Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

The Top 25 Social Media Analytics Tools

[Updated in June 2020, for a brand new Social Media Analytics Tools comparison!]

Did you miss our previous article on the 27 best Hashtag Analytics strategies? No worries, you can read it here: https://keyhole.co/blog/hashtag-analytics-27-actionable-strategies/

It can be a daunting task.

You’ve asked everyone and every query tool for the best social media analytics tools and you’re still unsure which to use. And you don’t have the time and money to waste using a tool only to find out later on that it doesn’t suit your needs. 

Whether you’re asking other marketers or searching on Google, it can be quite confusing — with every brand making enticing promises.

How do you know which of them would deliver on their promise? A good complete guide is a great place to look.

Here’s a guide showing you the top 25 social media analytics tools, and how they work.

Looking for a specific tool? Jump ahead:
1. Keyhole
2. AgoraPulse
3. Brandwatch
4. BrandMentions
5. Meltwater
6. Reputology
7. TapInfluence
8. Hootsuite
9. NetBase
10. Oktopost
11. quintly
12. Rival IQ
13. Social Studio
14. Sprout Social
15. Socialbakers
16. Brand24
17. Mention
18. Followerwonk
19. Iconosquare
20. Audiense
21. Tailwind
22. TweetReach
23. Falcon.io
24. Minter.io
25. Snaplytics

Read moreTop 25 Social Media Analytics Tools: The Definitive Guide

10 Best Instagram Uses for B2B Companies

Updated on April 3rd, 2020.

When you think of Instagram, the first things that pop into your mind are photos of delicious foods, glamorous celebrities, and adorable puppies. However, with 400 million active users per month, Instagram makes a great marketing platform.

B2C companies are all experiencing success on Instagram, but the majority of B2B firms still have minimal or close to no engagement.

Many B2B brands are hesitant to dive into the world of Instagram as it seems less professional than Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

But remember, people do business with people, not with other businesses.

Through Instagram, you can advocate your company’s core values, and establish a long term connection with your consumer base.

If you are still lost, below are some areas you should focus on in Instagram B2B marketing to help you get started.

You can also analyze your company’s Instagram account and hashtags using Keyhole.

Jump Links:

1. Company Vision
2. Employee Engagement
3. Company History
4. Thought Leadership
5. Product Demonstration
6. Share Company News
7. Promote Your News
8. Use Hashtags
9. Regram
10. Showcase Creativity!

1. Company Vision

Don’t think of Instagram solely as a marketing tool and constantly bombard your audience with your products and services.

Try to stick with a central message or theme that both represent your company and show personality.

Displaying company culture will allow you to better connect with your targeted audience, and if done correctly, have people immediately connecting your company with a certain keyword.

WeWork does an exemplary job of showing culture and vision through their Instagram.

Their mission is “to create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living,” so their Instagram follows the theme of being passionate and excited about life with photos of funky office decorations and their employees at concerts and parties.

2. Employee Engagement

Employees are a company’s greatest assets, so appreciate the hard work they put into making your company better and stronger, and show them off on Instagram.

IBM hits top of the lists for B2B Instagram accounts with an engagement rate of 4.04%the secret to its success is its focus on employee engagement.

In a recent interview, Katie Keating, the Social Content & Engagement Strategist at IBM revealed that “IBM is primarily experienced by the world at large through our employees, so it’s important to us that they’re engaged and feel empowered to share their experiences.”

3. Company History

Let people know about the history of your company— Why it was created and where you are planning to go in the future.

Share photos of company founders or from company archives and let your audience understand the purpose of your journey and the hardships you had to face throughout the process.

It will add depth to your brand’s image and build an emotional connection with your customers.

To constantly stimulate interest, celebrate anniversaries, landmarks, awards/achievements, or anything you believe is important to your company.

Zendesk, a software company that provides cloud-based customer service for businesses rocks it on Instagram by showcasing their critical milestones.

Their CEO is a frequent cast in their photos, giving followers a sense of intimacy and builds genuine rapport.

4. Thought Leadership

After recognizing the foundation of your company — the history, culture, employees, you should also acknowledge the masterminds within your company.

Share thought provoking quotes from your conferences or conduct series of short 15 second interviews of your employees or even yourself to arouse intellectual engagement on Instagram.

For maximum engagement, you can also let your audience voice their questions and concerns on Instagram, which subsequently captivates a new form of customer service.

Oracle loves sharing insightful quotes, not only from the CEO but also senior executives in the company on its Instagram page, especially from Oracle Open World to draw extra attention to the event.

Not surprisingly, Oracle also tops the charts in B2B Instagram marketing through its effective strategies.

5. Product Demonstration

Yes, behind the scenes are important, but introducing your audience to the core of your company is equally essential.

Post short clips of product launching teasers on Instagram to gain interest, or take creative, artistic shots of your products to allure a wider audience base.

CBRE is a commercial real estate company that is very creative in product promotion. It doesn’t bore its audience with leases, but instead shares photos of city skylines and architectural art, alternating between buildings under its own organization and others that are not.

This way, the audience gains knowledge of CBRE’s products, but at the same time does not feel as if they are being forced to make purchases.

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword + hashtag analytics and social media analytics across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free here.

6. Share Company News

Who still eats breakfast with freshly delivered newspapers every morning? Probably very few still practice the tradition. Press releases are still effective but social media marketing will help you spread the word more extensively and efficiently.

Rather than long boring news stories, the general public will be more attracted to powerful visuals. So whether your company is launching a new product, or landed an exciting partnership, share a photo or create a graphic to announce the news.

Farmacy is keeping up with this new trend. Instead of putting out a traditional press conference, it has just announced its new product on Instagram.

7. Promote Your Events

Don’t feel limited to share only one picture before your event for promotion.

You can also share photos of the process that goes along planning the events and setting up the venue, during the event, and post event to thank everyone’s participation and dropping hints at the next event.

Everyone loves having fun, so be sure to share cool places to go to surrounding the venue — closest coffee shop, most popular restaurants, hipster shops.

Bloopers during rehearsal is also a great way to juxtapose your serious business events with light hearted laughs.

During one of their workshops at LinkedIn’s New York headquarters, Hootsuite posted a photo of the packed room of attendees while tagging LinkedIn and SMA to appreciate their hosts.

8. Use Hashtags

Hashtag! Hashtag! Hashtag!

To tie in with event marketing, you should create one unified hashtag for your event across all your social channels to engage conversation and also to connect with attendees.

But even if you’re not hosting an event, hashtags are still very effective in promoting your brand as it allows you to be easily searchable to potential customers who are interested in your company values or products. However, never overdo the hashtags.

