6 Free Hashtag Tracking Tools - From The Experts
These days hashtags are everywhere. What started as a way to search for things on Twitter is now cross platform, multi-purpose and used by companies and individuals alike for pretty much everything; from major global events like #WorldCup Final (used around 32 million times) to expressions of solidarity like #jesuischarlie (used around 5 million times). The hashtags financial cousin – the cashtag – can even be used to track conversations about stocks and shares.
A good hashtag can capture the imagination of the online public and helps companies, organisations and even individuals dramatically increase their social media presence. Yet tracking hashtags effectively can be a bit of a challenge given the number of times they are mentioned and used in different countries, different languages and different contexts. So what’s the solution? Hashtag tracking tools.
Tools to help you track hashtags come in many shapes and sizes with some that focus on monitoring the conversation, others that focus on influencers and still others that help you understand exactly what hashtags mean. We’ve created a list of 6 free hashtag tracking tools with recommendations from social media experts that we think make a real difference to helping digital professionals and interested individuals alike in providing them with the hashtag analysis they need.
Of course for more comprehensive analysis a paid tool like Talkwalker’s powerful social media analytics platform will be required, but you can get a taste of the platform using our Free Search which allows users to easily measure the impact of hashtags looking at a variety of metrics including general buzz, engagement, sentiment and potential reach. We think it’s great (naturally) but don’t take our word for it, give it a try yourself and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Hashtagify – The Link
Sometimes when you’re trying to think of hashtags to use to promote campaigns or products you want to know how different hashtags are linked. Hashtagify shows you the different links between certain hashtags and allows you to see how closely linked and how popular they are. You can also see a selection of posts using a certain hashtag and the top influencers. Of course you can access more features if you subscribe but the free tool gives you plenty to get started. Here’s what a couple of social media experts had to say:
“We are a huge fan of Hashtagify and use it to find, analyse and amplify our tweets. It’s a great tool and is perfect for those wanting to gain better insights into their competitors and top influencers. Their Hashtags Encylopedia is particularly useful as it provides advanced filtering, and therefore makes it even easier to find hashtags.”
“My favorite free hashtag tracking tool is Hashtagify because they have two very unique features: Hashtag relationship analysis and hashtag trends (which are independent of official Twitter trends). I use Hashtagify for trend tracking, content inspiration, keyword research and social media update optimization. It’s unbelievable that those features are free.”
*Hashtagify has both free and paid elements so stick the related hashtags and top influencers tabs if you're only interested in free data.
RiteTag – The Coach
RiteTag is interesting in that it’s basically a kind of hashtag personal trainer. You’ll need to sign in with your Twitter account first, but once you do the tool judges whether the hashtags you’re using in your tweets are appropriate. You can also look through a list of currently trending hashtags and find a whole host of statistics including the number of tweets and retweets per hour and potential reach. It’s a great all round tool that helps you improve your own use of hashtags whilst giving you statistical insight into popular hashtags that you may be able to use to improve your own campaigns.
*Many elements of RiteTag are free, or free if you sign in but they do offer more data and options if you sign up for the paid version like post scheduling and hashtag suggestions to name a few.
Tagboard – The Pinboard
Tagboard is a great way to get a quick, very visual snapshot of how a hashtag is being used across multiple platforms. You can also see hashtags that are linked to the one you searched for which is handy for major events that often have multiple hashtags. By filtering the results you see by social network so you can see how hashtag usage changes between different platforms and the sentiment gauge helps to determine whether the public are using the hashtag positively or negatively. I actually took a look at Tagboard in a previous blog about social search tools but it’s probably even better as a hashtag tracking tool. Here is what one of our experts had to say:
Andrea Vahl (@AndreaVahl), Co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and Creator of @GrandmaMaryShow
“I like using Tagboard to do searches for Hashtag use across several social platforms at once. You can easily aggregate the results and see how people are using the hashtag.”
*Since publication, Tagboard's free version now offers only a sample view of how hashtags are being used. For more data you now need to pay unfortunately!
Hashtags.org – The Encyclopedia
Hashtags.org is the go to place for general information on hashtags. It’s probably most useful for finding out the top trending hashtags in different genre’s such as business, tech, entertainment etc. But it also includes a wealth of resources such as instructions on how to use hashtags, latest news and general info about using Twitter too. It’s a great learning resource for those just getting started with hashtags and the articles can give you ideas on what makes a hashtag successful.
*Hashtags.org also provides a variety of paid options to track two or more hashtags at once and access more in-depth data. You'll get 24 hours trend volume, influencers and tweets of note based on sample data for free.
Twubs – The Community
Twubs is interesting in that it’s more to do with joining and creating conversations about particular hashtags. For example, you can check the hashtag directory to find specific hashtag feeds and then join a kind of hashtag chatroom. Alternatively, if you’ve made your own hashtag you can register it, create your own hashtag chatroom and then embed the hashtag feed into your website or blog. It’s an interesting way to get closer to conversations about hashtags and helps you to understand specific conversations that are happening in real-time. Here is how Paul Chaney describes it:
“Twubs is designed to provide a better way to conduct, manage and follow Twitter hashtag chats. Landing pages can be embedded into websites or used as a standalone page.” From 8 Twitter Hashtag Tracking Tools
Trendsmap – The Bird’s Eye View
If you want to see what the world is talking about, Trendsmap gives you an instant overview. In the free version, you can instantly see the current most popular hashtags in every country and region in the world. You can zoom in and out of the map to get the exact view that you want and the overall effect is visually appealing. If you’re tracking major, global hashtags then it’s great way to see exactly where the hashtag is getting the most attention. It can also be useful for understanding how major events are being talked about in different parts of the world.
*Trendsmap offers a variety of paid options to get more data on top of the free elements described above.
With hashtags increasingly being used across all social networks (and even in news articles), the ways they are used and the frequency with which they are used are likely to continue changing. With the help of Talkwalker Free Search and these tools, you can make sure you know what’s going on and act accordingly.
So what are your favourite hashtags tools and how have they helped you? Let us know in the comments below!