How to use LinkedIn Hashtags

A Complete Guide to Using LinkedIn Hashtags

WHAT ARE HASHTAGS ON LINKEDIN?

Hashtags on LinkedIn are a filing system. Using hashtags on LinkedIn will help you categorise content or people on LinkedIn. You can use hashtags when searching for content or for people in specific roles. For that reason, it’s important that you are using hashtags correctly on LinkedIn so that your content comes up in other people’s searches.

In the words of LinkedIn themselves:

“Hashtags on LinkedIn help you discover topics and interests most relevant to you, and give you the opportunity to engage with them.”

WHY USE HASHTAGS IN YOUR LINKEDIN POSTS?

You can use hashtags in your posts for various things:

1. To promote your event or conference

If you wanted to start a conversation about an event or conference you could use the hashtag for that event to help people find content related to it. For example, I run a room on Clubhouse hosted by my Club ‘LinkedIn for entrepreneurs’. So in any posts I post about the club, I will use the hashtag #LinkedInForEntrepreneursClub

2. To join likeminded professionals

If you want to talk to people in your industry, use the relevant hashtags to join your content together. For example if you were a copywriter and wanted to discuss the latest in copywriting you could use #CopywritingTips or #CopywritingPractice

3. To establish yourself as a thought leader or expert in a particular area

If you use the hashtags related to your expertise, your content will become attached to that topic.

4. To help people find your content

People search hashtags (see later for how to do that), so if you use #LinkedInTips in your content, someone searching that hashtag is likely to come across your content. 

5. As a personal ‘identifier’

You can create your own, personal, hashtag. This is a commonly used practice among LinkedIn trainers! Let’s face it, there are a LOT of us around so we develop our own hashtags as a way of separating ourselves from each other. We use them to publicise our own USP. Mine, by the way, is #LinkedInSimplified. If you like this article, please hop over to Linkedin and ‘follow’ it! (see later how to do this!).

HOW TO USE HASHTAGS IN YOUR POSTS

As LinkedIn tell us: “All hashtags start with a # sign, followed by a keyword or phrase.”.

Hashtags do NOT have spaces so if I typed #LinkedIn Trainer  the active hashtag would actually be #LinkedIn and the word Trainer would mean nothing.

You’ll notice I capitalised the first letters of each word.  This is called camel text and it helps people read words that are not separated by a space. If you are using hashtags purely for search or to wake up the algorithm, I’m sure (although I haven’t tested it), camel text would make no difference. BUT if you’re trying to raise awareness of your own text, I advise using camel text so it is easier for folk to read.

There are two ways to insert hashtags in posts:

1             Type # followed by the word or phrase (remember no spaces between words)

OR

2             Click on ‘add hashtag’

When you do that, start typing your word or phrase and a menu of hashtags will appear. These hashtags are personalised for you – by the LinkedIn algorithm – hence what you see here. Choose whichever ones you want.

WHICH HASHTAGS TO USE?

Depending on the words you’re after, LinkedIn could offer you a fair few options. and It can be difficult to know which ones to use.  LinkedIn branding expert Andy Foote, has a list of 100 most popular hashtags as of July 2019 right here: https://www.linkedinsights.com/the-hot-100-linkedin-hashtags/  .
This is a great list but please use with caution.

Only use hashtags which are relevant to THAT PARTICULAR POST!

If someone searches a hashtag, which directs them to a post which is nothing to do with that hashtag, they’d be pretty annoyed. It isn’t worth it.

So, even if you usually write about branding and you’ve written a post about Christmas, then don’t use the #branding in that post!

The other thing about hashtag research is that it changes. LinkedIn don’t seem to like giving us data regarding hashtags so hats off to Andy Foote for compiling his lists. We don’t know how often the popular hashtags change but there isn’t much we can do about that I’m afraid.

HOW MANY HASHTAGS TO USE?

This has been in hot debate for a while now and this DOES seem to change. Richard Van Der Blom conducted some research in early 2021 where he concluded there should be between 6 and 9 hashtags. It was extremely thorough research and we all got rather excited. BUT our good friend Andy Foote spotted a bit of small print in April 2021 when LinkedIn were discussing the new creator mode. It seems LinkedIn are currently (April 2021), favouring just 3 hashtags on posts.

See Richard’s post here

Andy’s post here

HOW TO ‘SEARCH’ FOR AND FOLLOW HASHTAGS

Go to the search bar and type in the symbol followed by the word or phrase! LinkedIn will give you various options if there are several similar ones:

According to LinkedIn you can then ‘Discover new hashtags’ – although not here because this takes you to people rather than more hashtags!

You can, however, click through to see all the hashtags you’re following!

Weirdly, on the mobile app, the hashtag search options are different and, in my view, easier!  Let me show you what I mean:

Type in # and the term into the bar:

  • You can choose to ‘follow’ the hashtag right there.
  • You see that LinkedIn show you some accounts using that hashtag.
  • You can choose whether you view by ‘top’ or ‘recent’
  • Also, right here from this screen by pressing the 3 dots at the top.

You have the options to:

🟣 Report the hashtag if it is ‘inappropriate or offensive’.

🟣 Search other hashtags related to this one

🟣 Manage the hashtags you are following

  • One point to note, however, the ‘discover new hashtags’ feature is pretty glitchy and may not let you do that! It may let you discover content for a different hashtag you’re following though!

WHY FOLLOW A HASHTAG ON LINKEDIN?

So what is this all about? What does it mean to ‘follow’ a hashtag on LinkedIn? As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, hashtags are a filing system, a way of categorising content. So, if you are following a certain hashtag, the LinkedIn algorithm ‘reads’ that and ensures that content containing the word/s of that hashtag will appear in your feed.

This is part of a process whereby you can control what is in your own LinkedIn feed so putting you in control of your own LinkedIn experience.  When people say to me “All I see on LinkedIn is salesy stuff and things which don’t mean anything to me.” I say “You my friend, can change that, you are in control of what you see on LinkedIn.”. One of the ways of being in control of your own LinkedIn feed is by following hashtags to determine what content gets put in it!

If you liked this article, please head over to my LinkedIn feed and follow me – or better still follow my hashtag #LinkedInSimplified. If you REALLY liked this article, don’t forget, you can join my FREE Facebook group, just search SarahClayLearnToLoveLinkedIn on Facebook.

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