Hashtags on LinkedIn

This guide takes a good look at the good, bad and the ugly and how to save time. 

Photo Credit: Engit Akyurt

Xcelerate Business on LinkedIn | Monthly Newsletter

Hashtags are used across social media platforms to categorize content, so we can search and find content that we are interested in and so businesses and brands can reach larger audiences of people who may be interested in their content.

When you follow a hashtag you will see content in your feed that others have posted about, with a reference to that same hashtag. Content will appear from personal profiles and company pages outside of your network.

I think Steven Bartlett, CEO of Social Chain summed it up well:

“Your news feed is your library. Follow hashtags like #goodnews to see more positive content in your feed every day.”

When you choose three hashtags relevant to your LinkedIn post, your content will be shown on the feeds of LinkedIn users who follow those specific hashtags. They don’t even have to be your connection or follower to see it.

In LinkedIn’s own words, you should use hashtags to:
Establish your credibility and expertise
Reach people who value your insights
Start meaningful conversations over shared interests

HOW MANY 

✅ Only use 3. Or, if you simply find that too hard to keep that focused, use absolutely no more than 5!

LinkedIn suggests using 3. Anything more and you will hurt the organic reach of your post on LinkedIn.

Here is an analogy on using too many hashtags. You have one big cake.

Each slice is one hashtag. The more hashtags you have, the less impact each of your hashtags has.

Not everything is meant to be a hashtag. Don’t guess, research. You can download a Chrome extension to make it easy, or LinkedIn will tell you when you type in the hashtag, how many followers that specific hashtag topic has.

Overusing hashtags on LinkedIn makes it harder for the LinkedIn algorithm to index your content.
In other words, LinkedIn gets confused about which hashtag to prioritize.

WHEN

✅ Be consistent. Using different hashtags every day is counterproductive. You can’t develop a consistent audience and following when you are not consistent in the hashtags and content you develop

🚫 Don’t use irrelevant hashtags.

🤪 You might get excited. 😲 Oh wow, look at this hashtag!

It has 107,745,231 followers. And this one has 56,923,190 followers.

🚫 Don’t choose based on followers!

Unless they are 100% relevant to your post, you’re only going to harm yourself.  LinkedIn prioritizes relevancy above all else.

Zero in on popular hashtags that are relevant.

Think of the practicality of this; if a hashtag has 250 followers, that doesn’t mean that all of the 250 people who follow this hashtag will likely be online on a given day.

And even if they are, LinkedIn might show them competing content and not content from your hashtag.

It’s better to have a few medium-sized hashtags with high engagement than gigantic hashtags with no engagement.

Rule of thumb: Moderation is key.
Follower counts: 5,000 – 30,000 followers
Number of hashtags: 3 per LinkedIn post
Type of hashtags: Use a mixture of broad and niche hashtags

Five Extra Tips to Make Hashtags Work for You

1. Hashtags do not work if they are posted in a comment on a post.

2. Hashtags do not work if posted in a LinkedIn article as articles do not appear in hashtags feeds.

3. LinkedIn Hashtags Need some air!

Another common pitfall with LinkedIn hashtags is a lack of spaces BETWEEN hashtags.

If you don’t provide a space in between the hashtags, LinkedIn only will  recognize the first hashtag. For example, if you make a blended set of hashtags like this:

#linkedinstrategy #linkedincontent #linkedintips, only the first hashtag is picked up. Always make the space between each hashtag.

4. Focus on Short LinkedIn Hashtags. Don’t use hashtags that combine more than 2-3 words.  Such as NEVER.

For example, avoid hashtags such as #LinkedInsuperstarcontentwriting

No one is going to logically look for a topic like this.  It’s too long and convoluted.

So, target hitting that middle of the road sweet spot of a decent number of followers using words that make intuitive sense, particularly as you are building your following and growing engagement.

5. Change your LinkedIn Privacy Settings from Private to Public.

In order for others to discover your LinkedIn posts organically through the magic of LinkedIn hashtags, it’s important that your profile is set to public. Otherwise, your content will only be visible to your direct connections and you’re going to miss out on a ton of targeted traffic!

Summary: 

Done well, your approach to hashtags helps anchor your brand and signpost your content themes. Once you get your hashtags rhythm, it takes about 45 seconds to do and really helps you connect with your ideal audience.

💡 Key tips for smart use of hashtags on LinkedIn are below.

  • Use only 3-5 hashtags, max. Never more.
  • Use LinkedIn search to identify hashtag frequency & dial in to your audience interests
  • Place hashtags at the end of content
  • Go big & broad with 1-2 hashtags and use 1-2 niche hashtags.
  • Consistent use of hashtag keywords will anchor your brand and signpost your content themes

Remember the goal here is to reach your target audience on topics they follow and care about  and build your business visibility and brand awareness.

It all starts with your visibility on LinkedIn, and relevant hashtags can bring you the right audience knocking at your inbox.

 

By: Iris Culp | LinkedIn Expert & Coach

June 1, 2022