Introducing Instagram Hashtag Tracking

hashtagify for instagramInstagram is growing like crazy right now. With 400 million active monthly users, it’s fast becoming the go-to social media platform to share images.

Here at Hashtagify, we like to think we keep up with the latest trends. We’re constantly innovating to match what you guys want. When speaking to users, Instagram tracking was a feature that consistently came up. And we listened.

It’s taken a lot of work to get it right, but we’re now ready to introduce Instagram hashtag tracking!

Unlike our competitors, we don’t just consider the posts using the hashtags, but the likes too. This means that we show the true potential reach of hashtags on Instagram, while still finding the top hashtags and top influencers in just a few clicks.

It works pretty much  the same as our Twitter tracking, apart from having some specific numbers relevant to Instagram and a few limitations for now (we’re still in beta).

The feature is available to all of our business and enterprise users. So if you’re on one of those plans, head over to the Hashtags Lab to get tracking.

Not a business or enterprise user but want to explore Instagram tracking? No problem, you can try it out with our risk-free 10 day trial now!

Stay tuned for more Instagram-related updates!

 

More Inspiration, Better Hashtagification, Influence Amplification

Last time I interviewed Hashtagify Research Assistant, the man who isn’t intimidated by our 38 million hashtags and that will help you find and analyze new hashtags. Today’s interview is with our other new recruit Hashtagify Tutor, the girl who will help you actually use those hashtags, following a plan towards higher social media reach and success.

tutor-inspiration-300
Hashtagify Tutor

Dan: Good morning Tutor. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Tutor: Good morning Dan! I’m a senior student at the Hashtagify University, I really love social media and I like to help other students when I have the time. So I’m known by everybody as The Tutor, and few believe me when I tell them that Tutor is actually my given name!

Wow, Tutor, have you sued your parents yet? Anyway, I know that you really love to help; that’s the main reason I decided to hire you. So, can you explain to our readers how exactly are you going to help them with their social media work?

As a tutor I noticed that the most difficult thing, for most social media practitioners who want to master the subject, is to stay motivated with their effort, and to be consistent with their messaging.

I also noticed that it really helps to have some kind of reference plan to follow, and somebody who keeps you inspired to follow it. And that’s where I come into play, at least for the part related to hashtags.

So, we’re talking about a plan related to hashtags? How would that work, and how can that help anybody to stay motivated and consistent?

Hashtags are useful to define an area of interest, and to reach the audience that is interested in that area. When you want to become an influencer in some field, it really helps to have a list of the most relevant hashtags in that field, and to use them consistently with your messages – which, obviously, need to be highly relevant and very interesting.

My role is to remind you when you have been neglecting a useful hashtag for some time, alert you when a new interesting hashtag is emerging, and to give you inspiration about what you could write or share.

Receiving inspiration is nice. But couldn’t you just write my tweets for me??

I could… but then you would never become a real influencer! You need to use your own judgement and personality even when just retweeting some good content. You absolutely need to add something personal to the social media conversation, otherwise people could think you’re just a bot. Who wants to engage with a bot?

Fair enough. Regarding inspiration, what’s your plan? How could you inspire me?

One of the best way to get inspired is to see great examples to follow. That’s why, when I will suggest you a hashtag you could use, I’ll also show you great relevant content that you can take inspiration from, or just retweet. Not just from Twitter, but also from Instagram – visuals can give even more inspiration.

I get it. Besides, it’s a good idea to retweet a lot – it shouldn’t be all about you. One last question: Do you think that you could also help expert hashtag users, or just beginners and intermediate?

I think that my tutoring will be most helpful to beginners and intermediates, but even the experts could use some inspiration from time to time. And for them, I can limit myself to sending a daily email with a quick reminder about the hashtags they haven’t used for some time, and, even more importantly, the new trending ones related to their field.

Well Tutor, thank you very much for your time, and see you next week on hashtagify.me!

Thanks Dan, and see you!

The Man Who Isn’t Intimidated By 38 Million Hashtags

When was the last time you had to search for some new hashtags? For example, because you wanted to reach a wider audience, or just to show you’re always in the know about the new trends in your field?

If you’re at all like me, that was not long ago. And again, if you’re at all like me, you feel that having to sift through the millions of hashtags people use these days is a pretty daunting task.

If this is the case, you’ll be glad to meet Hashtagify’s latest hire, the Research Assistant. I introduced him a week ago; you might remember that he boasts of knowing all the 38 million hashtags we classified at hashtagify.me, to be able to find many new targeted hashtags just by taking a look at your Twitter account, and that he’ll start working next week.

I thought you might want to know a bit more about him. He’s a reclusive guy, so, to give a better introduction, I went to his laboratory and interviewed him for you. This is the transcript of our talk.

