Hashtags are inescapable. What started as a feature unique to Twitter has now been adopted by all the major social media platforms. Whether you’re using LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or even WeChat, the hashtag cannot be escaped. But what actually are hashtags, how do they work, and why should you care about them on LinkedIn?
What are Hashtags
Hashtags are words, phrases, or emojis with the ‘#’ sign in front of them. By tagging some content with this symbol, it becomes searchable on that social media channel.
Hashtags can be specific to an industry, a function, a job, or even something popular that’s gone viral.
Examples might be: #LinkedInMarketing, #YenoxConsulting, #B2BSales, #Xmas2020.
The beauty of hashtags is that they are incredibly versatile, and anyone can create them. This is a boon for business owners or CEOs who are trying to establish thought leadership on LinkedIn. You can create a personalized hashtag specific to your content. That way, whenever anyone searches for that hashtag, all of your content will appear in the search results.
Equally, if you’re looking to be associated with a particular topic or industry. A little bit of keyword research will reveal what others in your industry are talking about. You can use the right hashtags to join that conversation.
Hashtags on LinkedIn: how do they work?
Hashtags on LinkedIn are a fantastic tool for extending your reach. The right use of hashtags will allow you to get your content in front of people with whom you are not connected. This extended reach can lead to greater engagement, garnering more likes, and comments. This, in turn, will lead to the LinkedIn algorithm serving your content up to even more people. Just make sure your post is delivering value (read about that here).
With time, this will raise brand awareness if you’re leveraging a company hashtag, or build your personal brand if you’re using a personalized one.
Searching for a specific hashtag will also bring up a list of content, people, groups, and companies that are currently making use of the said tag. By effectively using hashtags, you have the opportunity to rapidly grow your LinkedIn presence. Here’s how you can use them to connect with more prospects and generate more revenue.
Use hashtags in your profile, weaving them through your headline and about section
Profile optimization should be the first step on any LinkedIn journey (read about how to effectively do that here). An important part of this process is weaving the right hashtags throughout your profile in key places.
The headline section is the perfect place for industry-specific hashtags. Hashtag use here will rank you higher in the search results, and allow your prospects to find you quickly and easily. The about section is also excellent for selective hashtag use.
Use hashtags when posting content
The easiest way to grow your LinkedIn audience, and improve your social selling score, is to start posting content regularly. By using the right hashtags with this content, you’ll be able to contribute to the existing conversation around that hashtag. Individuals who follow the hashtags you use will see your content in their feed, increasing the chance of engagement.
The optimal number of hashtags is three to ten, any more than that and the algorithm will think you’re keyword stuffing and punish you for it.
Use hashtags in your LinkedIn articles
LinkedIn articles are an excellent source of evergreen content. Unlike status updates, there’s no character limit. As such, they’re an excellent tool for showcasing the depth of your knowledge. They build and demonstrate credibility like nothing else.
A well-researched article, tagged with the right hashtags will establish thought leadership and put your article in front of the right people.
Use hashtags when interacting with other peoples content
Sharing your opinion on a piece of content or topic posted by someone in your network, and using the right hashtags when doing so, will bring the followers of that hashtag into the conversation.
This leads to greater potential for engagement for the content creator and is a powerful way for you to add value to your network.
Follow hashtags relevant to your industry
Every industry or function will have terminology associated with it. This terminology is perfect for use as a hashtag, and chances are, someone will have already created it.
By searching for this terminology as a hashtag, you’ll see how many other people are following the same thing, and will keep you up to date on the latest posts as part of that conversation.
Create your own hashtag
If you regularly have insights to share, or already have many followers, why not create your own hashtag? As mentioned above, this will index your content in an easy to digest and understand manner, make it easier for your followers to stay up to date, and help you to engage with those followers.
Hashtags are an incredible tool for building your personal brand on LinkedIn. The right hashtag use in the right way can connect you with more prospects and help you establish thought leadership. Follow hashtags relevant to your industry to join the conversation, or use them when posting or engaging to bring others in. Hashtag use will compound your presence over time, so make sure you integrate hashtags into your content strategy today!