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Data Visualization

Understanding Hashtag Analytics Using Social BI

As a social networking producer for an international supplement company, I was regularly tasked with reporting on campaign metrics pulled from several social platforms. Social media platforms make up 33 percent of all internet usage, so capturing and effectively reporting on social media data can be an enormous task.

I was tasked with connecting Instagram hashtag engagement to sales conversion. I needed to report on Instagram engagement stats alongside regional sales numbers and leads generated. 

I was present for the 2016 vegan boom. That year, vegan content became 300% more popular than ever, and we were a vegan company promoting a raw vegan diet. When I started working with them, we had 43k followers. By the time I left, their following count had almost tripled, reaching 108k. The internal content team was the only digital marketing available.

This growth of 65k followers resulted from taking advantage of the fact that people were using Instagram every hour to find ideas on improving their health. Hashtag marketing was a large part of this.

The right hashtag and content combo would get us in view of tens of thousands of new impressions a day.

Understanding Social Media Analytics

Though we had reached a significant following, it wasn't enough to catch up to our competitors. We were faced with the issue of not being able to export data from other social media platforms. 

I was unable to generate the data visualizations that we needed to adopt a necessary competitive advantage. Also, the online hashtag generators were never helpful; they were too general. 

I needed customizable data visualizations to better understand our audience and gain a broader outreach.

I needed to analyze the following KPIs:

  • Number of followers or page likes
  • Response rate
  • Demographics and location
  • Post reach
  • Post engagement
  • Comments
  • Mentions
  • Shares
  • Likes
  • Active followers
  • Traffic
Using Social Business Intelligence

With social BI, I was able to create a custom social networking BI dashboard that showed me the data's story. I wanted custom visuals to take a deeper look into my Instagram data (I could not create the visuals that I needed running Instagram insights or 3rd social media platform apps).

This discovery opened our marketing team to new opportunities, I wondered how I could further utilize interactive dashboards. 

I decided to research my hashtag use in-depth. Hashtags are an organic marketer’s lucky draw. I wanted to see what hashtags were associated with sales to fully understand our hashtag utilization and the effectiveness of each hashtag.

I exported data from different analytics sources, web, and social networking. 

With an interactive BI dashboard with two pages showing different KPIs, I was able to combine extracted data to answer several questions:

  • What are our followers' interests? 
  • What do they want to learn from us? 

We researched those hashtags that answered these questions, and I discovered that this was the best lead for gaining higher engagement.

 

Social Media BI Dashboard - Understanding Hashtag Analytics 

Data Visualizations within Hashtag Marketing

Using social BI, I created an interactive dashboard with several KPIs. I was able to drill-down on each visualization to see how the hashtag performed and how it related to:

  • Total sales from clicks per month
  • Top hashtag by click and impressions
  • Top conversions
Using a Hashtag Analytics Dashboard - Learned Outcomes

We found taking social networking cues from our followers was the most successful.

By analyzing the data in these dashboards, I was able to apply cues. Having the ability to create the BI dashboard, helped open up my strategy for hashtag marketing moving forward.

I was able to drill-down and visualize hashtag engagement and how each relates to sales conversions over a period of 3 months.

Other Gained Insights:

1. Using the same tags over and over again does not work.

2. Instagram says you can use 30 tags but don’t do that, try using up to 9.

3. Niche tags and tags with followers in the tens of thousands are more successful than tags with millions of followers.

For us, “#catsclaw” was a hit! The other top hashtags leading to sales were “#brainhealth,” “#seasealt,” and “#doglovers.”

Through the use of embedded BI, I was able to gain the ability to create the BI dashboard and enhance my data exploration efforts.

Incorporating interactive dashboards into my digital marketing methods helped open up my strategy for hashtag marketing moving forward, aided in improving my overall efficiency, and gave me new, meaningful insights into our customer interests

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About the author

Brooke Schooles

Brooke Schooles is a Creative Director and Digital Producer. Brooke has over ten years of experience assisting organizations with digital communication, UI & UX enhancements, and multimedia production. She has an MFA in Film and Digital Media and an Undergrad in Web and Multimedia.

You can connect with Brooke via LinkedIn and follow her digital media artwork page on Instagram.

 

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