Assistant

Dan: Hi Assistant. So, the rumors say that you know everything about more than 38 million hashtags. Is that true?

Assistant: Hi Dan. Well, to be honest with you, I don’t actually know everything about those 38 million hashtags. But I know a lot about them. And I’m always on the lookout for new ones to study. As a matter of fact, just during the last 10 minutes, I found 38 more. Right now, the exact number of hashtags I know about is 38,476,189.

OK, the quantity is impressive. But what about the quality? Are all those hashtags really good?

This is an interesting point. Actually, it turns out that lots of hashtags are too generic for any targeted message; others are too loved by spammers; others still were great a few months ago, but now they’re dead in the water. That’s just why I’m always learning new ways to classify and filter them, using information about the hashtag users, associations, languages, timing, and many other interesting signals. It’s no easy task, but they tell me I’m getting better and better at this.

Let’s talk about personalization. After you filter out the hashtags that may look popular, but aren’t really useful, how do you decide which ones are the most targeted for a specific Twitter user?

First of all, I study up to 3,200 of the last tweets that the user sent, and analyze the hashtags they use, the language, and some other technical stuff. I then try to understand if the user has different areas of interest to talk about, using a technique called clustering. For each cluster of hashtags, I then find the most interesting hashtags that the user has never used.

When you say “interesting hashtags”, what do you actually mean? And usually, how many interesting hashtags do you find for a user?

Hashtagify AssistantA hashtag can be interesting for many different reasons. For example, it could be a newly trending hashtag in a related field. It may have a popularity that isn’t very high, but is very targeted. I try to create a good mix and show the user around 200 options to choose from; the user can sort them by popularity, trend, and correlation, and also look at lots of details to better understand the hashtag if it looks interesting. Users can also discard hashtags that they know aren’t good for them; this really helps me to learn and be even more targeted in the future.

Great, I’m sure all our advanced users will like the possibility to start from an already sorted and filtered pool of candidates, and still be able to choose by themselves. But what about beginners? This still looks a bit difficult for them, couldn’t you make things even easier?

Come on Dan! You already know that I’m much better at helping users who already know their way around hashtags. Isn’t that the reason why you also hired Hashtagify Tutor? I just do the analysis; then, for those who don’t want to check lots of hashtags and meddle with all the finer details, he can take over and guide them step by step…

assistant-sharing-300

Dan: Don’t worry, I remember perfectly well our deal. I just thought that this could be the perfect question to finish this interview, and link to our next one with Hashtagify Tutor. So, Assistant, thank you for your time, and I’ll leave you to your analyses now. Maybe, before the great launch next week, you’ll even learn some new tricks!

Assistant: Thank you Dan. You know that I’m a lab rat and I’m not much into interviews, but I really hope I could answer some of our readers’ curiosity about my work. And, while thanking them for staying with us until the end, I’d like to remind them that sharing is caring. And remember… I’m going to read all your tweets!

Keeping Track Of Your Hashtag Health Status

When you’re using a hashtag for a marketing campaign, you need to keep track of its health status. Some of the fundamental questions are:

  • How is the hashtag adoption going?
  • Are the generated impressions growing as they should?
  • What is the sentiment around it?
  • How are our own promoters doing? Who is using the right tactics?
  • Is the campaign going viral?

We created the CyBranding Hashtag Intelligence Summary panel to answer all these questions at a glance, without having to manually sift through all the tweets. This new detailed video walkthrough will show you how.

Would you like to test these features with your hashtags? You’re lucky, because we have a 14 days free trial for all our plans! Check our plans and pricing and Start your free trial now!

Finding & Connecting With Hashtags Influencers

The shortest path to becoming an influencer for an existing hashtag is to connect with its current influencers. And the shortest path to getting a new hashtag off the ground is to connect with relevant influencers who would be interested in promoting it.

Given these premises, it’s hardly a surprise that the most used area of our Hashtag Intelligence tool is the Influencers panel. And that’s also the reason why we packed lots of features into this panel.

To make it easier to understand how you can use this panel to find the most interesting influencers for your hashtags, and to connect with them, we created a new detailed video walkthrough. Enjoy!

Maximize Your Brand’s Reach On Twitter Using Social Network Analysis

This post by Randy Olson is an entry to our $4,000 Blogging Contest. Randy is a third-year Computer Science & Engineering Ph.D. student at Michigan State University working in Dr. Chris Adami’s research lab.

According to an August 2013 PEW report, 18% of all internet users use Twitter on a regular basis. That equates to roughly 500 million people signing into Twitter to check the latest tweets, news, and celebrity gossip every day. It’s no surprise that brand marketers have taken an interest in connecting to even a small fraction of those 500 million users with the hope of increasing sales and their brand’s reputation.

