Although LinkedIn is a social networking tool, it functions differently from other sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Its main goal is to build professional and business relationships. It can help marketers and business owners generate leads, find new customers, and increase their revenue. It can also help recruiters find highly qualified candidates in a large pool of job seekers.
Because of its unique approach to social networking, many people wonder if it still has the same functions that are commonly found in other social media platforms. For example, does LinkedIn use hashtags?
Hashtags can help you find topics and interests that are relevant to your interests. If you click on a hashtag, it will normally show you all other posts that contain that hashtag. For marketers, it can help them find and engage with more leads.
Additionally, if you add hashtags to your content, they can be discovered by other users who are following those hashtags—even if they are not connected with you.
Most users already use hashtags on Twitter and Instagram because it’s a commonly known feature. Twitter even has a trending topics section that features the most used hashtags and keywords at the moment. But does LinkedIn use hashtags the same way? Let’s take a closer look.
Can You Use Hashtags on LinkedIn?
Don’t let the “professional” look of LinkedIn fool you: it is more similar to other social networking sites than you think. The short answer is yes, LinkedIn lets you use hashtags. And if you are a marketer, you should use them regularly.
Hashtags were first made available on LinkedIn in 2016, but they were only available on the mobile app. They were later rolled back due to “poor user response”. The reputation of LinkedIn as the professional social networking platform made users unsure whether or not using hashtags were appropriate. Nobody wanted to look “unprofessional” given how common hashtags were in more “casual” sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
LinkedIn brought it back in 2017 and also made hashtags available on the desktop version as part of the new interface. Still, not a lot of people used them because they weren’t sure what to do or how to use them.
In 2018, LinkedIn ran a beta test that allowed them to “understand the value of using hashtags in posts”. Now LinkedIn hashtags are back and working. As someone who wants to reach a wider audience through your content marketing, hashtags are extremely helpful tools—and you need to start using them right away.
You can use hashtags on LinkedIn the same way you use them on other platforms: you use the # sign followed by a keyword or phrase. An example would be: #LinkedInMarketing.
Hashtags can be added anywhere in your post when you share a document, article, or a video. You can just type the # sign followed by whatever keyword or phrase you want to use. LinkedIn shows recommended hashtags while you compose yours.
How to Best Use Hashtags for Marketing on LinkedIn
While adding a hashtag is extremely simple, choosing the right ones can be tricky—especially if you want to get the best results. Use them correctly and you can reach your ideal targets more easily. It takes a bit of practice to optimize your hashtag usage, and it might take you a bit of trial and error. But here are a few tips on how you can best use hashtags to your advantage.
First, learn how to follow hashtags on LinkedIn. Look for hashtags that are relevant to your personal interests so you can follow them and see updates in your feed that include these hashtag topics. You can also use this method to discover industry news and even new trends.
Go to the Search bar at the top of your LinkedIn page and enter a hashtag you are interested in. Clicking on a hashtag will show you all the content related to that topic. Click the Follow button to follow that hashtag.
People can do the same thing to find your content on LinkedIn, which is why it is important to choose the right hashtags when posting. Think of keywords that relate to your industry, whether it is #Fashion, #Art, #Engineering, #Science, #Business, etc.
Consider using a few popular hashtags when posting content on LinkedIn. Popular hashtags get a lot of views because many people are using them. However, their popularity also means that many people are using these hashtags, so your content can easily get lost in the sea of new posts. Don’t rely on popular hashtags too much: one or two of these should be enough.
Examples of popular hashtags include: #Innovation, #Management, #DigitalMarketing, #Technology, #Entrepreneurship, #SocialMedia, #Marketing, and #Branding. As you can see, they are very broad keywords that are applicable to many businesses.
If you don’t want your content to go unnoticed, you are better off using specific hashtags that relate to your industry in particular. Use niche hashtags along with the popular ones so you can find more potential customers. Once you’ve found industry-related hashtags, check for similar hashtags.
Another excellent tip is to create one or two unique hashtags for your brand or business. Creating a custom hashtag is a good way to further establish your brand across all your social platforms. It also makes it easier for you and your followers to see content that specifically refer to your business. It can even show you when others share your posts—because they’re using your unique hashtag.
Although you will be including popular, niche, and custom hashtags to your content, you want to avoid adding too many hashtags so that your post doesn’t look spammy. Selecting the most applicable hashtags is a skill you will have to develop.
Make your hashtags visible and presentable. Format your hashtags by using capitals at the start of each word. LinkedIn defaults to lowercase when it displays hashtags, but capitalizing the first letter of each word makes your hashtags more readable.
Finally, make sure you combine your hashtags with your message. Do not make a post that’s all hashtags. Write a sentence or two to accompany your hashtags, even when you’re only posting an image or video. Add a short description; otherwise the hashtags will only make your post look lazy or spammy.
Test your hashtags to see which ones are bringing you the most engagement. Experiment with different ones so you can narrow it down to your most effective keywords.
Proper usage of hashtags is important because it will help your content reach people who are outside your immediate network. So yes: not only can you use hashtags on LinkedIn, but you are also encouraged to use them if you are a marketer.