One or two is fine, but if you go beyond five, it is a nuisance to everyone’s eyes and you will come across as trying too hard. Keep it simple!  

Popeyes uses #LoveYourChicken to showcase customer experiences in and out of their restaurants.

View this post on Instagram

Is this…heaven? 📸 @girlbossfoodie #LoveThatChicken

A post shared by Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (@popeyeslouisianakitchen) on

9. Regram

If one day, you are stuck and don’t know what to post anymore, try regramming photos that your customers have taken of your company or its products and services.

Not only is it a way to generate new content, but it also allows you to actively engage with the community.

Fedex is one of the leading B2B Instagram accounts and engages with the audience through many of the previous suggestions.

It also regrams photos shared by its customers thanking them for their inspirational messages and also reaching out for deeper connections by asking its own followers to share their stories.

10. Showcase Creativity!

Be creative in managing your company’s Instagram account. You can even host contests for your audience such as snap a selfie with this hashtag and enter to win a special prize.

Instagram is an app that people use during their leisure time, so don’t approach it as a traditional marketing tool. Have fun with your brand’s Instagram account and make the photos as exciting and fun as possible.

There are endless possibilities to engage with your audience and promote your products and services through B2B marketing on Instagram.


Related Articles:

How to Get More Instagram Followers: 30 Proven Strategies

Social Media Trends to Track in 2020 and Beyond: Marketing Tools, Content, and Strategy


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword + hashtag analytics and social media analytics across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free here.

The Top 15 Instagram Analytics Tools [+ Metrics that Matter]

15-instagram-analytics-tools-and-metrics-that-matters

Updated on March 19th, 2020.

Instagram is a huge platform, so you definitely need to know how best to engage your target customers on it. And Instagram analytics tools are your best bet when it comes to doing just that.

But there’s a plethora of these tools out there, which becomes a huge problem for many social media marketers — as picking the best Instagram analytics software can be difficult.

Here’s a list that will help you out — 15 Instagram analytics tools and their different features, followed by metrics that may influence your decision: 

Jump Links:

1. Keyhole
2. Owlmetrics
3. Brandwatch
4. Hootsuite
5. Iconosquare
6. Pixlee
7. Minter.io
8. Quintly
9. Rival IQ
10. Social Bakers
11. Sproutsocial
12. Squarelovin
13. Synthesio
14. Unmetric
15. Union Metric

1. Keyhole

Keyhole helps you track relevant accounts and generates a visually rich report that shows you how to optimize your instagram marketing for better results.

For instance, it can show you when your users are most active so you can improve your efforts for increased engagement.

Neil Patel describes the tool this way: “This tool (Keyhole) does a lot of things others can’t. And as a bonus, it’s extremely user-friendly.” There are other great features it possesses as well.

It helps you monitor sentiments around your brand and oversee your overall brand health. Plus, you can also track web mentions.

Even more, it lets you track the influencers sharing Instagram posts with certain keywords or hashtags, the sentiments around those posts, the impressions and reach they generate, and even other keywords and hashtags users use alongside your searched terms.

This way, you can spot out the best influencers for your brand and see their engagement rates, reach, etc.

keyhole dashboard - instagram tools

For example, here is the Instagram dashboard generated from Keyhole that the watch brand Audemars Piguet could be tracking.

Price: Starts at $179 USD per month — custom pricing.

2. Owlmetrics

Owlmetrics is Instagram analytics, simplified.

This tool shows real-time Instagram analytics, allowing you to reflect on marketing results instantly with actionable insights.

It also helps you measure traffic from Instagram to your website, and dives deeper into audience insights.

Price: $25 — $199 USD per month

3. Brandwatch

Brandwatch provides you with data on conversations about your brand, competitors and industry.

This tool searches the entire Internet for reviews, comments and articles around your business. It also helps you see, particularly on Instagram, how you stack up against your competitors in terms of the volume of mentions you’re getting compared to theirs.

brandwatch

With Brandwatch, you can receive email alerts about critical Instagram conversations so you can quickly spring into action when needed.

Price: Contact Brandwatch to discuss a unique plan.

4. Hootsuite

Besides helping you publish Instagram content directly, Hootsuite also let’s you see critical analytics about your market on Instagram.

hootsuite

Like similar tools, it helps you keep track of your customers, competitor and brand performance on Instagram. You get to see visual reports of what’s working for your business on Instagram and what’s not.

Price: $29 USD per month — custom pricing.

5. Iconosquare

This tool shows you your community growth on Instagram over specific time periods — how far you’ve grown from period A to period B.

iconosquare


Iconosquare shows you where your Instagram users come from and the languages they use. It also reveals the number of impressions and reach you get from your Instagram posts and stories. Pretty much like most of the other tools, it tells you what works and what doesn’t for your Instagram audience.

Price: $29 per month — custom pricing.

6. Pixlee

Pixlee is a platform that allows you to collect, curate, and share user generated content from happy customers and influencers.

The “Measure” aspect of their platform tells you in one glance how customer content performs.

You can also build and export customized reports for more detailed insights.

Price: Contact Pixlee to request a demo.

7. Minter.io

As shown in the image below, Minter.io provides you with Instagram metrics like most of the other tools mentioned in this list.

minter.io

The tool gives you a bird’s-eye view of how your hashtags and keywords are faring on Instagram, the best performing content types, the most engaging photo filters and even the best times to post.

You also get to track how much Instagram traffic is sent to your website and the engagement levels your stories get. You can also export your data in a visually appealing format that allows you to easily keep other stakeholders informed about your Instagram marketing performance.

Price: $99 to $399 USD per year per account

8. Quintly

Quintly offers you an Instagram analytics feature that helps you measure the follower growth of your Instagram account and that of your competitors. This indicates how many unique consumers are finding your brand on the platform, compared to your competitors.

quintly

The software also provides an Instagram content analysis feature, where you can see which content types perform best so you can always replicate success.

Price: from 300 USD per month.

9. Rival IQ

With Rival IQ, you can run your Instagram competitive analysis in minutes.

You’ll see the speed at which your competitors are gaining followers, how often they post, what their engagement rates look like, and their most engaging Instagram content.

rival IQ

The tool also alerts you when a main competitor starts spending ad money on a post. Brands mostly boost posts that are already gaining success organically so this feature tells you what content performs great for your fellow industry players.

Price: $199 — $499 USD per month.

10. Socialbakers

Socialbakers helps you monitor and listen to conversations and topics your audience care about. This lets you know which content to create and how best to engage your audience and spike the right actions from them.

socialbakers

Like many other Instagram analytics tools mentioned here, this tool also helps you identify positive or negative sentiments around the posts on your searched keywords, hashtags or accounts. You can categorize posts by sentiments as well so you always understand where to look and respond to first.

