment, or simply that you found the post to be funny, cute, or worthy of your time.

Looking to track sentiment across different social platforms? Try Keyhole.

Downvotes work in the opposite direction. You downvote things you disagree with or dislike. It detracts from the overall post or commenter’s score (known as karma).

Votes can be changed or corrected, so if you get downvoted, you still could have an opportunity to change the commenter’s mind!


Karma is Reddit’s scoring system for individual users. Each user has a total post karma and comment karma, which sums up your historic karma totals.

Karma was introduced as a way to fight spam and bot activity on the site, but it has evolved into much more than that.

Redditor FitFairy has a Karma count of 9268, commanding respect from fellow users.

Now, it’s used as an informal reputation system for Redditors—high post and comment karma mean you have made many well-received posts in the past, so you are considered to have more social clout. 

As a marketer, this equates to more freedom on the platform. 

If you have low comment karma, you’re much more likely to have your comments and posts removed by moderators if you post directly about your brand.

The Basic Language: aka “Reddit Speak”

Marketers who come in overly eager without “speaking Reddit” will come off just like parents trying to sound cool to their kids.

To be successful on Reddit, you have to sound like a Redditor.

Here’s some of the most common terminology spoken by Redditors:

What does OP mean on Reddit?

OP is short for “original poster,” meaning the first person who started a comment or thread. 

Redditors will often reference OP when they are referring to something said in the original post or comment.

An example of a Redditor using OP in their comment.

Example: “OP had a good point, that is so true!”

What does OC mean on Reddit?

OC, or original content, is king on Reddit.

Reddit is a community that prides itself on original ideas and comments. 

It is considered good “reddiquette” to check to make sure what you are posting isn’t already being discussed on another subreddit or post, and that it is not a repost.

What does TLDR mean on Reddit?

TLDR means “too long; didn’t read.”

The point of TLDR is to provide a summary of long text that is posted on Reddit. If TLDR is mentioned in the post, the reader can skip to the TLDR section to get an overview of what the post covers.

TLDR can also be mentioned by a commenter as either a joke (Reddit humor can be quite dry), or used to tell the poster that the comment might not reflect the post because the commenter didn’t read the post in full.

Example: “TLDR: this should answer your question of what is Reddit, and any questions about Reddit Marketing”

What does xpost mean on Reddit?

Xpost, or cross post, marks the same post that has been posted to at least two different subreddits. 

Cross posting on Reddit would be similar to posting one post to many different groups on Facebook. 

You often seen this same language used on Facebook Marketplace, when a seller posts an item for sale across multiple different buy and sell groups.

Not all subreddits allow cross posting, so be sure to read the rules first!

Example: “Xpost from r/askReddit”

What is a repost on Reddit?

Reposting on Reddit is taking an older post and posting it again to the same subreddit.

It can also mean posting content to Reddit from an outside source like Facebook, Instagram, or another website.

Warning: Reposting is generally frowned upon by Redditors. To make sure you aren’t reposting content or images, check first on Karma Decay.

What is cakeday on Reddit?

Cakeday on Reddit is to be celebrated!

Cakeday is the equivalent of your Reddit birthday, or the day that your account was born.

The small cake icon next to this username indicates that it is this Redditor’s Cakeday.

When you create a post or comment on your cakeday, you will see a small cake icon that appears next to your username. Redditors will celebrate right along with you by with upvotes, “Happy Cakeday” comments, or even gifts like photos or gifs.

What is a troll on Reddit?

Much like the rest of the internet, a troll is someone who hides behind the anonymity of the web, and posts hurtful or hateful things in the comment threads.

What is a lurker on Reddit?

Participation is highly encouraged on Reddit.

A lurker is someone who visits the site, but doesn’t post or participate in the conversations. Posters will often reach out to lurkers asking them to jump in on the conversation.

A Redditor calling out lurkers.

Other Common Reddit Abbreviations:

  • AMA: ask me anything …
  • DAE: does anyone else…
  • ELI5: explain it like I’m 5…
  • FTFY: fixed that for you
  • FWP: first world problems
  • HIFW: how I feel when…
  • IIRC: if I remember correctly…
  • IRL: in real life
  • ITT: in this thread…
  • MRW: my reaction when…
  • NSFL: not suitable/safe for life
  • SO: significant other
  • TIL: today I learned…

How to Market on Reddit

Marketing on Reddit is very different than marketing on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

While it’s one of the most discerning audiences online, it’s also one of the most loyal, and can push content out of obscurity in a matter of hours, spilling over into other social platforms and even into mainstream news.

Here are the best practices for marketing on Reddit:

Start By Being A Member

Redditors are defensive of the community they have built, and despise when companies attempt to take over a subreddit for personal gain.

People come to Reddit for clear-cut reasons—to interact with likeminded people who share hobbies, interests, humor, or even social causes. 

If you want to be successful on this platform, you have to respect the culture and community as it is.

Before you go in with your marketing strategy, you need to be a genuine participant. 

Redditors do not trust brand-new user accounts that only post with promotions of products or services. Before posting any branded comment, you should spend several months organically commenting and posting as a typical user.

Give More Than You Take

Follow the 80/20 rule: most subreddits request their users to contribute 80% of the time if they’re also going to post their own content.

Self-promotion can fluctuate a little past the 20% mark, but this will be entirely dependent on your content.

If you are self-promoting, but still giving back to the community , you will have more leniency than if you were doing straight promotions.

Post Original Content

Original content is the only way to go on Reddit.

Do not repost from your other social media platforms or website. Write specifically for that audience, make the information valuable—showing that you are a contributing member of the community.

Most importantly: make sure the content is actually good. Don’t post marketing content. Post original, creative, and helpful content that people value.

Posting about your makeup brand? Don’t post a link to your products, make a helpful video tutorial.

Selling sports jerseys? Don’t link to your point of sale, post a comprehensive blog of a team’s jersey history in the team’s subreddit.

Promoting a SaaS tool? Offer Reddit users a free trial in exchange for genuine feedback about the product.

Be Honest

Whatever you do: don’t try to game the system.

