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The Complete Hashtag Analytics Guide 2020

From tracking exactly which hashtags performed the best for your posts to how to optimize your strategy, our Hashtag Analytics Guide is here to help.

Posted 4 years ago
hashtag analytics guide

Written by

Julia Cohen
Posted 4 years ago
If you’re trying to grow your Instagram account, it’s not only important to ask yourself what to post, but also why you’re posting something. Developing a clear understanding of your hashtag analytics helps you work out how to target the right people, and what has been successful for your page so far.
But, analytics can be confusing. Knowing which metrics are the most useful is one thing, actually working the results of your Instagram analytics into a clear-cut strategy is another. In this guide, we walk you through the essential Instagram analytics you should consider, with examples from our newly released analytics suite – we’ll also show you how to discover the specific hashtags you performed well or ranked on. Taking each point into consideration, you should be able to develop a better idea of what works, and what doesn’t, giving you a personalized, data-driven Instagram marketing strategy.

#1: Understand which specific hashtags are working (and which aren’t) 🧐

Believe it or not, hashtag performance is actually an essential metric to consider if you want an indication of how and why some posts might perform better than others. Understanding this can also help you build on your existing hashtag strategy, with analytics based on confirmed performance, making your posts a lot more likely to drum up engagement.

So, what are the essential analytics that you should be considering when it comes to hashtags? 📓

First and foremost, a new metric that the team at Flick are excited to introduce, is how you actually rank on specific hashtags. Before, you could only see hashtag performance via impressions, which doesn’t show which exact hashtags are actually getting you the reach. Whilst you can use impressions to see whether your group of hashtags worked, you would have to manually check if you had ranked on a hashtag, in order to try and determine which hashtags worked, and which didn’t.
Within the content tab of our new analytics suite, you are able to see whether or not a specific post ranked on a specific hashtag and what position it ranked in alongside key post performance metrics such as engagement rate, reach, impressions, likes, comments and saves.
Below every post, you will see the performance of your hashtags, which shows whether your post ranked within the ‘top posts’ section of any hashtags, alongside what those hashtags were. You can see whether it appeared in the top 9, top 10-25 or the top 25-50 – which should give you an indication as to which hashtags you might want to re-use and perform well for your specific account. However, it is important not to make a decision on one post alone – check in on individual post performance, but when it comes to making decisions, use the ‘Hashtags’ tab (in the Analytics suite) to group and find the right hashtags performing well across all your posts.
Another way to understand your hashtag performance is by looking at the overall insights of the hashtags you have been using. Within the Hashtags tab you can see the performance of your hashtags over time.
For those of you using the Analytics Pro plan, Flick is constantly watching out for your new posts, and tracking the hashtags that are attached to them.
Flick will automatically start categorizing hashtags you’ve used into different performance groups to help you discover the hashtags that are consistently providing you with the best results. Flick will also look at the hashtags that are regularly failing to provide results, on autopilot. This allows you to determine which hashtags to keep using, and which hashtags you should replace.
Once you’ve taken a look at which hashtags are offering you the best results, you can dig a little deeper, and understand the analytics behind your top-performing hashtags. This lets you specifically view the number of times you have used a hashtag, your average ranking position on that hashtags and the hashtag size, all of which is considered in the overall efficiency score of that hashtag specifically for your account. The efficiency score takes your performance into consideration to give you a succinct indicator as to how well that hashtag does for your account overall – an easy way to check whether or not you might want to use it on future posts. This score is measured out of 100 and is relative to the hashtags you have used – this means the more hashtags you use, the more accurate that score is.
This all helps you analyze your performance and hashtag usage over time, which will give you a better insight into which hashtags you should implement into your future strategy. The data we show you is split into ‘Performance Metrics’ and ‘Hashtag Data’.
Performance Metrics refers to: the times a hashtag is used, the times your posts rank on a hashtag, the percentage of times your post ranks on a hashtag, your average position that your posts rank on a hashtag and your efficiency score. These are all helpful metrics to determine whether you should use a hashtag as part of your future strategy. As a quick example, if you use a hashtag 15 times and your posts rank 14 times, on average ranking in the ‘top 2 posts’ section of that hashtag, it’s a good indicator that it is performing well. Take all of the metrics into account and take your time – you’ll get the swing of things quickly – read our Hashtag Metrics Help Book for more information on how to interpret these analytics results.
Hashtag Data refers to: the DAPC (daily average post count within a given hashtag), the average likes of the posts within a hashtag and the Media Count (total number of posts in a given hashtag). Taking a look at these KPIs will help you understand whether a hashtag matches up to your own performance, and will give an indication as to how competitive a certain hashtag is, and the potential reach you may receive by using it.
The results you see are all relative to the hashtags you’ve used, so for the best outcome you should make sure you have enough posts to analyze/base your decisions off of.
By understanding and checking up on these metrics, you can alter your hashtag strategy to make your Instagram process more streamlined and increase growth. Using the right hashtags will help you reach the right people – which means a larger, engaged audience on your account.
📝 Put it in to practice: Analyze your hashtag performance in order to improve your strategy. Take a look at which hashtags your posts tend to rank on – it’s really important to look out for trends!
By using the Content section of the Analytics Suite, and looking at specific posts as well as which hashtags worked for them individually, you might find that location-based hashtags work well for your travel posts, or niche/specific hashtags work really well for your fashion posts.
By using the Hashtags Section of the Analytics Suite, you can look at your hashtag use and performance over time, which will allow you to adjust your strategy accordingly. Pick out a few trends, and let this help you build your strategy and collection of hashtags for each type of post. Your results can be telling as to what kind of hashtags you should use more of on different styles of post, maximizing your results.

