I sat down to write the top things I learned after hosting the 2013 Association of College Unions International Region 8 Conference this past week and was sidetracked when a student emailed me. She was doing some research and entered the conference hashtag (#acui8) into HashTracking to analyze the results. I’d heard of HashTracking before, but it had completely fallen off my radar and onto the my long list of things to look into when I have some time. (Right below Flipboard and above the list of professional development books I’d like to read.) Since that email my day has been derailed diving further into the insights provided by HashTracking.
Every week the Student Affairs Blog sponsors a Twitter chat (#SAChat), so I decided to track the chat via HashTracking. It was very interesting to look at the results. From this information organizers can tell how many people contributed, how many Tweets were composed, what percent of tweets were original or retweets, and what systems were being used to access the chat. I caution against putting too much emphasis on the reach of the tweet and timeline deliveries because tweets have very short shelf lives and those measurements can be misleading – especially during a Twitter chat.
Another great aspect of tools such as HashTracking is that you can also listen to what customers are saying. Account managers can get a better feel for where their company name is popping up and what is being said about it. Many of these tools don’t just measure hashtags, but also words and phrases. Below are some of the analytics from the #SAchat session on November 21, 2013.
If you’re planning an event I highly recommend establishing a hashtag early and setting up HashTracking. (You can sign up for a free 30 day trial and then move onto paid options if you utilize a lot of hashtags.) Because we didn’t set up tracking prior to the conference, we weren’t able to fully analyze the results. The system doesn’t work very well going back in time. We were also able to set up monitors in two locations in the building that displayed live tweets throughout the conference and we displayed the live tweets during receptions and prior to keynote speakers. It was a great way to encourage interaction with other conference attendees via Twitter and see what attendees were talking about.
In addition to using HashTracking, I’ve been having some fun with Tagboard. Tagboard is great because it allows you to monitor conversations across multiple platforms. You can see what people are saying about you and where they’re saying it. This provides you with the opportunity to see which social networks your customers are on and if you should or should not join. Tagboard is a great listening tool.
Twitter was a great resource for our conference and has been very successful in enhancing customer engagement for many companies. Though the metrics are still being developed, there are some great tools out there to start measuring hashtag engagement. Is anyone else using HashTracking or Tagboard?