Instagram is the realm of hashtags. Unlike Twitter, there is no limit to the number of characters and you can type as much as you want. But hey, users typically draw the line at 30 hashtags. Instagram hashtags are different from Facebook hashtags basically because these two platforms do not operate in the same way. While Instagram is a hashtag heavy platform, using the same captions on Facebook with not do you much good. And don’t even get me started on Google plus. The difference is simply abysmal.

Most would maintain that yes, platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Instagram use hashtags to categorize content, classify trending topics, gather conversations, and increase virality. The only difference is, these functions have a much higher potential and success rate on Instagram.

But how do we take advantage of that potential? You can do this by analyzing the information related to the hashtag to boost your own communication on Instagram.

How does one analyze a hashtag on Instagram?

Here are the 10 keys points you should focus on:

  1. Impressions. The number and evolution of the impressions will tell us the amount of potential impact a post can generate. The greater the number of impressions, the higher the possibility of an image becoming viral. If the hashtag is gaining strength, take advantage of it. Do you have daily peaks that are more or less consistent over time? Understanding this trend will help you know when it is convenient for you to publish a new image.
  2. Scope. How many unique users has the hashtag reached? It will help you in determining the relevance of your hashtag.
  3. Issuing users. The more users use your hashtag, the more popular the hashtag will be. But do not dwell on the number of users alone, identify the most influential users, consider those who have the most followers and “likes” generated. Note the most active users and those who have highest number of posts using your hashtag. These are the users who can help you catalyze your content. Interact with them, comment on their photos, follow them,  and hit the “Like” button. Make yourself known to them.
  4. Associated hashtags. What are the most repeated hashtags? Include those to amplify your content too.
  5. Most used terms. What words are repeated most frequently in the descriptions of the images? It will allow you to identify conversation nuclei, associated concepts, and related themes. Are the terms associated with positive or negative feelings?
  6. Geographic origin. Know where your type of content is most popular.
  7. Most relevant posts. You will discover what content instagrammers like best. Knowing this, are there any best-practices you can apply? Decide if this kind of information is something that you can use  to boost your communication strategy.
  8. Types of published content. Besides photos, are there any videos? Do you have any other content ideas that inspire you?
  9. Employ filters. In them lies one of the trademark features of Instagram. Does the use of a particular filter stand out? And in what type of photo? Well, if you really want to stand out, you’ll have to work on your aesthetics a little more.
  10. Most mentioned users. Does one user or Instagram follower in particular stand out in the comments? Ask yourself. Why and how are they this popular?

With what tools can we analyze a hashtag in Instagram?

Check out and compare these five tools:

1. Hastracking

It tells you the total number of published posts, likes, comments, reach and impressions. You can also see the most influential and active users, and view the latest publications. The free version requires previous registration with Instagram and only shows a selection of the last 200 posts.

2. Keyhole

Includes temporary graphics on the daily use of hashtags, total number of users involved, images with the most “likes”, the most influential users, the most recent users, geographical distribution and sex of users, as well as a cloud of words and most frequent hashtags. No need to register, but the free version will only offer a random selection of posts.

3. Tagboard

It is a very basic tool that generates very simple information for free. It shows you the overall feeling (either positive, negative or neutral) associated with your  post and your last published images.

4. Tagsleuth

This includes word cloud, most active and influential users, most used filters, temporary usage graph, most mentioned users, most popular photos and geographical distribution. The free version only collects data for up to 100 posts.

5. Pirendo

It provides complete information with graphs containing the time evolution of publications and interactions, impressions, reach, likes, comments, total number of users, associated words and hashtags, most used filters, filters that have generated the most interactions, most participative users and their type of content (whether photo or video), as well as a complete list of your previous posts. This also comes with the possibility to compare several hashtags. It has no free version. The cost is 20 EUR per month per hashtag.

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