📲 Here’s some important things to note:

  • We’ll only display metrics after you’ve used a hashtag on at least 3 posts (in order to give you a more reliable set of results) so create a few core sets of hashtags and use them as much as possible.
  • Keep your eye on the hashtags you rank on – but not all the time – this could be a great indicator that the hashtag is relevant for a specific type of post.
  • It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Give your hashtag usage some time and look to improve your results as you go.
  • The ‘efficiency’ score of a hashtag will get more accurate the more you use the hashtag. (More data = more accurate understanding!
  • Use the content tab to see the hashtag performance of a specific post, and use the hashtag tab to analyze which hashtags have worked over an extended period of time.

#2 Get a general overview of your page performance 🎤

There are a lot of metrics that can provide you with an analysis of how your page is performing overall. Looking at a general overview of your profile at a certain point in time, is a good indicator as to whether your recent posts are working (or aren’t), what your followers respond best to, and whether a new theme or style you are trying out is working for you.
The Overview section of the Analytics Suite allows you to keep on top of key metrics, making it easier for you to get a quick performance overview, every time you post. Instagram’s in-app analytics can be tricky when it comes to providing an overview of your account health, so you can regularly and simply check this section to understand where you can make improvements.

✔️ The top indicators that will provide you with an overview of how well your Instagram is performing:

Follower change: Whether you gained or lost followers, you can compare your performance over a specific time period to analyze why you may have seen peaks or troughs. It’s likely that your audience will unfollow if they feel your content no longer resonates with them, and follow if they feel your content is interesting. Try and see which time periods have provided you with the most change after you sign up, and analyze why this might be – could it be a post that ranked highly on a hashtag that increased your reach, or could it be a time period that you weren’t posting that made you see a dip in followers? Consider this and implement the positive and negative learnings into your strategy.
People reached: The people you have actually reached over a certain period of time is also important in showing whether your followers (or new audiences) are actually seeing your posts. Compare one time period to another to see if your reach is consistent or growing, as this can be a great indicator of the visibility of your page.
Reach vs. Impressions: Whilst your reach shows the number of unique people your page was shown to, impressions demonstrates how many people saw your posts overall (including repeat visitors). Comparing the two can be useful as it can help you determine whether your posts are being shown to new audiences.
Profile activity: Finally, consider your overall profile activity. This includes profile views, website clicks and email clicks. Here, you can see whether people are actually visiting your page after seeing a post, or just giving it a like and scrolling onwards. If you’d like more people to visit your page, consider including more CTAs in the posts you do to try and draw users in to your actual profile.

#3 Analyze your audience 📈

Finally, you should consider metrics that tell you a little bit about who exactly is following your account (and therefore contributing to any Instagram engagement you might get). You can start to draw up a profile of your average follower by looking at age and gender, top countries, cities and languages and their overall activity.
By understanding this, you can also understand who is receptive to the content you are posting, and whether they fit within your target audience. If they don’t, consider switching up your content and hashtags.
Another indicator of when you should be posting, is by looking at the audience activity indicator, which shows when your audience is the most active, by day and time. This should allow you to work into your strategy when you should be posting, which will up your engagement and give you a better chance of reaching new audiences. The more engagement you get on a post, the more your post is shown to new audiences, so this is important to consider if you want to grow your Instagram account.

🔎 Let’s recap:

Analytics are almost as important as posting, because if you are posting on your Instagram without a data-driven strategy, you’re a whole lot less likely to see results. Remember to consider:
  1. The hashtags you are using, and whether they are performing well. If not, see which ones specifically perform well per post, and re-jig your strategy based on this.
  2. Gather a topline overview of how your page is performing. Look at specific analytics to understand where you could improve, or why you are seeing certain trends.
  3. Don’t forget about your existing audience. It’s easy to get caught up on follower counts and gaining a new audience, but it’s important to pay attention to your current audience and their behaviour when interacting with your page.
Try our our new Hashtag Analytics Suite here:


#1: Understand which specific hashtags are working (and which aren’t) 🧐

#2 Get a general overview of your page performance 🎤

#3 Analyze your audience 📈

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