Don’t ask your employees to upvote your posts, don’t use a fake account, and don’t use undisclosed paid sponsors.

There are entire subreddits dedicated to sniffing out covert advertising content, so you’re more likely to do yourself harm than good.

The Reddit community has seen it all, and will spot your scheme from a mile away.

Be Authentic

Being authentic goes deeper than simply being honest.

Post content that’s in line with your brand voice, engage with content you actually like, and comment like a real person would, not “a brand.”

A Redditor offering their honest and authentic take on some products in their skin care routine.

Know Your Subreddit Culture

While most communities follow similar rules, their cultures can be very different.

A subreddit like r/Sports has a very different mindset from r/Cats. Get to know how the community interacts before targeting any specific user group.

How to Use Subreddits for Marketing

There are two ways you can use Reddit for marketing: targeting subreddits and aiming for front page.

If you are looking to target a niche audience, then using subreddits for marketing is the way to go. 

Subredditors are most likely to be your most fervent fans and influencers if you’re able to win them over.

Use social listening to see what people are saying about your business or brand. Try Keyhole.

To target your audience, start exploring the subreddits related to your target niche.

For example, if you are looking to promote a new book, you can start by exploring r/books. This thread offers weekly recommendations, and commenters will post their thoughts on everything from the book jacket to the secondary characters. 

If your book is about healthy eating, you would also explore r/HealthyEating, r/nutrition, and maybe r/EatCheapAndHealthy.

You can also create your own subreddit (homepage > “Create Community”). Keep in mind that there are two criteria to create your own: you must have a minimum amount of positive karma, and your account must be at least 30 days old.

Aiming for Front Page

The second way to market on Reddit is to shoot for the moon and hit the front page.

There are also two ways to achieve this: via paid advertising or by experimenting.

Paid advertising can be costly. Large-scale advertisers must spend a minimum of $50,000 per quarter. 

Smaller spends amounts vary based on duration, size, placement, and location targeting. Marketers can also choose to run ads on either the Reddit mobile app or directly on the website.

The second method, experimentation, is more organic in nature, but if successful, can yield much better results than it’s paid counterpart.

A large group of Redditors have an uncustomized front page, meaning they don’t follow any specific Subreddits. New users and non-members will also see the most popular subreddit threads with trending posts.

This gives you an enormous audience (including media and journalists) to get in front of.

To get on the front page, you need to put in the work.

Spend time on subreddit, and contribute to your community with comments, original content, and a personality that suits your brand.

Engage with audiences, and keep your account varied. Don’t just post your articles on the same subreddit, reach out to other communities that you can add value to. 

Build your karma (reputation) by getting upvotes on your posts and comments. Learn from what you have posted, and make adjustments accordingly. Remember, you are engaging with real users in their honest and raw forms.

Above all else: know what you are trying to achieve.

Set your front page goals well ahead of time, and work towards building a strong brand within the borders of the platform. 

Reddit Marketing Case Study: Nissan

The Reddit community is notoriously famous for its open, honest opinion of advertising.

So how does a company successfully use Reddit marketing to launch a product?

Let’s take a look at one of the most celebrated examples: Nissan’s Versa Note campaign.

What Nissan Did

The Japanese automaker was ready to launch their newest car, Versa Note—the very first vehicle available for purchase on Amazon.com.

To build up hype for this momentous event, Nissan’s team decided to do something equally different: try their hand at marketing on Reddit.

Two of Nissan’s community managers asked users what was their favorite thing on Amazon.com.

What did they do?

They promptly started buying those items for those that commented. Nissan ended up buying a long list of items, from a grow-a-boyfriend kit to a Nexus 10 tablet. 

The results?

Nissan’s post received over 1,500 comments, creating over 5,000 conversations about the company and the Versa Note, across Reddit and beyond.

Major news outlets picked up the story, and even a few celebrities shared their thoughts on the campaign.

For more extravagant requests (like gold-plated toilet paper and an $800,000 oil painting), they thanked commenters with 30 days of Reddit Gold (Reddit’s premium membership).

Did it work?

While there were a few tense moments, the Reddit community’s response was astonishingly positive.

Reddit’s Director of Communications confirmed this campaign’s success, saying it was one of the best campaigns the platform had seen in a very long time. Nissan met its goals in a short period of time, and Versa Note views soared on Amazon.

Why did it work?

Nissan’s community managers took the time to learn the language, culture, and the rules of the platform.

One commenter struck out at the company and accused them of trying to buy love. The clever Community Manager quickly responded:

“If only that was possible. You can’t buy love, even on Amazon 🙁 But if love was an object, hypothetically found on Amazon, what would it be?”

This campaign was also hugely successful because Nissan was monitoring their social mentions.

This all started because Nissan was monitoring their brand online. A Redditor posted an image of an extremely large box perched on top of a flatbed truck, titling the post “What’s the largest item you can have shipped from Amazon? Because I think my neighbor just got it.”

The post catapulted to the front page of Reddit, with over 4,000 comments. As curiosity grew, Redditors continually posted their guesses. 

Eventually, some Redditors sleuthed out the answer, referencing a contest that Nissan ran a few months ago.

Once Nissan caught this mention through social media monitoring, they quickly promoted a thank-you post on the subreddit r/promo, thanking Redditors for making the Amazon Box such a huge story.

They created an illustration that used some of the ideas that came from the thread, and gave out Reddit gold to positive commenters. 

Ultimately, Nissan’s Reddit marketing experience is a prime example of how to engage the community, and how social media monitoring can pay off huge for companies.

Create Your Own Marketing Success Story on Reddit

Whichever method you choose, make yourself known to the communities within Reddit. Watch for social mentions and trending topics that are relevant to your brand. 

Our advice is to start using the platform for a couple months to get into the swing of the culture, the language, and get to know the people.

As you get more entrenched into the communities, you will see where you brand can make the biggest splash, and be well on your way to launching your own successful Reddit marketing campaign.

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

5 Valuable Hashtag Marketing Strategies Proven to Engage Audiences

Hashtag Marketing Strategies to Engage Followers

Updated on October 17th, 2019.

Using hashtags effectively goes beyond casually plugging them into your tweets and posts.

On platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, calculated hashtag marketing can boost impressions, make your content more searchable and encourage users to talk about your brand.

Learning how to leverage tagged topics should be a priority for marketers.

Jump Links:

1. Brand Hashtags
2. Trending Hashtags
3. Chat Hashtags
4. Content Reflecting Hashtags
5. Call-to-Action Hashtags

Here are five hashtag marketing strategies that social media teams have successfully used to engage their target audiences:

1. Brand Hashtags

Think of a brand hashtag as your signature. Unique to your business, it should be a concise and relevant slogan you include when sharing original content.

Encourage followers to use it as well. This way, they’ll have a clear method of sharing posts with you and others interested in your company’s products or services.

The online community will also know how to find content about your brand.

Why Brand Hashtags Successfully Engage Audiences 

A brand hashtag is a way for users to let the social community know what they think about your company. Instead of just sending you a message, they’re speaking to their followers and other users who look for tagged posts.

Everyone stands to benefit, because:

  • You build a discussion around your brand, encouraging the online community to learn more about your products and services while promoting them. Ideally, consumers will also follow links you share.
  • Those using the hashtag will draw attention to their posts, possibly earning more followers.

As a bonus, you can run a promotional contest. For example, the person who creates the most-shared post using your hashtag will win a prize at the end of each month.

Everyone loves to win. Just watch engagement steadily rise.

Example: #WinnersFabFinds

Winners, a popular Canadian apparel store, uses #WinnersFabFinds across all social channels. Both catchy and unique, Winners promotes the brand hashtag both online and in-store. Another great example of effective hashtag marketing.

With more than 4,500 posts, here’s what #WinnersFabFinds looks like on Instagram:

Customers share content, while Winners gets original pictures of them enjoying products.

Measure any hashtag you want, including brand hashtags, using Keyhole.

When a high volume of users include a specific hashtag in their posts, it “trends.”

Social media platforms have different ways of displaying trending topics. For example, trending topics on Twitter displays on the top right side of the screen, and Facebook has a trending section on the top-right corner of your screen:

Constantly changing in real-time, a trending hashtag can last for days or mere minutes.

When you see a trend that relates to your business, don’t hesitate to engage in it with relevant content.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences

By sharing content through a trending hashtag, it’ll be seen by a group larger than your contacts and followers.

In a sense, your audience can be limitless — anyone who clicks on the trending topic can see your post. And if that post is witty, original or informative, the shares it generates will further boost impressions and comments.

Example: #CollegeIn5Words

When #CollegeIn5Words trended on Twitter, Denny’s Diner furthered its reputation as a company with a funny social media presence.

Being funny in this situation has its benefits, as Denny’s earned an enviable amount of likes and retweets. Not to mention all the replies it received, with people tagging their followers to share a laugh.

3. Chat Hashtags

Popular on Twitter, you can use chat hashtags to discuss a topic with users who are interested in the subject matter.

This is a form of hashtag marketing that calls for users to be directly engaging with a brand or an individual.

There are a plethora of industry and audience specific chat hashtags.

Chats are typically held at set times, sometimes involving one user asking questions and others giving their thoughts.

You can also start and promote your own, giving your brand more exposure. Make sure the hashtag is short – encouraging meaningful conversation is key, so it’s best not to deeply cut into Twitter’s 140-character limit.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences 

People want to talk about topics they’re passionate about, so Twitter chats can give you access to a receptive audience. With a popular chat hashtag, that audience is already established and waiting to be engaged.

What’s more, contributing to a Twitter chat can boost engagement by letting you:

  • Connect with like-minded individuals. Many people may be interested in your company, but not know about it. Using a chat hashtag is a way of informing them about your ideas, as well as your products or services.
  • Demonstrate your expertise on relevant topics. If people are invested in a certain subject, they want to know more about it. Sharing your content can spark meaningful conversations.

Example: #TMLTalk

During every Toronto Maple Leafs game, #TMLTalk is a trending topic. The team with the NHL’s largest fan base interacts with supporters using the hashtag, encouraging them to share opinions and content.

During every Toronto Maple Leafs game, #TMLTalk is a trending topic. The team with the NHL’s largest fan base interacts with supporters using the hashtag, encouraging them to share opinions and content.

Fans are passionate – giving them an online forum helps them interact with fellow enthusiasts.

Organizations such as news sites can also use the hashtag to share stories and earn clicks. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs organization gains another way to build, and communicate with, a dedicated audience.

4. Content-Reflecting Hashtags

Content-reflecting hashtags don’t have to be trending or even popular, per se. They’re not specific to your brand, either.

They’re simply tagged words that relate to a posts’ content. For example, a tweet about social media ads may contain “#digitalmarketing.” A post about a tourist attraction may include the city’s name, and so on.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences

Think of content-reflecting hashtags as a way of optimizing content for search. Audience members may stumble upon your posts when looking for the words you tag.

This is useful for companies that:

  • Sell physical products
  • Operate in a set location
  • Participate in events
  • Share posts about niche topics that don’t trend or necessarily merit a brand hashtag

Content-reflecting hashtags become valuable when consumers perform general searches to find a certain item or learn more about a given subject. Being an early result can certainly earn you a click, reply or follow.

Example: #CleanEating

#CleanEating is a popular Instagram hashtag that carries over onto Twitter and other social platforms.

For example, here’s a typical post that would be associated with the hashtag:

Although it’s dominated by pictures of home cooking, a health foods store or restaurant could certainly leverage the hashtag to potentially earn comments or clicks to their website.

If used in conjunction with a location hashtag, an in-person visit also wouldn’t be out of the question.

5. Call-to-Action Hashtags

The goal of a call-to-action (CTA) hashtag? Encourage the online community to perform a specific action involving your brand.

It’s a traditional marketing concept that’s applied to social media.

A CTA hashtag usually starts with a verb, such as “share” or “talk.” Then, it should have a few short words that give additional instruction.

For example, a mental health organization may have a hashtag called “#TalkAboutMentalHealth.”

