You want a quick ‘n’ dirty idea of how your ultra-creative, perfectly-planned hashtag campaign is doing on Twitter. The trouble is, you don’t even know what you mean by “how it’s doing.” What does a meaningful bird’s eye view require?
Let’s use the classic “What would you bring to a deserted island if you could only bring three things?” scenario. If you must choose three metrics to take with you to Twitter Island, I suggest one that’s essential, one that dives deep, and one that’s purely comparative – or to put it in Twitter context:
Why these three metrics? Lets take a look.
I got my numbers here by running a Twitter Activity Report and looking at the “Stream Tweets Over Time” section, but you can do it any way you want; manually or otherwise. This chart doesn’t just give me overall volume, it breaks it down into Retweets, @Replies, and Mentions of my chosen hashtag, as well.
Finding out how many times my hashtag has been used – and in what way – gives me a strong, immediate idea of whether my hashtag is going viral or going nowhere. I recommend looking at your usage numbers on a weekly basis for a long-term campaign, and on a bi-daily basis for a short-term campaign – schedule a report to arrive with your morning coffee and one to pop up just in time for your evening commute or afternoon marketing meeting.
So now you know how many times your hashtag has been used. But how many times have human eyes seen it? How many possible impressions have you made on the Tweeting public?
For instance, Donald Tweets your hashtag #DuckLove. That’s one mention – you have that number already. But then his friend Goofy, ever the supportive and playful pup, Retweets that Tweet. Now Donald’s original Tweet is going to show up on the feeds of all Goofy’s followers, too. How do you measure that? Through Potential Impressions, of course.
In the world of marketing, we’re expected to report on data in a context that makes sense to other teams. Traditional marketers and advertisers are very familiar with impressions; a metric used by print advertisers to gauge the value of a publication or advertisement.
Last up, make sure you know where your hashtag stands in the competitive space around your brand. Research your competitors’ hashtags and track ‘em both on the same chart. This’ll give you an idea of how you stack up – and maybe even how you can take advantage of the lulls in volume for that dastardly enemy hashtag.
Compare relative volume, and then compare tactics and trends. What can you learn from other hashtag campaigns – both your own, or a competitors.
What’s your can’t-live-without-it metric around your killer Twitter hashtags? What is helpful and what is meaningless? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to start a free trial when it’s time to stop guessing and start measuring – click the button! Click the button!