Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram has evolved significantly, introducing plenty of features that have since become essential in music marketers’ toolkits. 

One constant in its suite of features have been hashtags, which still present a crucial opportunity to boost an account’s visibility on the platform and help it to be discovered by new audiences. The platform Keyhole provides important tools that can help grow an artist’s Instagram audience through the strategic use of hashtags. 

As hashtag analytics just form one part of Keyhole’s offering, when logging into the website you’ll find a distinct interface with the following tabs: Hashtag & Keyword Tracking; Social Media Account Analytics; and Influencer Management. For the purposes of this tool’s piece we will focus solely on the first two categories. 

The Hashtag & Keyword Tracking tab allows users to add trackers to hashtags and keywords across not only Instagram but also Twitter, YouTube and media websites. 

Before starting to use Keyhole, artists and their teams should make a list of keywords that are relevant for their account. You can then set up trackers for a selection of these hashtags, with Keyhole delivering real-time data on every post and mention as well as engagement and reach metrics. 

For each tracked hashtag, Keyhole shows users a word cloud of other hashtags people use alongside it in their post to help you to tap into new audiences. After running these trackers for a while, you may change the tracked hashtags as this will help you explore which ones work best for your account. 

“You can’t just post any hashtag and expect results,” stresses Keyhole. “If you post on a top trending topic, you may be drowned out within minutes. If you post on a hashtag nobody uses, your posts will fall on deaf ears.” 

Instead of posting arbitrary hashtags and not comparing the kind of visibility and engagement they yield for the account, identifying hashtags that have high engagement but fewer accounts that use them can make a huge difference in terms of getting in front of potential new fans. 

What is very interesting about Keyhole is that it uses artificial intelligence to try and predict how your hashtags will perform the following day, week and month. The company claims that it is the only platform that delivers these predictions. 

While artist teams can dig into the native analytics of Instagram to see how many impressions were generated as a result of the hashtags of a particular post, they will only be able to see this retrospectively and not on a hashtag-by-hashtag basis. 

Keyhole on the other hand, will be able to help predict the amount of engagement, reach and impressions for individual hashtags. Therefore, the platform not only saves you the work of comparing hashtag performance manually, it can also get more precise and help you with your decision-making for future posts. 

By analysing the performance of certain hashtags in this manner, artist teams can make sure that the hashtags being used on their artists’ content generate the highest visibility and engagement to grow the artist’s account. 

In order to make it easy to keep track of how a campaign is doing and also share these results, Keyhole enables users to download PDF and CSV reports or you can opt to share real-time dashboard links with any partners. There’s also a search function that helps you go deeper into how your hashtags are being used. 

Let’s say you create a branded hashtag for an artist’s new album campaign. You can set up advanced searches with modifiers such as “and”/“not”/“or” and deep filters to find specific conversations. 

This can help you to stay on top of positive comments you’d like to interact with to reward the fans engaging with you. These hashtag insights become truly powerful when paired with the overall account analytics provided by Keyhole. When connecting your accounts, Keyhole will backfill the dashboard with up to one year’s worth of data. You’ll be able to see how your average likes, comments and engagement rates develop over time and receive actionable recommendations for how you can supercharge the account in question. This includes your most advantageous post time, optimal amount of hashtags and a comparison of most frequent post types versus most engaging post types. This not only takes Instagram’s native analytics into a dashboard that makes these insights more easy to compare but also provides additional insights that can be incredibly helpful. When authenticating the artist’s Instagram profile to be tracked, Keyhole will also be able to collect Stories and follower insights.

Keyhole comes with a free trial – but the trial version differs from the premium plan significantly. On the paid version, pricing will mainly depend on how many trackers you would like to use – and there’s a 50% discount if you choose to pay annually instead of monthly. The Professional tier features three trackers and comes at $199 a month when billed monthly (again, with 50% discount for paying annually). Users can add more trackers for $25 each (or $23 each if paying annually as this is a bolton feature outside of the 50% discount mentioned above). The Corporation tier is available for $299 a month with 10 trackers plus additional features. For agencies and enterprises, pricing starts at $999/mo. 

Keyhole sits at the upper end of the price scale when compared with other social media analytic tools, with squarelovin being a notable one that comes for free. 

Union Metrics is another comparable tool with similar pricing, but the platform has recently discontinued the ability to monitor Instagram hashtags. This ability to track Instagram hashtags together with slick navigation and its other influencer features is its USP but this comes at a price which we suspect means its user base will be majors, and larger indies and agencies. 

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

Marlen Hüllbrock

Marlen HüllbrockHead of Marketing & Audience

Music Ally's Head of Marketing & Audience

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  1. Hey, thanks for telling us about the importance of hashtags and keyhole. This can be an easy way for an influencer or artist to increase the visibility on Instagram. Businesses can also take advantage of this as it will further benefit them in increasing visibility as well as traffic.

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