When a CTA hashtag gains traction, you’ll see posts across social platforms involving people taking appropriate action.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences 

Social media users follow CTA hashtags because they:

  • Feel like they’re contributing to an important cause.
    • Going back to the mental health example, people would follow such a hashtag because they feel as though they’re challenging the stigma of certain illnesses.
  • Think the action is genuinely fun. Who wouldn’t want to take a silly picture or share an interesting story?
  • Earn a sense of participation. If your friends are posting with a certain hashtag, it’s natural to want to contribute.

That being said, a CTA should be doable. You likely won’t engage your audience by encouraging an action that’s almost impossible.

Example: #ShareACoke

Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaigns harnessed the power of a fun CTA and became a wildly-successful hashtag marketing initiative.

Creating cans and bottles that read “Share a Coke With …” followed by a name, the company encouraged social media users to post pictures of themselves sharing the drink with friends and family.

Generating almost 700,000 Instagram posts, here’s a look at an example:

Generating almost 700,000 Instagram posts, here’s a look at an example:

Like a brand hashtag, this particular CTA campaign benefits the company and individual users. The users get to share content with a wide audience, while Coca-Cola gets original images of satisfied customers and potentially increases sales.

These five hashtag marketing techniques are shown to boost engagement by encouraging consumer conversations, making your content more searchable, expanding your reach, and more.

Implement them in your social media marketing strategy to see how effectively they work for you.

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

What is a Brand Ambassador? & How to Launch a Successful Ambassador Program

What are brand ambassadors, how are they different than influencers, and how can you create a successful ambassador program? 

We’ll walk you through what a brand ambassador is, the difference between brand ambassadors and influencers, and creating a brand ambassador program best suited to your needs. 

Jump Links

The New Age of Marketing

Brand Ambassadors vs Influencers

Why Use Brand Ambassadors?

How to Create a Successful Brand Ambassador Program
1. Find the Right Ambassador For You
2. Selecting a Brand Ambassador Program That Meets Your Goals
3. Reach Out to Selected Brand Ambassadors
4. Set Up Your Campaign and Track Results

The New Age of Marketing

Social media has forever changed the way we create, place and consume content. 

However, one thing has remained the same throughout the years – consumers trust other consumers more than they trust brands.

Organizations have always been aware of how powerful social proof can be, and with the availability of information in the Digital Age, social proof has become one of the most important pillars of a successful brand.

Instead of remaining faceless, brands are choosing to partner with influential individuals that align with their brand image and values. 

These influential individuals are what we call brand ambassadors

In the early to mid-1900s, companies worked with “brand managers” who were also sometimes called “product managers”. 

In the early 2000s, the term brand manager was replaced with brand ambassador

Brand ambassadors were typically celebrities (mainly actors or musicians) who were paid to endorse a brand and show up on various commercials and promotional material.

Back in 2012, for example, Beyoncé signed a whopping $50 million deal with Pepsi to become the brand’s global ambassador.

Image result for celebrity branding

With the rise of social media, those who were once considered “ordinary people” now have the ability to build a following and have extraordinary influence over the masses by producing, publishing, and sharing content online.

Today, brand ambassador contracts expand far beyond celebrity branding.

This is also where the lines began to blur between what a brand ambassador was in comparison to similar terms, such as brand advocates or influencers. 

Brand Ambassadors vs. Influencers

When brands consider partnerships, their minds usually jump to influencer marketing, and collaborating with celebrities and influential social media users that may not have reached a celebrity status, but still maintain a loyal following. 

Suggested Reading:  Instagram Influencer Marketing: A Start-to-Finish Guide

However, partnering with an influencer for a campaign is different than having a brand ambassador.

Influencers are usually used for a single campaign, and once that campaign is over, they end the collaboration with the brand. They may agree to work on future campaigns together, but they are not exclusively promoting a single brand. 

Brand ambassadors are people who have agreed to collaborate with a brand on a long-term basis and as a result, become the “face” of the brand.

Paralympian Amy Purdy as Team Toyota’s brand ambassador.

Put simply, a brand ambassador is always an influencer, but an influencer does not always become a brand ambassador.

Another term that usually adds to the confusion is “brand advocate”. 

While brand ambassadors and influencers get compensated for their work and association with the brand, brand advocates support a brand not because they are paid, but because they are true fans. 

Brand advocates, unlike influencers and brand ambassadors, do not always have social influence.

Now that you understand the differences between a brand ambassador, influencer, and brand advocate, let’s see how you can benefit from brand ambassador marketing.

Why Use Brand Ambassadors?

According to a 2015 survey commissioned by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, 96% of consumers don’t think that marketers practice integrity. 

The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: In Brands We Trust shows that for 81% of consumers, trust is a deciding factor in their buying decision.

It’s no longer enough for a brand to be creative and come up with snappy taglines and eye-catching ads. 

The Edelman report shows that 74% of people, in fact, avoid ads.

So, how can a brand get ahead when ads are not seen by the majority of potential customers?

Easy – by using one of the oldest rules in the book: get someone who’s already trusted to talk about the brand.

Data shows that influencers could be your getaway to higher sales and increased consumer trust. 

Audiences do not perceive sponsored content as blatant advertising, especially since many influencers are selective about the companies they work with, and only tend to recommend products they truly like. 

By selecting an influencer to use as a brand ambassador, you will be able to tie their face to your brand.

Use this relationship to promote your products and build trust at the same time.

Brand ambassadors are key to putting an authentic touch on your marketing strategy.

How can you create a brand ambassador program that drives results?

How to Create a Successful Brand Ambassador Program

1. Find the Right Brand Ambassador for You

There are multiple ways you can identify potential brand ambassadors. 

One option is to go through your list of followers on your social media channels and find an influential user who has been engaging with your posts regularly. 

This technique will help you find a potential brand ambassador that’s already a fan.

The downside is, going about it this way is very time-consuming, especially if many people are already engaging with your content.

Another option is to search for hashtags that are related to your brand and what you do. 

Look at the posts that show up under the “Top” tab – chances are, a lot of these creators whose content is trending already have an established follower base and can be a good fit.

For example, we searched for #FitGoals on Instagram and this is the result we got:

A screenshot of a social media post  Description automatically generated

You need to determine if there is high engagement for each photo, and then review the profile of the creator and judge how their other posts are performing.