Price: Starts at $200 per month – custom pricing.

11. Sprout Social

Sprout Social provides an Instagram analytics tool that gives you quality insights about your market and audience.

sproutsocial

This tool lets you compare follower and engagement stats between brands on Instagram.

You get unlimited reports and data about specific posts, hashtags, keywords, audience and competitors.

With all this information, you can better create and execute Instagram marketing strategies that really move the needle for your business.

Price: $99 — $249 USD per month. Listening Suite as an Add-on.

12. Squarelovin

Squarelovin is another great Instagram analytics software.

squarelovin

The tool lets you track and compare engagement rates, follower numbers and content performance. It also lets you see what times your users respond to images the most with likes and comments.

Price: Free.

13. Synthesio

This tool provides you with social listening and audience insights.

synthesio

Synthesio has a robust metadata about the content, author, and tone of mentions in its social listening platform – and can easily be filtered. This means it provides an intelligent platform that analyzes conversations and figures out the sentiments around them.

Price: Contact Synthesio to discuss a unique plan.

14. Unmetric

Much like all the Instagram analytics tools featured in this piece, Unmetric provides you with critical data about your Instagram market.

unmetric

It shows you which content performs best in your space, discovers branded content almost as soon as they hit Instagram and helps you benchmark all your data against that of your competitors so you can measure your efforts on Instagram.

Price: Free — $1000 USD per month.

15. Union Metrics

Union Metrics provides you with real-time insights from major social networks including Instagram.

union metrics

This tool provides similar analytics like most other Instagram analytics tools — showing you impressions, reach, best performing content, new ideas for content and more.

Price: $49 — $199 USD per month.

Important Instagram Metrics to Measure

Besides pricing and features, you want to ensure the Instagram analytics tool you’re buying or at least trying out measures the metrics you want to measure.

Related Topic: Reach vs Impressions: What’s the difference and why is it important?

Here are basic explanations of some important metrics to measure:

A. Profile Analytics

keyhole - instagram analytics - measuring follower growth

Follower Growth: The increase in an account’s follower number after deducting unfollower numbers.

Engagement Rate: The total amount of likes, comments and reshares that posts receive, divided by the total number of posts. This rate is restricted to given time periods.

Optimal Post Time: The best time to post depending on which times the highest engagements happened in the past.

keyhole - Optimal post time Instagram analytics

Optimal Post Filters: The ideal filters to use, typically based on which ones generated the highest engagement rate.

Optimal Hashtags: The best hashtags to use depending on which ones got the highest engagement rates before.

Optimal number of hashtags instagram analytics

B. Audience Analytics

Sentiment analysis Instagram Analytics

Top Followers: An account’s most followed and engaging followers.

Follower Age: Age ranges an account’s followers fall into.

Follower Gender: Gender ratio an account’s followers make up.

Follower Interests: Interests — ranging from sports to business — an account’s followers have.

Follower Location: The geographic locations an account’s followers have listed in their profiles. Depending on the tool, tracked locations can range from country to city-level.

C. Hashtag and Keyword Analytics

keyhole dashboard - instagram tools

Activity Volume: Number of posts, over a given time period, made with a tracked hashtag or keyword.

Impressions: The number of times a post is displayed to users. A user can see a post more than once, meaning he or she can be responsible for many impressions.

Reach: Unique people who received impressions of a post.

Engagement: The volume of likes and comments a post containing a tracked hashtag or keyword has earned.

Top Users: The Instagrammers who generate the highest reach, impression and engagement numbers per post using a tracked hashtag or keyword.

User Demographics: The gender, location, device use and other characteristics of users posting with a tracked hashtag or keyword.

Related Topic: 7 Important Instagram Analytics You Should Know.

The Final Verdict

It’s important that you pick the tool that not only suits your wallet but also tracks the main metrics you need. Try the tools out before deciding to pay for any of them and make a well-informed decision on the one that’s best for your Instagram marketing strategy.

15 Social Media Branding Strategies to Capture and Retain Your Target Audience

Updated on March 5th, 2020.

As competitors strengthen their online profiles, the need to differentiate your brand’s identity on social media grows.

Building a recognizable brand known for its positive qualities will help gain and retain followers. Successfully executing branding strategies can help win customers, too.

But developing a powerful, branded social media presence is a challenge you can’t quickly overcome.

Consider using these 15 social media branding strategies to do the job help you achieve a strong social media brand presence.

Jump Links:

Influencer Marketing:
1. Connect with Influencers
2. Get an influencer to Takeover

Consistent Messaging
3. Optimize Your Bio and Your Profile
4. Develop Your Voice
5. Be Consistent with that Voice and Your Topics
6. Post Regularly
7. Embrace Visuals

Continuous Engagement
8. Share User Generated Content
9. Create Groups or Communities
10. Join Chats
11. Avoid Platforms Unpopular with Your Audiences
12. Promote Your Profiles Beyond Social Media
13. Offer Users More than They Expect

Ongoing Analysis
14. Monitor Constantly
15. Measure Your Efforts

Influencer Marketing

For those who’ve built a respectable social media following, many strategists consider influencer marketing a next step in building brand recognition.

By getting an influencer who closely aligns with your target image to promote your accounts, audiences should associate your brand more closely with that target image.

For example, many consumers associate Under Armour with athletic strife and excellence because Steph Curry is its biggest spokesperson.

Though your brand may not be able to contract an NBA superstar, there are almost certainly influencers in your industry who can deliver branding benefits.

To identify influencers based on the hashtags and keywords they post with, make a search for those terms:

1. Connect with Influencers

The first step in executing an influencer marketing campaign is identifying suitable influencers.

Of course, they must have large audiences. But those audiences must be engaged. Some studies show the average engagement rate on Twitter is between 1 and 2%, so anything higher is suitable for an influencer.

The next step is building a relationship with an influencer who matches your criteria.

You can start by following target influencers on their main social channels, interacting with their updates and sharing their content.

Once you’ve built some rapport, pitch a campaign that builds your brand’s image while benefiting the influencer. The next section covers an example of how to do so.

2. Get an Influencer to Take Over

Getting an influencer to run your social channels for a day entices their fans to follow you, while giving him or her another avenue to showcase wit and knowledge.

For example, comedian and diehard Boston Red Sox fan Rob Delaney ran the MLB Twitter account on May 7, 2013. The profile gained about 20,000 followers, as Delaney tweeted baseball “facts.”

