Likes and followers are easy measurements for assessing your company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. But how do you measure a bigger campaign where you ask fans to engage? Hashtag campaigns involve posts from fans that use a certain hashtag to follow a conversation. Analytics are tough to collect for hashtag campaigns compared to a standard social media campaign that comes straight from social accounts you manage. Demonstrating the success of the campaign is a vital part of your job, but it’s tough with a campaign that’s occurring on multiple platforms. Plus, fan-created content is harder to track and control than the posts on your brand’s page.

Here are our key metrics to track to demonstrate the success of your campaign:

  1. Total Number of Posts
    Understanding how many people are actually engaging with the campaign is important. We’re fans of the hashtag tracking service Keyhole, which will keep track of the total number of posts using your hashtag on public Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Tracking consistent engagement with the hashtag over time is the easiest way to demonstrate the success of the campaign.
  2. Reach
    This measurement determines the number of people who saw your post. This number is often lower than impressions, which include the same person seeing a post multiple times as unique impressions. We’ve found reach to be more useful in determining the size of the audience that has been exposed to a campaign.
  3. Positive/Negative
    At the same time, it’s important to keep track of how many of the posts are positive or relevant to your campaign. You don’t want to count a #McDStories disaster as a success based purely on the number of posts and their wide reach. Looking through the list of original posts and marking as positive or negative can help determine the actual outcome of your campaign.
  4. Engaged Users
    How many people are actually participating in the campaign? If you have a small but vocal group, the reach of the campaign will be more limited but sustained. With a large group that only shares content a few times, the reach will be broad but not long-lasting. Determine which is most important to the goals of your campaign. Watch for any influencers who are engaging with your hashtag, and interact with them on social to further the reach of the campaign.
  5. Click-Throughs
    Ultimately, you’re trying to educate an audience or encourage them to purchase a product or service. The end goal of many of these campaigns often resides on your website, whether it’s on a particular landing page or a microsite dedicated to the hashtag. Tracking the number of people who click-through to your web content will determine how engaged your fans are with the campaign. Pull the number of clicks from social in your Google Analytics report to determine how many visitors to your website are coming from content you or others post on social media.
  6. Longevity
    Be sure to track how active your hashtag is over time. Compare the metrics above week-by-week or month-by-month to determine growth of the campaign. Some hashtag campaigns are purposefully short term and die out within a few days, like those surrounding specific events. But other campaigns build month-by-month, gaining a greater following over time. These campaigns can take hold and turn into lifestyle hashtags, such as #RealPigFarming.
  7. Location
    Determine where all these posts are coming from to be sure that you are engaging with the right audience. Great numbers mean nothing if it’s all an international audience and you don’t ship your product overseas. If all these numbers are high and you’re reaching your pre-defined target audience, the campaign is a success!