This is the only way you can see if someone’s activity and public image are in alignment with your needs and requirements.

A third way to do this is to join an influencer marketing platforms such as Upfluence, Post for Rent or Tribe.

These influencer marketing platforms will give you an overview of the influencers that work in your industry and provide you with insight into their statistics.

Members on these platforms are typically already open to collaboration, so you won’t be wasting time reaching out to people who are not interested in partnerships.

Despite whatever strategy you select, it’s best to test the waters with a couple of influencers to see who is delivering the highest ROI or is the best fit for your brand.

But how do you know that the individuals you choose reflect your brand image and are worth your money?

Here are some guidelines that will help you source the right brand ambassador:

Stay in your Niche

You wouldn’t want to contact a food blogger who specializes in baked goods if you’re looking to promote fitness gear. 

We’ve seen it happen, and trust us, it doesn’t work. 

Every influencer has a tribe of followers interested in a specific type of content. 

If you get someone to promote your brand to their audience and their audience is not interested in the types of products you offer – you’re just wasting your time and money.

Look at the Numbers

Some believe that brand advocates and other fans with a very humble following can be great brand ambassadors who will promote the product to their narrow circle of friends and family.

We don’t agree.

A brand ambassador needs to be someone with an established audience. 

They can be someone who loved your brand even before you contacted them, or didn’t know about the brand, but are using the products after you agreed to work together.

Regardless, they need to have influence, so that their recommendation reaches as many people as possible.

But what does having an “established audience” mean exactly?

It will all depend on your goals, budget, and business.

In general, we’d suggest working with someone who has at least 4000 – 5000 real followers. 

You can check the authenticity of the followers using free tools like IG Audit or Twitter Audit.

It’s also important to check how many people are engaging with their content. 

Although although helpful in making a preliminary selection, the number of followers is a vanity metric, and doesn’t actually show the social influence this person has in their community.

For example, if you have a tight budget but want to gain exposure, you’d be looking for someone who has anywhere between 4000-10000 followers, with a high engagement rate (>4%).

Think Long Term

When looking for a brand ambassador, you’re looking for an individual with whom you can have a long and rewarding relationship. 

The person you choose to work with needs to carry themselves with professionalism both online and offline, always have your best interest in mind, and help you grow your brand, build trust, and attract new customers.

2.     Selecting a Brand Ambassador Program that Fits Your Goals

Think about what you’re trying to achieve with your brand ambassador program, and how much you’re willing to invest.

Different brands offer different terms to their ambassadors and have different requirements for their  programs.

There are a plethora of ways to set up your brand ambassador program:

  • Send your ambassadors complimentary products.
  • Offer your ambassadors a discount on your products.
  • Pay the ambassadors on a retainer basis. 
    • With this payment model the brand ambassador agrees to be on-call for a fixed monthly fee.
    • This fee needs to be paid regardless if you’ve tasked your ambassador with work or not.
  • Create an affiliate program.
    • Ambassadors get a commission on purchases linked from their promotional activities. Affiliate programs typically include a unique discount code that serves as an incentive for the audience to purchase.

You can also combine any of these options to build out your unique ambassador plan. 

3.     Reach Out to Selected Brand Ambassadors

After you’ve selected a program and compiled a list of influencers, it’s time to get in contact!

Keep in mind that some influencers are already getting many collaboration invitations, or may have ongoing contracts with other brands. 

Sending a generic, copy and pasted message won’t get you their attention or a reply.

Take a look at the following example.

Do you think this company got an enthusiastic answer (or any answer at all)?

Just dropping a comment asking for a collab, or sending a generic direct message to someone you’d like to work with won’t cut it.

So instead of just popping up in your target’s inbox out of nowhere, you first want to engage with their posts by liking and commenting on them. 

Ensure that you leave relevant and thoughtful comments – if you plan on just copy-pasting the same comment over and over again on every profile you stumble upon, it’s better not to do it at all.

When making direct contact with the influencer you’d like to be your brand’s ambassador, personalize your message by mentioning some relevant information they’ve shared with their followers.

Let’s say the influencer you’re contacting is on a 100 days squats challenge.

You might send them something like this:

It’s simple to establish meaningful contact to stand out. 

4. Set Up Your Campaign and Track Results

Once you and your brand ambassadors have come to an agreement, you’re ready to give them their first task.

To make the collaboration enjoyable and friction-free, consider the following:

Communicate your expectations.

Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve, whether that’s more traffic to your website, higher sales, or increased follower numbers.

Let the ambassador know what metrics you’ll use to measure their results: sales, reach, engagement, ROI, traffic… select your key performance indicators based on your goals.

Sign a contract.

Put everything into writing: the terms, the compensation, the expected activities, the contract cancellation, and other policies that are relevant to the collaboration.

Provide context.

Give your ambassadors information about your brand, your mission and objectives, and explain what kind of content would be in line with your brand image.

Measure results.

Track everything your ambassadors do: how often they post, what kind of content they create, how much engagement each post related to your brand has, and more.

By measuring everything, you’ll easily determine the ambassadors that bring the most value and get some ideas on how you can optimize your strategy.

Brands nowadays have a hard time gaining the trust of the busy and often overwhelmed consumers. Surveys show that consumers trust fellow consumers and influencers more than they trust corporations.

Brand ambassador programs provide brands and influencers with a win-win scenario.

Brands can use the persuasive power and social reach of influencers to get on the radar of new audiences and build trust, and influencers can get compensated for recommending a product or a service.

Brand ambassadors are easy to integrate into your marketing strategy.

When curating brand ambassador programs, they can be easily tailored to fit different objectives and even the smallest of budgets. 

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

16 Social Listening Strategies to Incorporate Into Your Business Strategy [+2 tools!]

With 3.03 billion active social media users around the world, you can use social listening to tune in and monitor what your customers are saying about your business across a variety of platforms. 

This allows you to listen to your customer base, learn more about them and interact with them. 

You can also identify possible new customers, and learn more about your industry or competitors. 

Social listening needs to be actionable. To use it to your advantage, you need to make the most out of conversations that happen about your brand and industry. 

