Hashtag Analytics 101: Mentions

Want to track the success of a #campaign? Or figure out what hashtags to include in your content?Ā Mentions is one of the most basic, but most useful, metrics in either case. Hashtags can help users discover new content and provide a dynamic way to participate in trending events or create your own.

Hashbabble is a hashtag analytics tool that measures mentions for Instagram, and that’s the platform used to define the metric in this post.

Definition: Mentions

On Instagram, mentions are calculated as the total number of posts that include a given hashtag. Every post or comment including the hashtag counts as a new mention, but repeats of the hashtag within a single post are counted as one. AĀ user might use the hashtag ten times in one photo description on Instagram, but the would be counted as one mention.

In Hashbabble, a hashtag analytics tool, the total number of mentions is captured for a 24 hour period as well as per minute.

The graph below, taken from Hashbabble, shows both versions of the metric for a hashtag.


The hashtag being measured in the graph hovers around 1 mention per minute (left axis), with 1,120 mentions total over the past 24 hours (right axis).

Total mentions over 24 hours is most useful when analyzing the overall success of a campaign, while mentions per minute is a better indicator of how viral a hashtag is now.

Mentions vs Users

Mentions is the total number of posts with the hashtag, while engaged users is the total number of unique people who used the hashtag. If one user includes the hashtag in 100 different posts, those posts would each be counted as a mention. The enthusiastic user would be counted as one user.

Both metrics are valuable for marketers. Comparing Users to Mentions can indicate the depth of engagement for a hashtag. A high number of mentions and a lower number of users means higher engagement for a smaller group. An equal number of mentions and users, or close to an equal number, shows lower engagement: every user included the hashtag in a post about once.

The 3 Components of Mentions

Hashbabble currently measures mentions on Instagram using components that accurately capture the popularity of a hashtag. Mentions for the platform can be broken down into the following 3 components:

  1. Photo descriptions: The number of photo descriptions that include the hashtag.
  2. Video descriptions: The number of video descriptions that include the hashtag.
  3. Comments: Any comment including a hashtag is counted as a mention.

What if a description or comment includes the hashtag more than once? One description, no matter how many times the hashtag is repeated in it, is counted as one mention.

Understanding mentions for a hashtag will help you refine your Instagram strategy and connect with new followers. Happy #tagging!

Each post in ourĀ Hashtag Analytics 101Ā guide breaks down a different hashtag metric to help you improve your social strategy.Ā