However, like most online social networks, Twitter has proven to be an amorphous entity that even the best social network analysts struggle to understand. How can we make sense of the massive amount of information on Twitter? More importantly, how can we learn from this information to better market our brands on Twitter?

In this guide, we’re going to walk through how we can use Hashtagify.me and some basic social network analysis techniques to identify the key hashtags in a network, and properly use the hashtags in our tweets to maximize our brand’s reach on Twitter.

What can Twitter hashtags do for our brand?

Some brand marketers may be wondering why hashtags are even worthwhile. Hashtags use up our limited tweet characters and make the tweet awkward to read. Why not focus on writing a clear yet concise tweet that explains the product and why it’s worth considering?

First and foremost, hashtags are the primary method on Twitter to connect to people we don’t know: if we don’t use hashtags, the only users that see our tweets are the ones that follow us. Any brand marketer who’s used Twitter before can testify how difficult it is to build a loyal following there.

The data about tweet engagement is even more eye opening. Here’s a rundown of the relevant points:

  • If we tweet more than 6 times a day, people are less likely to pay attention to our tweets
  • Shorter tweets (< 100 characters) receive more attention than longer tweets
  • Tweets with hashtags receive 2X more attention than tweets without hashtags
  • Tweets with only 1-2 hashtags receive more attention than tweets with 3+ hashtags

This means that if we want to maximize engagement with our tweets, we need to tweet fewer than 7 times a day, be short yet to-the-point, and include 1-2 relevant and popular hashtags in our tweet. That’s an awful lot to consider for a 100-character message, isn’t it? Fortunately, Hashtagify.me can help us making that whole process a breeze.

In my previous post, I covered how to identify networks of related hashtags on Twitter by taking a look at the Big Ten college football network. Let’s move on to identifying the key hashtags in that network.

How to identify key hashtags in a network

The most popular hashtags in a network aren’t necessarily the best hashtags to use for that network. From the analysis in the previous post, we saw that #Michigan was the most used hashtag. If we used #Michigan, we’d be reaching a large number of people, but we would be missing people that follow other sports teams, and instead we would reach many others who are interested in things Michigan, but not in sports. Instead, we want to identify the hashtags that are both popular and used frequently with several other popular hashtags in the network. In social network analysis terms, we want to find the hashtags that are most central to the network.

Fortunately, several smart people have already worked out this problem for us. They found two mathematical tools, called eigenvector centrality and betweenness centrality measures, that help us find the most central nodes in a network; they are both described nicely in this article on network centrality measures.

In short:

  • High eigenvector centrality hashtags are the major influencers of the network
  • High betweenness centrality hashtags are responsible for spreading information between different communities in the network

In this case study, we want to find the hashtags that have a large influence on the entire Big Ten network and tend to spread information to all of the other school’s sports teams. Just our luck, the open source software Gephi has built-in tools to calculate both of these centrality measures, so all we have to do is click a couple buttons to compute them – after importing the data there, of course. If you’re not familiar with Gephi, there are some great guides explaining how to import data into Gephi, how to use Gephi’s data laboratory, and how to calculate network statistics in the data laboratory.

After doing that, this is the final result we got for our Big Ten football hashtags:

Big_Ten_football_Twitter_hashtags_eigenvector_centrality

Big Ten football Twitter hashtags eigenvector centrality

Big_Ten_football-Twitter_hashtags_betweenness_centrality

Big Ten football Twitter hashtags betweenness centrality

As expected from the network visualization we made earlier, #B1G is the most influential hashtag in the Big Ten network. #BigTen and #Buckeyes also seem to be reasonable choices to use for hashtags, but we only have room for one other hashtag if we want to keep the number of hashtags to the ideal of 2. So #B1G and #BigTen it is!

Fun fact: It’s especially interesting to note here that some of the most popular hashtags in the Big Ten network, such as #Michigan, #Huskers, and #Badgers, have about the same influence in the network as the least popular hashtag, #B1GFootball. This just goes to show how in online social networks, size isn’t everything!

If we now go back to Hashtagify.me and compare the Big Ten network’s most influential hashtag’s popularity over time, we make another great finding: #B1G is the only hashtag that hasn’t been tanking in popularity since the end of the primary college football season. Now we know for sure that #B1G is the best hashtag to include in our tweets if we want to get the most attention from the Big Ten network on Twitter.