Jump Links

16 Social Listening Strategies:
1. Develop Leads by Pinpointing Prospects
2. Develop Leads through Dissatisfied Competitor Customers
3. Learn Your Audience’s Language
4. Identify Influencers
5. Find Feedback
6. Start Conversations with Users Who Don’t Tag You
7. Keep Tabs on Industry News and Developing Trends
8. Track and Measure the Results of Social Campaigns
9. Discover New Audience Spaces
10. Answer Indirect Questions
11. Monitor Competitor Content
12. Create Customer and Prospect Personas
13. Research and Develop
14. Detect and Mitigate Issues Before they Escalate
15. Send Bottom-of-the-Funnel Customers to Gated Free Trials, Product Pages, or Waiting Lists
16. Refer Top-of-the-Funnel Customers to Ungated Content

2 Social Listening Tools to Grow Your Business

Here are 16 social listening strategies you can incorporate to grow your business and 2 tools to execute your strategy:

1. Develop Leads by Pinpointing Prospects

By tracking a range of terms, you can reveal users in your target market who may not know about your business.

To locate potential customers, track keywords and hashtags related to your niche that reflect:

  • Trade publications
  • Common practices
  • Issues in your sector
  • Leading figures and products

It can take between seconds and days to find posts containing your terms, depending on the social scale of your business and industry. Regardless, consider users who post with those terms as prospects.

The next step involves putting your social media sales hat on. Join the conversation by replying to them.

For example, give your opinion about a trend or send the prospect to a relevant page on your website.

This can earn you a fan and generate interest in your brand. The user may engage with you in the future or explore your website and eventually convert.

2. Develop Leads through Dissatisfied Competitor Customers

With similar tactics, you can find users eager to try new products and services.

Instagram Unhappy - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Listening and a List of 3 Tools

Track your competitors’ usernames, brand hashtags and product names to locate prospects who may be tired of their services.

Along with these terms, monitor negative keywords such as:

  • Not
  • Can’t
  • Won’t
  • Doesn’t

Depending on your social media monitoring tool, this can be done by typing the following into the search function:

“competitor name” AND “negative keyword”

As you identify unhappy customers, ask them what they’re looking for in an ideal product. If you can meet their needs, link them to a demo, discount or free trial.

But remember, they’re upset. Use gentle language and don’t force a reply from them.

3. Learn Your Audience’s Language

Effectively marketing a product through content such as ads and landing pages involves speaking the audience’s language.

This is largely because it shows you understand their common train of thought. As a result, you can better communicate with them.

As you study posts that use your tracked keywords, you may notice that members of your market:

  • Phrase concepts in a specific way
  • Use common secondary keywords
  • Write simple, complex or somewhere-in-between sentences

Without compromising clarity, implement the findings in your content.

Unconvinced it’ll make a difference? Run a landing page A/B test using your writing style versus an adjusted style that uses your audience’s diction.

Go forward based on the winning conversion rate.

READ: The Marketer’s Guide to Writing Click-Worthy Headlines

4. Identify Influencers

As brands turn to popular online personalities to post about their products, social listening is becoming a viable way to identify influencers.

Typical Influencers - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Listening + 3 Tools List

To find social media thought leaders in your niche, track the URLs and titles of:

  • Popular blog posts
  • Authoritative case studies
  • Content from industry-leading blogs and publications

You then need to determine who’s earning the highest engagement rate when sharing this material.

Use this simple formula to calculate engagement rate:

Add the number of likes and comments, and divide by the number of followers. Multiply by 100 to get the engagement rate percentage.

After you identify influencers, reach out to them by pitching your campaign idea. Explain how they’ll benefit and then ask for their participation.

5. Find Feedback

Tracking your brand and product names can uncover customer feedback across niche and popular social platforms.

Combined with positive and negative terms, such as “does” and “doesn’t,” you can locate reviews, complaints and endorsements.

As customers post positive comments, ask to use them as testimonials on your website, and make an effort to repost or retweet positive feedback.

This is a great strategy because it reminds your followers of the awesomeness of what you’re selling, and will likely interest new leads who happen to hear others raving about you.

Money saving app Piggybank does a great job at this. They repost the positive reviews they get from Twitter right on their Instagram page.

Image of Sam Hart tweeting about 'Saving Violently' using Piggybank

Since consumers resonate more easily with reviews from fellow consumers than from ads sent out by brands, Piggybank’s happy customers see fit to testify to the customer review Piggybank posted…

Image of Sam Hart tweeting about 'Saving Violently' using Piggybank

And there are also bottom-of-the-funnel customers asking how to get started; here’s one:

Image of Piggybank linking signup

On the flip side, you can also find negative feedback or comments through social listening.

But what you do after getting bad reviews is what matters the most.

It can be overwhelming to take note of every single piece of negative feedback, but the trick is to find the public embarrassments your company can do something about and handle the situation with finesse and style that impresses onlookers.

For example, JetBlue got a tweet from a customer who was complaining about being on a flight that had a bad headphone jack and a malfunctioning TV.

Image of cutomer tweeting to JetBlue

JetBlue responded with what clearly looks like more than just an apology; they offered to compensate the customer with a $15 credit for the inconvenience (once she can confirm she’s the actual customer who had the experience).

6. Start Conversations with Users Who Don’t Tag You

If you only pay attention to your direct mentions on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, you can miss chances to connect with prospects and nurture leads.

As well as not tagging you, it’s common for users to:

  • Misspell your name when trying to tag you
  • Talk about your products or services without mentioning your business
  • Misspell those products and services, too

The solution is to monitor the names of your business, products and services, along with their common incorrect spellings.

Barraco Barner - 15 Ways Social Listening can Grow Your Business + 3 Tools List
People can even incorrectly spell the U.S. president’s name.

For the latter, type the names into your phone. Note any autocorrects and create social listening trackers with your tool of choice. You can also think up misspellings on your own.

7. Keep Tabs on Industry News and Developing Trends

Monitoring the social web for news and trends can provide topics to post and blog about, keeping your content marketing strategy fresh.

