Hashtags. We’re used to seeing them on Twitter. They’re used by the bucket load on Instagram. They look a little out of place on Facebook. So what’s the deal with using hashtags on LinkedIn?
If your goal is to get a whole lot of the right eyeballs viewing your content (which it absolutely should be) then hashtags on LinkedIn can help you achieve this.
But how do hashtags increase your reach on LinkedIn?
Firstly, you can follow them. You can choose to follow hashtags that relate to content relevant and interesting to you. So this means that even if someone is not connected with you, not following you and not following your company page, they may be following the hashtag you use. So your content now has a chance of showing up in their feed.
Hashtags are also searchable meaning that each hashtag turns into a link which, if clicked, shows you a whole lot of content with that tag. Again, potentially getting your own content in front of new eyeballs!
If your update gets a lot of engagement LinkedIn might deem your content as "trending” for that hashtag which means your connections and followers will get a notification. This is basically like LinkedIn notifying your audience to say, “Jodine’s posted something awesome - go check it out!”
How should you use hashtags on LinkedIn?
Think of hashtags like a filing system. If you had to print off your piece of content and pop it into an old fashioned filing cabinet which files could you stick it in? For example, this article could be filed under #linkedin or more specifically #linkedintips and #linkedintraining. I could also file it under broader topics like #socialmedia and #socialmediatips. If your content relates to something in a specific location you can also use location-based hashtags like #hastings and #hawkesbay.
It doesn’t matter where in your update you include the hashtags. Personally, I find them distracting in amongst the update and I leave them to the right at the end with a little space between the update and the hashtags. Wherever you decide to put them, don’t forget to check your spelling!
How many hashtags should you use on LinkedIn posts?
There appears to be no limit to the number of hashtags you can include. The recommendation straight from the horse’s mouth (LinkedIn) is to include around 5 hashtags. I have tested different amounts and it really didn’t make much difference - it’s more about the quality over quantity.
What about hashtags and LinkedIn company pages?
When it comes to posting updates, include 3-5 relevant hashtags as you would on your personal updates.
But you can also select 3 hashtags to your company page that unlock special features. These 3 hashtags will give you the ability to join in the conversation on 'trending posts' that are tagged with one of the 3 tags - but not as you... you can join the conversation as your company page! How great is that for building your company page following!
More tips for using hashtags on LinkedIn:
Consider creating content that links to current events or trends and then using appropriate hashtags. Trending hashtags can help you achieve huge reach for your content by piggy-backing off the popularity of the topic.
Always keep the hashtags relevant to your content.
Test different hashtags - don’t just stick to using the same ones over and over.
Don’t get too specific with your hashtags. The goal is to use tags that people will be searching for or following. Anything very specific won’t help with increasing your reach.
And finally, the number one rule for hashtags on LinkedIn - never, ever use the hashtag #yolo. If you don’t know what it means, best keep it that way!