#B1G popularity over time

Popularity_Over_Time_B1G

Learning how to use the key hashtags with Hashtagify.me

Now that we’ve decided that #B1G is the best hashtag to use for our marketing purposes, we need to learn how to use the hashtag: Each online network has their own social norms and inside jokes. If we barge in with a tweet blatantly advertising our brand, we’re more likely to anger the network than make them want to consider our products. That’s where another handy Hashtagify.me tool comes in: hashtag top influencers.

Top_Influencers_B1G

#B1G top influencers

@BigTenNetwork is clearly the most influential Twitter user for the #B1G hashtag, so they’re likely the best user to learn the social norms from. We can take a quick scroll through their tweets to see what kind of tweet receives attention with the #B1G hashtag. Here’s one successful tweet that received over a hundred Retweets and Favorites:

A quick check shows that most of the successful tweets have minimal text, a large picture of something related to Big Ten sports, and are usually congratulating a sports team on their victory. There are several creative ways to construct a tweet that could market your own brand while fitting this profile, but I’ll leave that to you as the brand marketer!

As if all that weren’t enough, Hashtagify.me takes it to the next level by even telling you when the hashtag is used the most.

Time_Usage_B1G

#B1G hashtag usage patterns

We see some fairly clear trends here: #B1G is used the most on Saturdays and Sundays in the mornings before 10am EST and in the evenings after 6pm EST. Although we could employ a strategy of trying to stand out by tweeting when fewer people are tweeting on the hashtag (between 11am and 5pm EST), most likely the people who follow #B1G will only check Twitter for it during the hours that it’s normally used. As such, we should tweet when #B1G is used the most to connect with more users.

What are you waiting for?

Stop missing out on potential customers by sending out tweets with the wrong hashtags at the wrong times. Start using Hashtagify.me today so you can maximize your brand’s reach on Twitter. And don’t forget to share this post!

Find And Manage Hashtags Like A Pro – Free!

After months of testing and improving our hashtagify.me beta features, today we are ready to release them all, for everybody, for free, forever.

Even without registering to our website now you can:

If you register a free account you can also:

We’re really proud to promote the good use of hashtags with these and other free features, like our recently released popular hashtags charts. If you want to show your support for our choice to keep these tools free, you can share this post and to follow us on Twitter!


And The Most Popular Hashtag In The World Is…

…#EMAzing!

Yes, #EMAzing was the most tweeted hashtag in the world last week. Not bad for a hashtag that just entered the top 30 chart; as a matter of fact, if you consider the full last month, #EMAzing was only 8th, left in the dust by #غرد_بذكر_الله, an Arab hashtag that tops the monthly chart and could be translated as “Tweet remembrance of God”.

But the real news, for us, is that starting today you can easily keep an eye on the top 30 hashtags for last month, last week, and just breaking out, and for 35 different languages: We just published hashtagify.me Popular Hashtags Charts, a new free feature for all those interested in hashtags.

Want to know which were the top 30 hashtag during the last week in, say, French? Just go to hashtagify.me, and click on our new Popular Hashtags menu

popular_hashtags_menu

Next, click the language selector and pick French

popular_hashtags_language

Last, click the Last Week tab

popular_hashtags_period

You can now see the top hashtags, with their rank (and rank change), their popularity, their popularity trend, and their main language – ie, the language that’s most commonly used with that hashtag.

As a matter of fact, a hashtag that is the most used in French tweets can be also used in other languages – and, like in the example above with #EMAzing, it can be used mostly in English. This is interesting, because it allows you find out which of the top hashtags are “native” to the language you’re checking.

So, this is how you can find the top hashtags in many languages. The data is updated daily – and, for the “breaking out” hashtags, in real time. We really hope you’ll enjoy this new free feature. And, if you like it, please, don’t forget to share your likes with your friends!

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon To Hashtagify Beta: Hashtags Trends Comparison

Some great new features are coming to hashtagify.me. Already available in beta are hashtags trends and an analysis of the days of the week and times for the day when each hashtags are more used.

Coming soon to the beta is the ability to compare the trends of different hashtags; If you want to get an example of this feature, you can check out this blog post on Social Media Sun.

prism-hashtags-timeline

15 Million Hashtags, And Counting

hashtagify15millionHashtagify.me has been collecting data about hashtags on Twitter since April 2011, and the use of hashtags has only been going up since then. So, after little more than two years, we’re proud to announce that today we passed the mark of 15 million hashtags classified in our systems, that you can still search and browse almost instantly.

Not just that. In the next weeks we’re going to release on hashtagify.me many new, advanced features, and still for the same convenient price of 0 USD.

Now that we’re talking about it, would you like to know why is hashtagify.me free, and help us keeping it that way? You can do that, read about our approach, and validate it with your feedback. Oh, and you can also gain early access to our new features – you just need to answer a few questions about which features you’d like more. Read more.