To stay on top of what’s relevant, track keywords and usernames for big players and authoritative publications in your sector.

A tool like Keyhole can help you track other accounts, hashtags, or keywords.

News Stages - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business through Social Listening a List of 3 Media Monitoring Tools
These tweets use #Breaking, #Trending and #Developing.

Along with these keywords, monitor standard news terms such as:

  • Breaking
  • Developing
  • Trending

Depending on your social listening software, you can do this by typing a news term and publication name into the search function:

“breaking” AND “Wall Street Journal”

As you collect data about news and trends, your business can demonstrate expertise by creating and promoting articles that explain a story’s background issues.

READ: How to Build, Run and Grow a Successful Company Blog [Douglas Karr Interview]

8. Track and Measure the Results of Social Campaigns

This may seem like a moot point to some, but many marketers don’t track social media campaigns run by rivals, role models or even their own brands.

Since many social listening tools have analytics suites, you can collect data surrounding hashtag campaigns on Twitter, Instagram and other platforms.

Beyond tracking performance, this data is useful for:

  • Setting goals for future campaigns
  • Analyzing which demographics within your target audience were most active, tailoring upcoming ads and content toward them

9. Discover New Audience Spaces

A multi-channel social listening strategy can reveal audience activity on platforms you didn’t know about.

You may uncover conversations surrounding trends, competitors and even your business by searching through different forums, communities and social sites.

For example, people thinking about cosmetic surgery may not take to Twitter to express their concerns. Instead, niche forums are more common:

Cosmetic Surgery - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Listening and a List of 3 Media Monitoring Tools

As you discover platforms that audience members frequent, read their posts to gain more insights about their needs, desires and pain-points.

READ: 10 Mistakes that Keep Your Key Social Metrics from Growing

10. Answer Indirect Questions

Answering questions isn’t always a way to overtly promote your business. Rather, it introduces you to prospects and helps build rapport.

You’ll inevitably stumble upon queries as you track brand and industry keywords.

For example, if you make task managers, you’ll likely find questions about prioritization and project management. You can respond by giving an answer or link to a relevant blog post.

Task Manager - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business with Social Media Monitoring and 3 Tools List

It’s less common for people to ask for task manager recommendations. But when that time comes, feel free to make the case for your product.

11. Monitor Competitor Content

Monitoring how a competitor’s content performs on social media can help you develop blog ideas and tactics.

Since you likely share an audience with opposing businesses, content that works well for them can work well for you.

Start by tracking a content piece’s URL and title. Depending on your tool, this should generate engagement data – how many times it’s been shared and by whom. You may also see opinions and conversations about the piece.

Use these insights by:

  • Seeing which issues and pain points resonate with your audience
  • Modeling posts, studies and infographics off popular content
  • Reaching out to users when sharing your similar material you’ve made

Keyhole allows you to monitor competitor content such as their accounts and hashtags.

12. Create Customer and Prospect Personas

Analyzing the profiles of users who post with your monitored terms is a way to build buyer personas – representations of customer groups to help you understand your target markets.

First, make a spreadsheet and fill it with the profile URLs of people who use your brand-specific keywords and hashtags. Second, once you’re comfortable with the size your list, look at each profile for information about:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Position
  • Industry
  • Business size and scope
Buyer Persona - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Listening and a List of 3 Tools

Third, sort the profiles into groups based on this data. You may be surprised to learn which kinds of people make up your social audience.

Understanding who you’re communicating with should boost clicks and engagements as you craft messages and campaigns.

13. Research and Develop

You can think up ideas worth investigating by sifting through social listening reports, such as:

  • Creating new services or products
  • Launching events or campaigns your audience would likely enjoy
  • Altering brand positioning based on what consumers say about your and the competition

Depending on your organization’s structure, putting these ideas into action could involve collaborating with a different department or the team member beside you.

Regardless, uncovering them starts by tracking broad industry terms.

For example, if you’re a marketer for an analytics brand, you might monitor “metrics” and “social data.” You’ll eventually see someone express a need or desire. Reach out if you can already solve their pain point.

If not, consider taking the necessary steps to do so.

14. Detect and Mitigate Issues Before they Escalate

DKNY Crisis - 15 Ways to Grow Your Business Through Social Media Monitoring and List of 3 Tools
With its social listening strategy, DKNY reacted to this Facebook crisis within four hours.

Monitoring brand and industry keywords can inform you when concerns and problems develop, helping you quickly react.

Let’s say you’re in the software business. One day, you notice someone tweeting about a significant error.

You would immediately try to replicate that error, and:

  • If you can replicate it, try to fix it. Then, reach out to the user to explain it’s on the mend.
  • If you can’t replicate it, show your concern. Tweet with the user and ask for more information.

What’s the value of a speedy reaction?

Consumers expect you to swiftly address problems in the age of social media. To see why, read about Domino’s Pizza employees filming themselves ruining ingredients.

A slow, or non-existent, reaction can push customers away and damage your reputation.

15. Send Bottom-of-the-Funnel Customers to Gated Free Trials, Product Pages, or Waiting Lists

Bottom-of-the-funnel consumers are also always lurking around conversations about your industry, brand, or specific product.

These people have heard about your brand before.

And they’re ready to buy. They just need a few questions answered.

So they ask questions like “Is there a version that will include xyz feature coming soon?” OR “Can your product do this specific thing?” If you’re keeping tabs on conversations in your industry, you’ll be able to pull these prospects into the fold.

In 2017, Audi had a tweet where a prospective buyer (Godwin) asked if they had any new upgrades on a couple of their cars.

Audi responded saying the feature is coming in 2018, and sent the buyer a link where he could sign up with them to get updated once it’s out.

Image of Audi's tweet to the buyer

Once the buyer clicks the link, Audi sends him to a well-designed landing page where he’s being welcomed as a lead. The car brand gets his info and gets the chance to alert him once his desired feature is out in the market.

This means while Audi is responding to Godwin with a signup form to fill, there are probably other potential buyers around who have the same question Godwin asked and would sign up to get updates from Audi as well — via the same page Audi sent to Godwin.

This way, Audi is using social listening as a tactic to generate more leads for their new car upgrade coming in 2018.

