The Hashtag Approach To Monitoring Competition

May 8, 2013
Hashtags are very useful for advertisers, not only for bringing in clients and followers but also to gauge the competition. A lot of other companies in the same field are using hashtags to solidify their status in the market, which is why you have to learn how to monitor the changes and developments and respond accordingly. You can also get vital information on how to strengthen your campaign by creating more interesting and meaningful hashtags. Here are some tips on how you can stay at the top.

Understanding the Kinds of Hashtags

Campaign or brand hashtags are among the most common types. By visiting them you will learn a lot of marketing insights, such as how sellers post attractive pictures and provide useful information that customers keep coming back for. An example of a brand hashtag is #iPhone5. Event hashtags are another type that provides information about upcoming activities and programs. These will be useful in strategizing for your own events and campaigns. An example of this is #USElections2012 Conversation hashtags basically focus on communicating with clients. As a seller, you need to answer questions quickly, as well as check how products and services served the clients. Get feedback and ask for comments and suggestions. An example of this hashtag is #journalism. Alliance hashtags are those that involve certain causes that benefit special groups and communities. A lot of companies partner with non-profit organizations to draw more people provide a more humanitarian approach that will improve their relationship with customers. A great example is #YouthAgenda. Popular hashtags are those that discuss current events and controversial issues. It will help keep followers interested. Following these trending hashtags will provide you with several ideas on how to showcase your company and engage with the target market. Proper timing is vital so you can keep clients updated and let them know about future events. A good example of this hashtag is #Obama.

Observing and Monitoring Hashtags

When using hashtags to check out the competition, you have to observe several factors. Read some of the posts of the participants and determine the strong and weak areas of the specific company. Determine the peak periods or hours as well as the seasons when the products are in high or low demand. Observe other partner companies and brands and find out what strategies they are currently employing or intend to use in the next few weeks or months. Let's see this hashtag #Starbucks by Starbucks, for instance. Analytics will show you how many tweets were sent using it at a particular hour or month, how many impressions its made, who's using it most often and what users are saying about it.


Now let's compare the reach of the hashtag #CBTL by another coffee company Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. By looking at the analytics of both companies, we see which hashtag is reaching more people by looking at "Impressions" and also get to find out what exactly people are using their hashtags for.


By looking at these graphs, we see instantly that #Starbucks has more impressions over the past week, which could probably mean that #CBTL needs to step up its game when it comes to promoting its hashtag, which appears to have peaked at only one time in the past month. You can track hashtag performance as far back as one year. Determine the different locations and areas where the company or brand is most popular. Find out more about their current campaigns in certain cities or towns. Observe the most attractive posts and media content that the account provided. You can use the same approach in your own hashtags later on. Also point out the key clients or the most important participants and moderators. Look for your own set of relevant clients or even invite some of these people to join your conversations. Compare the various prizes and benefits offered by companies in each hashtag then write down the best and worst techniques. Come up with better ideas or imitate some of the most effective approaches then avoid the common pitfalls. Studying others? hashtags will keep you updated so you can make the necessary adjustments to best appeal to your target audience.  

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