Influencer Marketing - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies - Influencer Takeover for the MLB

What’s more, the takeover helped MLB build a reputation on social media that many sports organizations aim to achieve: being funny and relaxed.

Consistent Messaging

The core of brand building on social media largely involves creating themes — or, messages — and regularly demonstrating them through text and visuals.

Whereas influencer marketing campaigns may be best executed once you’ve grown a sizeable following, consistent messaging should begin when you join a social channel.

It may take trial and error to see which kinds of content best resonate with target audiences.

But once you’ve figured that out, being consistent in your messaging should reinforce your brand image.

3. Optimize Your Bio and Profile

Your social profiles should encapsulate your business and its main messages, acting as a pitch for those who visit.

Summarize the benefits of using your products or services in your profile description, including applicable keywords to make your account easier to find for audience members. You should also provide another method of contact for serious business inquiries.

Consider emulating these profile descriptions:

Profile Optimization - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

Depending on the platform, you can also alter your background, profile picture and theme colours to reflect your logo and match your website.

By doing so, consumers will begin to recognize your brand assets.

4. Develop Your Voice

Establishing a common posting tone makes your updates distinct and easily-recognizable. This can also help build a connection with your target audiences, especially if your voice is in tune with them.

Take IHOP as an example. On Twitter, the pancake house appeals to its young demographic by piggybacking off popular phrases among teens and writing without punctuation — similar to what you’d see in instant messaging.

Develop a Voice - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

If you’re unfamiliar with relevant phrases or jargon, monitor your main social channels more closely. You’ll likely identify niche terms you can use to develop your voice.

On a surface level, using a distinct voice increases IHOP’s engagement. Deeper, it encourages followers to associate IHOP with a laid-back dining atmosphere.

5. Be Consistent with that Voice and Your Topics

You must be consistent with your voice — and the topics you post about — to build an authentic connection with your target audience, influencing them to keep your brand top of mind.

Otherwise, that voice you’ve worked hard to create may seem forced and disingenuous.

Deviating from core topics can also compromise brand tone and messaging.

Going back to IHOP as an example, its social media strategists don’t post about government food sanctions. Doing so could damage how the audience perceives the restaurant.

Stick to your voice and main topics to enforce your brand’s image.

6. Post Regularly

Since social media branding centres on influencing your audience to easily recognize and remember you, irregular posting damages your efforts by keeping you off user newsfeeds.

Posting frequency depends on audience activity and how audience members engage.

For example, you may realize that tweeting in the morning earns more replies than doing so in the evening. You could also earn more engagement by posting twice a week instead of five times to a given platform.

This will take some experimentation to determine.

However, an optimal posting schedule helps keep user attention while potentially earning more followers.

7. Embrace Visuals

Images can be powerful tools to encapsulate your brand’s identity and messages, instead of seemingly-random pictures with your logo tacked on.

Visual content should reflect:

  • Themes your brand stands for
  • Your brand’s unique or differentiating values
  • The topics your audience is interested in

Take this image from Red Bull’s Instagram account as an example:

Use Visuals - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

It shows Red Bull’s connection to extreme stunts and appeals to its high-energy audience.

As well as engaging fans, visual content of this quality builds and solidifies brand identity.

Continuous Engagement

Frequently engaging fans, followers and other audience members allows you to constantly communicate and demonstrate your brand’s core values.

You can engage audiences by sharing original and third-party party content that ties into brand messages, or running contests and social events related to them.

For B2C brands, replying to users also exemplifies favourable traits such as friendliness and helpfulness, especially when answering questions and helping solve issues.

As a bonus, regular engagement helps keep your brand at the top of consumer minds. This can potentially boost sales and other meaningful actions.

8. Share User-Generated Content

Like posting testimonials on your website, sharing user-generated content that positively depicts your brand can strengthen its identity.

Consider that more than 90% of consumers trust earned media — characterized as word-of-mouth from impartial sources — more than all other types of advertising.

Take a plus-size clothing company for example.

To reap the benefits of word-of-mouth on social media, share similar user-generated content.

9. Create Groups & Communities (or Participate in Them)

Creating, or participating in, groups and communities helps overcome many networks’ low organic engagement rates.

This helps generate buzz around your brand’s content. You can reach users who are interested in your industry or offerings, avoiding crowded timelines that constantly update and bury your posts.

For instance, an analytics company may create, moderate and promote a group about data mining. Not only does this give the company another method of engaging target audiences, but it furthers branding efforts.

That’s because, in the eyes of group members, the company aligns itself with images of research and analysis.

10. Join Chats

Similar to groups and communities, Twitter chats let you directly engage members of your target market to create buzz around your brand’s ideas, opinions and content.

Use a chat’s hashtag to interact with industry players — ranging from prospects to other businesses. You’ll likely build your follower count as you answer questions and interact with fellow participants.

Twitter Chats - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

This type of direct conversation and engagement allows you to demonstrate expertise and helps build brand reputation among active industry voices.

11. Avoid Platforms Unpopular with Your Audiences

You may waste time and resources attempting to engage audiences on each major social network, as your target audiences may not be active on all of them.

LinkedIn may not be ideal for brands that target teens and young adults, whereas Snapchat likely won’t yield noticeable results for B2B companies.

What’s more, as developers create hyper-specific social media platforms, it may be advantageous to focus your efforts on ones that cater to your target audiences.

For example, many cosmetic surgery clinics favour niche forums over Google+ and LinkedIn:

Niche Platforms - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies

That’s why committing to a group of social platforms — slowly expanding it when appropriate — can help focus your engagement and branding tactics.

12. Promote Your Profiles Beyond Social Media

As your profiles act as engagement and branding hubs, it’s worthwhile to promote your accounts outside of social media to grow their followings.  

You can grow your social media presences by:

  • Participating in Industry Events
    • Run a booth to promote your products. Create valuable physical content to distribute. Strike up a conversation with attendees. As more people learn about your brand, you should gain more attention on social media.

  • Including Handles in Stores and on Products
    • For businesses who drive sales through physical locations, posting images of social networks lets customers know on which platforms you’re active.

By drawing offline attention to your social media profiles, your online branding tactics are likely to reach more users.

13. Offer Users More than They Expect

The bulk of users solely expect to receive status updates, albeit ones with original content, as they follow your social accounts. But offering perks can work to strengthen brand image.

For example, send a private message to new followers that contains a free coupon. It can use your brand slogan, colours and general information, encouraging them to visit your store or website.

They’ll be exposed to more branding tactics — whether physical or online — as a result.

Perhaps most importantly, giving customers more than what they expect influences them to link your brand to a positive experience.

