How to use Hashtags for Competitive Analysis

Have you checked out the competition? Before implementing any hashtag campaign it’s a good idea to evaluate what tags your competitors are using and how they are performing. Some of these tags may be obvious as they contain the brand or campaign name. But some are less obvious.

Types of hashtags to look for include:

  1. Brand/Campaign hashtags: These are the most obvious types of hashtags to track, in both the long and short term.
  2. Event hashtags: Are your competitors playing host to, sponsoring or participating in any events or conferences that use a hashtag?
  3. Alliance hashtags: What brand alliances, non profit orgs or public interest groups are your competitors active in and/or do they promote? It’s smart to track how the competitor is viewed in association with causes and community efforts.
  4. Chat/Conversation hashtags: Do your competitors lead or participate in community chats, informational chats or other formal/informal conversations? Keep tabs on these hashtags to learn how they are using these efforts to their advantage
  5. Pop Culture hashtags: Holidays, television specials, politics and weather, amongst other “pop culture” happenings and movements, generate a lot of hashtags. Oftentimes these hashtags are associated with brands. So if your competitor is #Doritos, you might want to pay attention to the #Superbowl hashtag.

Tracking your competitor’s tags gives you a better understanding of the playing field and a leg up when launching your own social media campaigns. Some key things to look for:

  • What they are saying: Monitoring your competitor’s hashtags is like being a fly on the wall at their focus group. Get a read on what users want from the competitor, and what their users are happy/unhappy with, and use this to your advantage.
  • Brand Enthusiasts: Monitor your competitor’s tags to learn who’s talking about them, and possibly you. Identify super users and fans and build your own lists of users to reach out to.
  • Peak Activity Hours: Observe and record when are people most likely to engage about products or services like yours
  • Regional Data: Use competitive analysis to ascertain whether there any localized areas of activity and tailor your efforts to target these areas.
  • What Resonates: Competitive hashtag analysis can identify which messages traveled the farthest and made the biggest impression.
  • Influencers: Competitive hashtag analysis gives you an idea who is leading the discussion and/or perceived as a trusted expert or popular figure in your field, allowing you to quickly reach out to the individuals that matter the most.

About Ciaran Blumenfeld

Ciaran Blumenfeld is a serial entrepreneur with a pedigree in marketing & advertising. She's one of the original co-founders of Hashtracking. She enjoys a strong, engaged personal social media presence with footholds in the parenting, lifestyle and travel markets. As a marketer Ciaran can be found overseeing multi-platform digital campaigns from strategy to execution. This is when her geek side shows.

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