It’s a powerful social listening strategy to monitor these industry interactions and earn the opportunity to convert bottom-of-the-funnel prospects into actual paying buyers.

And if, like Audi, you don’t already have the feature or exact product a potential buyer is asking for, have a well-designed page ready to convert the person into a lead — so you have the opportunity to draw them back to your business when it’s time.

16. Refer Top-of-the-Funnel Customers to Ungated Content

Top-of-the-funnel customers are also lurking around.

There’s always someone hearing about your brand or product for the first time, or seeing conversations about your brand or industry.

Unlike those on the bottom-of-the funnel, these people aren’t ready to buy anything.

They only want to learn more about the matter being discussed — your product, brand or industry.

You can refer these customers to a piece of content, a handy tool, or any value that answers their questions and get them ready to buy.

Audi, in the example above, sent ready-to-buy prospects right from social interactions to a gated page; should you do the same for top-of-the-funnel customers? Not quite.

Picture this for a moment: you go to Twitter and find a promoted tweet that interests you. The tweet is from a brand you’ve never seen or heard of before, promoting a product you don’t entirely understand.

So you’re curious. You want to learn more about about what’s being promoted. You reply the tweet asking “How do I get started?”

To which the brand replies, “Go to [this url] to learn how to get started.”

Would you click or not? You probably would. After all, you’re the one looking for answers.

But upon arrival on the page, you find a form asking for your personal information.

Would you give your information just to learn more about a product? You probably won’t. Especially when you’re just trying to see how to get started with a product.

If you were ready to get started, that’s a different case, you’d sign up. But gating a page that’ll teach you how to get started? Not ideal.

So it’s best to make your tool, content or any other value ungated for people who just want to “learn more”.

2 Social Listening Tools to Grow Your Business

A great social monitoring tool will analyze the most engaging posts about your brand, alert you when influencers talk about you or identify possible influencers, as well as indicate when a keyword or topic you’re tracking is being buzzed about on social platforms.

Here are 2 social listening tools that do all of the above.

1. Keyhole

Keyhole monitors real-time and historical data around URLs, hashtags, keywords and usernames on Twitter and Instagram.

A screenshot of Keyhole's social listening tracker.

By inputting up to five terms in this social listening tool’s search function, it will generate and track metrics such as:

  • The number of posts and people using your terms
  • User demographic information, including gender and location
  • Top posts, based on engagement data such as shares and replies
  • Influence data, such as which users are drawing the most attention to your tracked terms

In a shareable and printable dashboard, it displays this data in tables, timelines, pie charts and bar graphs.

Price: Starts at $179 USD; advanced plans vary

READ: Forbes Uses Keyhole to Track and Rank SXSW Hashtags

2. Talkwalker

Talkwalker tracks real-time and historical data surrounding keywords, taking data from almost all major social platforms. It also monitors blogs, forums and online news websites for keyword mentions.

For Twitter and Facebook, it provides analytics such as:

  • Engagement rate
  • Activity levels, including the times when users post with a given keyword
  • Share of voice, which is a calculation of how much a user or brand is contributing to online conversations about your keyword

You can use Talkwalker as a traditional media monitoring tool, too. It tracks keywords on global TV, radio and newswires.

Price: Starts at $800 USD per month; advanced plans vary

Whether people are having conversations directly about your brand, your industry, or your competitors, there’s a constant information exchange at high volumes.  

Social listening can contribute greatly to your business’s growth in a variety of different ways. 

You need to keep listening and monitoring to inform your social media and business strategies.

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Where Does Keyhole Get its Data?

At Keyhole, we want users to know what data we access from social platforms in compliance with their policies, and how we provide analytics to our customers. 

We only plug into paid and approved partner data sources provided by major social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, as well as millions of news outlets, blogs and forums.

These approved connections grant us the ability to legally use their information and provide in-depth filtering and analytics for our customers. 

Let’s take a peek at the capabilities that Keyhole offers across each platform.


Where do we get the data from? 

We collect the information from the official Facebook Graph API. 

What information does the official API provide?

  • From Account/Page Trackers: 
    • Public Facebook Pages are searchable 
    • Owned pages can be authenticated
    • Publicly available data, such as: 
      • Posts per period
      • Engagements per period
      • Average engagement rate
      • Followers (Page Likes)
      • Recent and Top Posts 

We do not provide any data from private Facebook pages, users or authors.


Where do we get the data from?

We source the information from the official Instagram Graph API.

What information does the official API provide?

  • From a Hashtag / Keyword Search:
    • Posts
    • Engagements
      • Likes
      • Number of Comments
    • User information (e.g. username & bio) is anonymized in the official Instagram API
  • From an Instagram Business Account Tracker: 
    • Posts per period
    • Engagements per period
    • Average Engagement rate
    • Followers/ Following
    • Recent and Top Posts 
    • Stories insights*

* Only available for owned/authenticated Instagram Business accounts. 

We cannot provide user data or aggregated metrics such as Users, Reach, or Impressions for any accounts that are not authenticated or specified. 

Additional follower insights are available for owned accounts when you’re authenticated.


Where do we get the data from?

We extract the information from the official Twitter API and GNIP. 

What information does the official API provide?

  • From a Hashtag / Keyword Search:
    • Posts
    • Users
    • Reach
    • Impressions
    • Engagements:
      • Likes
      • Retweets
    • Devices
    • Location (based on users’ publicly shared information)

  • From an Account Tracker: 
    • Posts per period
    • Engagements per period
    • Average Engagement rate
    • Followers/ Following
    • Recent and Top Posts 
    • Follower growth/count


Where do we get the data from?

We collect the information from the official YouTube API.

What information does the official API provide?

  • Number of video views
  • Likes + dislikes
  • Favorites + comment counts
  • Video information
    • Published date, titles, descriptions, thumbnails, categories
  • Subscribers gained + lost
  • Age group
  • Channel ID
  • Location (if provided) 
  • Gender
  • Sharing service

Keyhole is a real-time brand and campaign monitoring tool that provides keyword and hashtag analytics. Get started for free here.

Life is short and the internet is vast.