Ongoing Analysis

As with any marketing activity, you must regularly analyze your social media branding efforts to ensure to your tactics are working. Otherwise, you lack insight into your performance.

The worst case scenario? You devote countless hours and a sizeable part of your budget to strategies that don’t yield desirable results.

The best case scenario? Your strategies effectively establish a brand identity, yet you ignore data that can help further establish this identity at a faster rate.

These two scenarios depict why ongoing analysis is crucial to successful branding on social media.

14. Monitor Constantly

Enacting a social media monitoring strategy helps ensure you don’t miss opportunities to build brand identity.

For example, as consumers may forget to tag you or misspell your handle, you can monitor company-related keywords to pick up on their posts and strike up a conversation.

Tracking industry keywords can also uncover engagement opportunities and openings to discuss your business.

Social Media Monitoring - 15 Social Media Branding Strategies
This Twitter live-stream sample is from a Keyhole real-time tracker.

This is beneficial for both branding and public relations because it opens doors to resolve issues and answer questions, exemplifying your business’s positive characteristics.

Finding these opportunities should accelerate your social media brand-building efforts.

15. Measure Your Efforts

Measuring social statistics such as reach and engagement can help refine aspects of your branding strategy.

Assume that using specific hashtags is a key part of promoting your initiatives and products. However, you discover that few users search for — and view posts containing — these hashtags.

Likewise, checking ad performance statistics may reveal they’re not reaching target audiences.

Word of your brand may not be spreading quickly enough as a result.

By measuring these social tactics either manually or with a tool, you can determine if it’s worthwhile to alter your strategies to build brand recognition among prospects more effectively.

Final Thoughts About these Social Media Branding Strategies

It’s important for digital marketers to ensure their activities — ranging from influencer campaigns to active social media monitoring — help establish a clear brand identity.

This means you shouldn’t post for the sole intention of getting shares and winning followers. Instead, think about how your actions can support brand goals and perception.  

The shares and followers will come as you work to build a unique reputation that resonates with your target audience.


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!]

16 Ways to Incorporate Social Listening Into Your Business Strategy - Banner

Updated on February 11th, 2020.

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. 

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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.

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:

engagement rate formula

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.

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.

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

Another simple way to collect valuable data is to share your content using custom short URLs in place of generic short links.

By doing this, you’ll be able to collect click data at its source, giving you the ability to analyze your content’s performance, easily identify which types of content your audience engages with most and set a strong social media strategy going forward.

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.

Social Listening: Best Practices For Growing Businesses

Updated on January 23rd, 2020.

More than listening to what customers are saying about your brand or industry in the social sphere, this one question is important:

What do you do with what your customers and prospects say on social media?

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5 Social Listening Best Practices:

1. Pick a Successful Competitor to Imitate
2. Determine When to Engage an Ongoing Conversation
3. Have Relevant Departments Go All In
4. Carefully Consider Your Choice for a Social Media Listening Tool
5. In the End, How Much is Social Listening Doing For You?

Hearing what customers say on social media is one thing, but understanding how to use their conversations to your brand’s advantage is another.

500 million tweets are sent every day. That’s ~6,000 tweets per second.

And that’s just Twitter.

A prospect could tweet something as simple as “I need a black shoe right now” and get the attention of seventy of her followers engaging with the post.

What would happen, if you as a shoe brand (for instance) chime into that conversation with a link to your black shoe — including a discount coupon?

Here are five social listening best practices that can make a huge difference in your business:

1. Pick a Successful Competitor to Imitate

When you learn from people who are already doing well, you’re in essence skipping the mistakes they made before getting to where they are today. You can avoid most of mistakes they made.

On learning from competitors, PR expert Gini Dietrich says:

“Analyze your competitors’ marketing—see which efforts work well, and understand why stakeholders like them: What is their primary messaging? Why does or doesn’t it work? How do people respond to the company’s overtures online? Is word of mouth positive or negative? Why?”

Businesses perform better at social listening when they ethically learn from competitors who are already doing it right.

Piecing together their strategy is like scoring a free cheatsheet. Visit their platforms to see how they’re doing their social media — responding to feedback, joining industry conversations, and so on.

Fashion company Topshop, for example, is a good brand to learn social listening from. And of course, there are several other brands out there that are awesome at this.

While many other fashion brands only only take advantage of world-renowned events like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, Topshop takes advantage of other smaller festivals or events — especially in entertainment and fashion space.

When conversations about #EEBAFTAs (the hashtag for British Academy Film Awards) were trending on Twitter, Topshop joined in.

Tweet of Topshop during the #EEBAFTAs

Remember, this is an event many other fashion brands don’t value as much as they do more popular events. Well, Topshop decided to participate in the conversation on Twitter and their engagement rate soared; one of their tweets with the hashtag became the most popular on their timeline.

So, when looking for brands to learn your social listening strategy from, companies like Topshop are good examples to learn from. They look at other industry-related events that most of their competitors aren’t looking at and take advantage of them.

There are hundreds or even thousands of other brands you can learn from. Do your research on brands doing social listening well in your industry and see how you can learn from them.

But what if you step into a lively conversation and get a slap in the face? You need to know when to enter an ongoing conversation on social media.

2. Determine When to Engage an Ongoing Conversation

Social media is built on conversations, and consumers want to be talked to, not sold to.

Social media marketing guru Carlos Gil put it more succinctly:

“Talk to your audience, make conversation, build relationships. Consumers are people and they don’t want to be sold to, they want to be engaged so engage them.”

But it’s not just getting into conversations with prospects that’s important, you also need to know when and when not to engage them.

Ever gotten into a conversation and then realized you shouldn’t have? Or maybe your timing was just off?

When to enter an ongoing conversation is crucial.

It determines whether or not you’ll be getting any benefits from your social listening efforts or not. It determines whether you’ll get bashed or praised for joining a conversation. Avoid regret. Pick and choose your times to engage.

Here’s a few examples of typical conversations, and how to engage them:

Customer Service Queries

Customer service related queries require your immediate response.

Customers get angry all the time for different reasons, and you want to ensure they don’t stay angry. Or they need to ask questions before buying from you.

In any case, you want to respond to customer service requests fast.

“Netflix is known for its superior online customer service. That is due in large part to a corporate culture that empowers employees to act quickly”

Rebekah Radice, Founder at RadiantLA

78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.

An Ongoing Conversation About a Government Policy

Trying to take advantage of a social media conversation about a government policy that hurts people is an example of a potentially bad time to enter a social media conversation (depending on your stance).

For instance, following a ban from the US president last year, people from Muslim-majority countries were banned from entering the US. Taxi companies weren’t happy about this, and so they all went down the JFK airport and stopped pickups from working.

