Wrote an interesting tweet but wondering what hashtag to use to make it popular? Steven Van Canneyt, a PhD student at the University of Ghent, Belgium who specializes in the prediction and optimization of the popularity of social media messages, has developed Sopularity, “a tool which automatically suggests the trending hashtags that best fit with a tweet, something many users have a hard time to do on their own.”
In the last few years, the use of hashtags in social media has become increasingly popular. “Both Twitter (https://blog.twitter.com/2012/best-practices-for-journalists) and independent research (http://linchpinseo.com/infographic-twitter-tweet-cheat-sheet) have shown that the interaction with tweets doubles if they contain the right trending hashtags.” says Steven. He adds, “This interaction is expressed in retweets and clickthroughs. By using hashtags, you easily reach anyone interested in the subject of the chosen hashtag.” However, finding the best hashtags for your tweet might be challenging. Also, although hashtags double the effective range of a tweet, it has been found that only a quarter of all twitter messages generally have hashtags. Sopularity is an app that “uses real-time machine learning techniques to automatically determine the subject of the tweet and to select the most appropriate trending hashtag, which boosts the popularity of a tweet.”
The motivation for developing Sopularity came through Steven’s personal experience. He had to search for tweets similar to his tweet and detect which hashtags they used. This was cumbersome. He searched for an app which solved this issue, but couldn’t find one. He later discovered that a lot of other people had the same problem. Thus, Sopularity was born.
Steven has a technical background and hence developing his idea into a working product “wasn’t such a big problem”. He says, “However, sales, marketing and monetizing the product is much harder for me. Probably, I need a person with more sales background to join Sopularity to take it to a higher level.”
When asked if there are any competitors to Sopularity, Steven tells us that although there are some companies like ritetag and hashtags.org which offer hashtag analysis, these apps don’t solve the problem of finding best hashtags to use when given a tweet. Given a hashtag, these apps only give us some analytics such as the “popularity of the hashtag and example tweets which use these hashtags.”
At the moment, Sopularity has more than 1200 users. “Integrating the Sopularity hashtag suggestions into existing social media monitoring tools should increase our number of users.” says Steven. In addition, Steven wants to work with sales and marketing folks to “translate the potential of Sopularity into more users and sales.”
Sopularity’s target users are everyone using social media (especially Twitter) who want to increase the searchability and popularity of their social posts. At the moment, you can use the Sopularity hashtag suggestions on the Sopularity website. Using its Chrome extension, you can also use it inside Twitter, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Buffer. While the app can be used free of cost when you use upto 10 hashtag suggestions per day, you have to pay a small monthly fee when you want to use unlimited hashtag suggestions.
“In addition, integrating the Sopularity hashtag suggestions into existing social media monitoring systems can be very interesting to increase the usefulness of these tools. Therefore, we are working together with such companies to integrate the hashtag suggestions into their system for some fee.” Steven tells us.
Do visit http://www.sopularity.com/ to know more.
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