As digital marketers, it’s easy to get caught up in doing something because it’s the next big thing sweeping the industry. But because we’re digital marketers and everything we do is data-driven, it’s important to take a step back and re-examine our tactics from time to time. Every marketing effort must be tracked and analyzed, allowing us to use the data to pinpoint trends and improve upon effective tactics while doing away with those less successful.

Your social strategy is no different. For example, are you using hashtags within your tweets? If so, are you using them just because everyone else is using them or someone somewhere down the road told you that you should? Or are you actually using them because you carefully tracked your own Twitter messaging,  analyzed your findings, and now have a full artillery of data to back up your  methods? Didn’t think so.

Luckily, someone out there did. By tracking nearly 450 tweeted messages for three separate Twitter handles over the period of one month, Levelwing was able to compare the click-through rates of tweets with hashtags against those without. Hashtags used throughout the month varied, but always included trigger words the target audience would use to find the products offered by each company behind the accounts.

What they found was consistent across all three accounts – overall, it seemed that when compared to non-hashtagged messages, hashtags resulted in higher engagement and transfer rates:

Account #1: 5% higher click-through success rate using hashtags

Account #2: 11% higher click-through success rate using hashtags

Account #3: 11% higher click-through success rate using hashtags

Need help getting started? Here are a few basic tips on how to use hashtags as part of your social strategy:

1. Before including the hashtag, look it up to be sure it’s actually being used elsewhere on Twitter. If no one else is using it, it’s probably not a great term. One way to do this is through

2. While researching the term, look at how it’s being used across Twitter, not just how often. What might sound like a great keyword to you may actually be used more frequently in a completely different context, sometimes a very negative context. Hardly something you want to place your brand next to.

3. Consumers want to categorize you. Make it easier for them to understand what you do by using hashtags that are relevant to your industry, company and product/service offering.