Amidst this commotion, Uber saw it fit to join the conversation and advertise their service, in theory helping stranded passengers. The turn out was bad. #DeleteUber became a thing on the Internet with many users posting how they weren’t happy without Uber’s position on the ban:

#DeleteUber campaign.

If you’re not going to sympathize with people who find a particular policy disturbing, it’s best to stay away from conversations like this.

When to Keep Quiet or Simply Apologize

Sometimes it’s best to remain silent — when saying anything at all will make a situation bad on all sides. Depending on the vitriol being spread, you may just want to pretend you didn’t hear a thing.

A smart rule of thumb is to only get involved in conversations when you know you won’t get burned or miss out on significant benefits.

For example, these conversation scenarios are clear enough to know whether or not to chime in:

  • An angry customer is egging people on and you feel you might be baited into a fight – Do not chime it.
  • You feel tempted to speak ill of a competitor’s product. – Do not chime in.
  • You feel tempted to market your Spring bouquets on Christmas Day (making you look like an extraterrestial)- Do not chime in.
  • You will literally miss the party if you don’t get into a conversation on time — like tweeting about Valentine’s Day on February 15 – Chime in!
  • You won’t get burned for marketing your Valentine’s products on Valentine’s Day – Chime in!

These are just a few examples. Think up a few you want to avoid or join.

But it’s still not always this straightforward, right?

Sometimes it can get really dicey and you won’t be sure whether or how to respond to feedback in the sometimes volatile social arena. Everybody’s watching, remember?

And bad news travels fast.

For example, one Clayburn Griffin mentioned Cap ‘n Crunch on Twitter, saying…

Tweet about Cap'n Crunch by Clayburn Griffin

Cap ‘n Crunch probably wasn’t sure what the outcome of their clapback would be. But they took the risk anyway. As it turned out, it worked for them. Cap ‘n Crunch’s tweet clearly got more love than KFC’s.

Cap 'n Crunch's tweet at KFC

Should you do the same if you were in this situation?

Speaking about the reason for their clapback, Andrew Cunningham from Huge (which managed digital for Cap ‘n Crunch) said: “KFC came at us pretty hard, and at that point we had full license to zing them back.”

Sometimes it isn’t rocket science to know when to enter a conversation. Sometimes it is. A smart rule of thumb, however, would be to only respond to conversations that clearly CAN BE handled. And apologize when occasion demands.

Another good social listening practice is to have your social media team collaborate with relevant departments in your organization to provide accurate information.

3. Have Relevant Departments Go All In

Social media is clearly not a secondary channel for marketing anymore, it’s the main channel today.

And if that’s the case, then it’s worth having all relevant departments in your organization collaborating on it.

When an issue is brought up by a customer that your social media team doesn’t have enough expertise to handle, have them link up with the relevant departments that can provide apt feedback or information.

78% of customers say competent service reps play a huge role in a happy customer experience.

Service reps can’t be competent if they aren’t fed the right information by relevant departments. So departments in your organization need to collaborate with your social listening efforts.

Customers hate it when they reach out to your customer service via social media and don’t get a satisfactory response. Or when you tell them to send an email to get an issued solved. Nothing beats you giving them the right response right from social media where they contacted you.

“I have for 10 years—long before Facebook was even on the map—called myself a ‘relationship marketing specialist.’ And I love that term because to me it transcends the medium. It’s all about people doing business with people.”

Mari Smith, Top Facebook Marketing Expert.

And remember, it’s social media — everybody’s watching.

This doesn’t mean your programmers, finance people, and other staff need to abandon their roles all the time to respond to customer complaints on social. But they can play a huge role in assisting your social media managers with the relevant information they need.

An open communication line between the social media team and relevant departments can work wonders here.

That said, your entire social listening effort, however, is nothing without a good social monitoring tool.

4. Carefully Consider Your Choice for a Social Media Listening Tool

Social media listening tools help you analyze what’s been said about your brand and industry on social media.

There are many social media monitoring tools out there, which makes choosing the right one a challenge sometimes. But you need to find the right one for your business anyway.

An inefficient social listening tool will make your social marketing efforts unnecessarily hard and frustrating.

If, for example, your tool can’t help you sort out the different sentiments in your social mentions, it’s going to be really hard to start scrolling through the many mentions you get to get the one(s) you’re looking for.

Want to monitor sentiment analysis for the hashtag you’re tracking like this? Try Keyhole.

Social conversation monitors have different capabilities. Some provide basic functions while others offer more advanced features. You want to pick the one that offers the functions that matter to your business.

5. In the End, How Much is Social Listening Doing For You?

You need to track metrics that matter. Otherwise, it’d be all for nothing. And there are lots of things to track, but you need to spot the ones that really matter to your business.

A few things to track:

  • Sentiment: How many mentions about your brand are favourable or otherwise.
  • Popularity: How many mentions are you getting per day, week or month?
  • Influencers: Who are the influencers talking about you, how many are they and what are they saying?
  • Most engaging topics: Which topics get the most likes, replies and reposts? Knowing this will help you understand where to focus your social listening efforts.

What you do with what you’re hearing about your brand is critical in this age where it feels like social media is controlling the world. Use the strategies in this piece to make the most of what’s being said about you and your industry.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword analysis and hashtag analytics. Get started for free and conduct social listening for your brand.

Using Hashtag Tracking to Optimize Social Listening Strategy [+ Tools!]

using hashtag tracking to optimize social listening strategy

When many marketers and community managers think of social listening, manually scouring through sets of posts, tweets and messages comes to mind.

But being left with a small relevant dataset is common, even though the process involves keyword research to target what your audience is saying about your brand and competitors.

Adding hashtags to your social media listening strategy can help ease the problem.

By tracking certain tagged topics, you’ll collect more applicable information about what your audiences say and think about you. Your understanding of how to market your brand will improve as a result.

Jump Links:

What is Social Listening with Hashtags?

5 Types of Hashtags to Monitor:
1. Brand Hashtags
2. Your Competitors’ Brand Hashtags
3. Chat Hashtags
4. Event Hashtags
5. Campaign Hashtags

5 Social Listening Tools

What Is Social Listening with Hashtags?

Also called social media monitoring, the goal of social listening is to gain an understanding of how people perceive your brand based on what they say about it online.

Standard social listening involves tracking what consumers say on virtually any digital space, using hashtags enhances the library of data collected on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

It’s a type of data mining.

It revolves around identifying posts that use tagged topics, along with analyzing those posts to quantify metrics such as influence and engagement.

Hashtag tracking plays a key role in social listening because:

  • It’s easier to identify hashtags than keywords, since they’re already somewhat popular
  • Members of your target audiences use industry-related hashtags
  • You can track the activity levels of hashtag trends and conversations, helping you determine how large a crisis is or how popular a positive message is
  • By adding sentiment-based keywords to your trackers, you can measure the general feeling about a given tagged topic

5 Types of Hashtags to Monitor

The scope of your social listening strategy won’t be wide enough if you only track one kind of hashtag.

As you plan and implement the strategy, consider monitoring these five different types of hashtags:

1. Brand Hashtags

Track these hashtags along with positive (fun, great) and negative (bad, won’t) keywords to measure sentiment.

As you identify users with clear opinions one way or the other, reach out.

This could involve asking what they specifically like or dislike, building genuine conversations to earn their appreciation.

As a bonus, these conversations could result in developing ideas to improve your product or service.

Not only should you include your brand hashtag when sharing original content, but encourage your fans and followers to use it too. This is a win-win scenario, because:

  • You’ll have more social content to track and analyze
  • Users will have a clear way to share posts with the community interested in your brand, helping them gain a larger following

Example: #JustDoIt

Under Nike’s famous brand hashtag, people share posts about sports, athletic apparel and motivation.

Keeping tabs on the hashtag gives Nike a clear picture of what their target markets think about the brand’s identity.

2. Your Competitors’ Brand Hashtags

What you can do for your brand, you can do for the competition.

As potential customers use opposing hashtags, track them and use keyword filters to figure out what prospects do and don’t like about other brands.

When you identify a prospect, you may feel the need to gently reach out and explain why you succeed where your competitor fails. This can involve giving a demo or free trial, depending on your industry.

On the flip side, look out for satisfied customers.

If your company doesn’t offer the service or product that made them happy, your team may have a new idea to consider.

Example: #BeMoreHuman

https://twitter.com/RolandGuillot1/status/697737640955768833

By monitoring the Reebok hashtag, Nike digital strategists can figure out which posts:

  • Earn the most engagement
  • Express a clear opinion about the Reebok brand
  • Reveal prospects to follow up with

From there, Nike’s social team can take the approach it wants to when it comes to interacting with users or studying successful content.

3. Chat Hashtags

A quick search using key terms should reveal chat hashtags relevant to your industry and audience.

Popular on Twitter, you can monitor a chat to learn more about users who are interested in the subject matter.

Tracking relevant chat hashtags as part of your social listening strategy allows you to:

  • Make content ideas based on people’s opinions, pain-points and comments
  • Track if your company or competition is referenced during the conversation
  • Connect with new prospects, as many people who may be interested in your company might not know about it

Example: #SoloPR

Your brand stands to benefit as a member of either category. As a public relations team, you can make new contacts.

As someone who targets these professionals, you can stay on top of industry trends.

4. Event Hashtags

As more marketing and public relations teams use social media to amplify events, tracking event hashtags should secure a spot in your social listening plans.

Monitoring activity before, during and after the big day can provide insights about:

  • Any concerns attendees have
  • Which parts of the event were most appreciated
  • When activity around your hashtag rises, and if any spikes correlate with certain parts of the event

Example: #GRAMMYs

It’s not your average event in terms of scope, but social media marketers in the music and entertainment industries stand to benefit from tracking #GRAMMYs on Twitter.

Staying on top of your data feed and tweeting appropriately can boost audience and engagement numbers as moments go viral, users disapprove of a speech or if there’s backlash against a winner.

5. Campaign Hashtags

Not everyone will directly mention your brand when using your campaign hashtag, meaning there’s a clear need to track the tag’s performance as part of your social media monitoring strategy.

The same goes for online campaigns from rival brands.

Similar to brand hashtags, you should track campaign hashtags with and without sentiment-based keyword filters.

Doing so gives segmented looks at how consumers view the campaign.

It’s easier to sort through relevant and irrelevant data – as well as pinpoint issues and action items – as a result.

Example: #ShareACoke

Coca-Cola’s famous campaign never seems to end, as customers keep sharing photos of namesake cans and bottles.

By monitoring this campaign hashtag as a competitor, you can:

  • Develop ideas for future campaigns
  • Learn how to alter your products or make new ones
  • Determine which types of digital content you should be making and encouraging your audience to create

Tracking this hashtag as part of Coca-Cola’s social listening strategy helps its marketers:

  • Repurpose the most popular content
  • Reach out to well-known personalities using the hashtag
  • Study what charged the campaign’s success

5 Social Listening Tools

If your digital team doesn’t already use one, your step after identifying hashtags is finding a tool that collects accurate data.

There’s a library of social media analytics services to choose from, each with features and price points to suite different teams. We looked into 25 platforms in this blog post.

But since not all of them apply to social listening, here are 5 tools that do:

1. Keyhole

demonstrating social listening using keyhole as a tool

But tracking hashtags and keywords, collecting metrics to improve your social listening approach, is a reason why users love us.

You can compile Twitter and Instagram content in real-time, displaying data such as reach, impressions and activity numbers on a shareable dashboard.

Plus, you can rank influential posters and track demographic metrics such as gender and location.

If you happen to miss monitoring an event or campaign, we’ll get historical social media data for you.

2. Social Mention

Think of this tool as a social search engine. Entering a hashtag will generate pages of user-generated content from more than 100 platforms.

Social Mention tracks traditional metrics such as reach and sentiment, making it useful for listening to discussions around brand and campaign hashtags.

But it also displays unique metrics such as passion – the likelihood that users will post more than once about your brand.

3. Hootsuite

A popular platform management tool, you can also use Hootsuite for social listening.

After you identify keyphrases, create a stream for each one.

You’ll get a grid of social content, showing basic engagement data. Hootsuite also lets you flag posts and assign team members to address them.

What’s more, you can restrict the stream results based on data such as location.

4. Twubs

Twubs is a hashtag directory, fit for basic social listening on Twitter.

Typing a hashtag into the home page’s search bar will generate a live stream of tweets, also giving you an option to access limited historical data. Within Twubs, you can reply to tweets and post new messages with the given hashtag.

5. Twitter Advanced Search

Twitter Advanced Search - 5 Tools for Social Media Listening with Hashtags

Don’t overlook Twitter itself for basic social listening.

You can use the advanced search function to refine your queries, identifying posts that use any given hashtag.

The range of filters for dates, sentiments, locations and keywords helps you zone in on specific audiences. And since you’re operating on the platform itself, it’s easy to engage with people.

Segmenting Your Audiences

Dividing the audiences you identify through social listening into sub-categories can help you develop content to better meet their diverse needs and interests.

In this case, social market segmentation starts with sampling messages that use a monitored hashtag.

Depending on the popularity of the tag, this could involve looking at 10% to 100% of the posts.

By examining profiles and other messages, divide the posters into groups based on data such as:

Look for themes and prevailing opinions within each group. For example, you may notice a segment of your audience expresses a common concern. Another may frequently post about a topic related to your brand.

Regardless, developing these consumer personas is an exercise in better understanding your markets and knowing how to communicate with them.

That’s the goal of social media monitoring, after all.

Comments to Reflect On

Optimizing your social listening approach with hashtags and select keyword filters can generate a library of relevant data, providing more information about your online market.

And by monitoring different types of hashtags, you may even unlock an audience you didn’t know you had.

That, in itself, could take your marketing strategy in a new direction.


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

5 Under Analyzed Social Media Metrics that Matter [+ Tools to Measure Them!]

5 under analyzed social media metrics that matter and tools to measure them

This post was updated on November 27th, 2019.

With so many social media analytics tools that focus on different stats, it’s hard to figure out which metrics matter.

Some of the most important ones are often ignored in favour of “vanity metrics” – numbers that don’t help guide your marketing decisions, but are easy to track.

To make strides in your social approach, it helps to dig deeper into underlying data.

Jump Links:

5 Social Media Metrics:
1. Click Through Rate (CTR)
2. Response Rate to Prospects and Customers
3. Sentiment
4. Network Referrals
5. Assisted Conversions

To start, monitor these five social media metrics:

1. Click Through Rate (CTR)

CTR measures the number of people who click through to your website after seeing your post.

It’s common practice for marketers to A/B test headlines and calls-to-action (CTAs) on web pages to track CTR, but not as many do the same with social media posts.

For those not familiar with the concept of A/B – or split – testing, it’s a way to compare two versions of a marketing piece.

For example, you could send different renditions of an email message to 100 people. The one that yields the highest CTR wins, and will be sent to your remaining contacts.

You can test:

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

Based on the results of a few tests, you can start determining the best posting practices for getting clicks.

The Tool: Twitter Analytics

Twitter is the ideal platform for A/B testing posts.

Repeating tweets is normal. Only a tiny fraction of your audience is online at a given time. And depending on how many people they follow, your followers’ timelines are packed with tweets.

After conducting a few split tests, just click the option to view each tweet’s activity metrics:

Then compare the CTR for each tweet.

2. Response Rate to Prospects and Customers

Social media users sent 21% more messages to business accounts in 2015 than 2014, according to research by Sprout Social. And 40% of these messages, including complaints and questions, require a response.

This data shows that community managers are increasingly valuable, as they directly deal with current and potential customers’ problems.

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

If you seldom track metrics related to issues community managers solve and questions they answer, you lose insights into your overall customer service approach.

After all, you’d know to restructure your strategy if half of client issues went unsolved. And if an interaction as painful as this one happened, you’d have to take action.

The Tool: Hootsuite Core Analytics

Whereas the majority of social media analytics platforms focus on external data, Hootsuite Core Analytics also deals with internal metrics.

To measure the performance of your team and individual colleagues, you can track stats such as messages sent and issue resolution time.

3. Sentiment

Sentiment may seem like a superficial social media metric at first, but it can prove valuable.

It’s measured by monitoring messages and relevant keywords, sorting them into emotion-based categories. For example, some categories could be sad, angry, happy and appreciative.

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

You can glean useful information by analyzing posts talking about your brand, services and sector. This is especially true when you have a large enough sample size to confidently say “wow, people love aspect X of our industry but hate aspect Y.”

Based on sentiment analysis, you can come up with small ideas worth further investigation, like:

  • Launching events or campaigns your audience would likely enjoy
  • Replicating services or products that your key markets appreciate
  • Altering how you position your brand based on what people say about your competition

The Tool: Social Mention

Think of Social Mention as a search engine with a complementary social media analytics suite. You can access a stream of user-generated content from more than 100 platforms just by typing a keyword.

It records sentiment through a positive-to-negative content ratio, along with a look at neutral posts on the right side of your screen:

Social Mention - Social Media Metrics Tools That Matter

4. Network Referrals

As well as promoting your brand and engaging key audiences, your activity on social media should drive traffic back to your website.

You can measure network referrals to see how well you’re doing.

Normally, referral traffic is defined as visits to your website from sources other than Google. When someone clicks a link to your website on Instagram, it’s a referral.

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

Website traffic generated from social media is often a guiding metric in overall marketing strategies because:

  • Noticeable changes can indicate whether or not your content meets your audience’s needs
  • You can see which shared URLs drove the most traffic, indicating what your social market wants to learn about
  • For some news and content-based organizations, analytics firm Parse.ly says Facebook alone drives more traffic than Google

The Tool: Google Analytics

Used by marketers worldwide, Google Analytics is the top choice for analyzing website traffic – including network referrals.

Find your key stats by clicking Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals:

Social Media Metrics Tools that Matter - Google Analytics

From here, you can see which network drove the most sessions, page views, pages per session and more metrics.

You can also dig deeper to see how individual links performed on each platform:

Google Analytics - Social Media Metrics Tools that Matter and Tools to Measure Them

5. Assisted Conversions

You’ve probably tracked conversions from social media when running targeted campaigns, but your social media activity can also help collect assisted conversions.

What’s an assisted conversion?

If a social platform plays a role in the conversion path, except the last interaction, it gets an assist.

For example, someone clicks a Twitter link to your site, leaves and then comes back a day later to convert.

Here’s a sports analogy to clarify – numbers 9 and 22 get the assists, but 21 scores the conversion:

Why This Social Media Metric Matters:

The assisted conversions metric gives you another look at how your customers behave and meet the goals you’ve set for them.

By analyzing assisted conversions from each social network, you can plainly see which ones impact your online success and which ones need new strategies in terms of what you post and how you advertise.

The Tool: Google Analytics

Stick with Google Analytics and find this metric through Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions:

Google Analytics - Social Media Metrics that Matter and Tools to Track Them

You can see how social media compares to other assisted conversion sources. What’s more, you can look at the assisted conversion value from each social platform to learn which ones are most profitable:

Google Analytics - Social Metrics that are Improve and Tools to Measure Them

Assisted conversions, network referrals, sentiment, response rates and split tests results may be under-analyzed, but they certainly matter with regards to building a strong marketing strategy.

Set and meet goals based on them to get a leg up on your social competition.


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

How to find 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.

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.

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.

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:

see what's trending on twitter

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.

Life is short and the internet is vast.