Using LinkedIn #hashtag effectively

As with all things related to LinkedIn, not all is as it seems.

There are over-riders for spam control and not all Linkedin #hashtag posts and views actually work. 

This is in part to the recent launch of the tool and you can be very tactical with its use and not just post the obvious.

Many of you will already be familiar with Instagram and Twitter hashtags, LinkedIn’s hashtag as said before have their own flavour terrain is a little different from the other social networks.

Few realise at the moment you can even use an emoji to follow the # symbol.

Its purpose will make your content more discoverable, provide Linkedin with a content stream and reduce the reliance on its poor search tools and filters which are tied to the old core  profile template of 2003. 

LinkedIn is a professional platform yet in reality they want to be like Facebook and the trend to gamification and post and pray someone reads it is down to their lack of good user education.

The site is to be used as you believe as a user you should use it, not your grandparents.

Groups are also under-used as a resource and this group post will help you to learn more.

Please remember the golden rule, only post what you think your grandparents would approve of, in a language that they in most cases will understand.

A simple mantra to abide by which keeps personal and business posts safe.  Many believe you need to keep hashtags use appropriate because of the wider audience of unknowns you will be exposed to outside your level 1,2 and 3 connections.

Please do not assume a hashtags that trends on Facebook will apply to Linkedin, average user active time on Linkedin is 17 – 20 minutes a month at best, not a day unlike Facebook which has a higher user usage average.

You will see few if any posts in Switzerland using protest type tweet hashtags or memes, yet at the same time when you use #SME you will be lost in a stream of posts similar to that on Twitter.

How and where can you can use LinkedIn # hashtags?

 In your posts (LinkedIn calls these “updates” and it applies to personal and company) and your LinkedIn articles.

Linkedin binned pulse in 2017 formally and is currently not supporting its page publishing platform very much along with groups and other old features after the update in 2018.

No matter where you add your # hashtag, you have a higher chance of being discovered by LinkedIn members who seek to follow ( a very small percentage) or who search for the hashtag that you have used (ad-hoc and higher outcomes as most will follow your company or you as a person).

How to add hashtags to your LinkedIn update:

From the homepage, click into a Start a post – you will see icons for photo, video or text

Write, upload, or link to your content, all links are shortened by Linkedin so no need for Tinyurl or others. 

Add hashtags using the # symbol and type the name, topic or subject area – example #zurichnetworkinggroup or #zurich

If you are targeting a company for sales or want to advertise to a key client #company name because so many have not woken up to its use yet so your content will be seen more often by employees searching to see if their employer has a #news stream.

The hashtag is editable as with all content after you have posted.

How to add hashtags to your LinkedIn article

From the homepage, click Write an article under the write a post field and you will arrive at a page which looks like the picture to the left.

When you are ready to publish your drafted article, click Publish in the top right corner.

A pop-up window will appear and here I say CONGRATULATIONS you are a writer!

In the Tell your network what your article is about field, add copy to introduce your article, along with a small number of relevant to the topic hashtags.

This then appears as an introductory field relating to your article when you publish it.

Please not this important point, unlike posts, Linkedin do not allow you to edit or remove hashtags after you have hit the button and published.

Please do not add a hashtag to your profile headline or summary section in your profile, they do not work as I write and it may happen later, it will only serve Linkedin search updates if it does and be in response to the Facebook and Instagram updates.

Using the Linkedin #hashtag effectively – a few hashtag tricks and 10 tips

  1. Use hashtags as a form of SEO for keywords or key topics. The web is old, SEO marketing is old, yet at the same time the basics still apply, good content which you have taken time to construct and deliver beats the use of 20 hashtags in a post. Linkedin want you to wherever possible place the # hashtag at the end of the copy, it can be inserted into the copy text and flow with your post or article. It could even be used as a “call to action,”  what is important is that you appear to know what you are doing and it makes sense.
  2. Linkedin # hashtags can include punctuation. Having trialled a variety of posts and types myself, you do need to explore the topic on Linkedin to be effective. Linkedin hashtags can only include numbers, letters and emoji. They become normal text if you use spaces or symbols and you will see the #zurich bold become #zurich networking as the line or should I say connecting letter is broken. The words do need to be grouped together, which means #zurichnetworkinggroup and will work but you will see the greyed out. It is hit and miss like all things Linkedin and yet if you use apostrophes, commas, hyphens or exclamation points it will not work at all.
  3. Linkedin spam controls apply to your # hashtag use. There are no official limits to the number of hashtags you can use in a post on LinkedIn. However it is well known once you get close to 10 the Linkedin AI consider it as low quality text and 5  or 6 has become the universally adopted norm. to understand more about Linkedin AI please read their engineering blog.
  4. Businesses SOHO / SME are not the only ones who should use location-based hashtags. A comment made by Andrew Travers in 2018 at a recent Zurich Networking event is worth noting “Zuerich and Zurich are live # hashtags on Linkedin, you can use them and promote yourself locally as a business. The addition of your verein, club or group such as #Zurichnetworkinggroup means local members will see your post if they follow and search for it. Global corporates still slow to move beyond the use of #company name . careers or similar. They forget they are present in many markets and countries and that their marketing teams do not know to add a location suffix to the hashtag to index their material correctly.” TIP – LinkedIn keeps reminding us that there are 12 million plus Linkedin users active in the DACH region alone, so if your post or article is about a certain country or region, start now to build your depth and ownership of that #hashtag
  5. Make sure your hashtags are public. Many people set their settings and never review them for years (photos are the biggest clue to how long a profile has never been reviewed). To edit public profile settings settings review them and be pelased to know that your hashtag will be searchable by all of LinkedIn’s members.For those who think it relevant, remember to post to Public + Twitter  which for some reason is rarely used because of the use of social media posting services like Hootsuite etc.
  6. Follow hashtags to help you to learn and to see what others are doing to help you to get ideas. We hate the barrage of posts in our homepage feed, yet every now and again we can get past the Cheddar or Oleg posts and see something really of interest. It is worth clicking on the various hashtags in the post to see where it leads and how interesting the related posts are for you or your business. If you do so when this Linkedin page link is open in a separate tab, you can quickly follow the ones you want and use the #hashtag.topic as a bookmark. There is a Discover more link at the base of the hashtag list, however you could be making life hell for you in the future when you log-in and find your feed is sorted to posts by those rated top and of low relevancy.
  7. Market your personal brand subject area or company niche using the # hashtag. The Linkedin list is here however you have trends to be aware of or niches which are not relevant to the Linkedin list. These can be quite specific topic areas with their own specific hashtag #rennbahn.oerlikon being one for equipment or clothing supply to racing cyclists.
  8. Do use the Linkedin suggested and popular hashtags as well. Hashtags are new, you have to gain experience and see what works for you and what does not. The safety of a Linkedin suggested hashtag can work really well at times, you will see from your post count. It is why I know this post will be plagiarised within days.
    So before you post your gold content onto Linkedin, try to balance the first posts with niche and popular hashtags, then you know which 5 or 6 are your priority and work for you.
    Make sure you post into your groups but remember the share option back out to your personal profile no-longer exists (update 10.19). To read more about groups you may want to read this group post.
  9. Care is required using hashtags as their meaning could result in some other issues #Dimjobs was active before Twitter and used not to seek unintelligent dim people for a job, it was used to seek talent for Disney Interactive Media Group. A Swiss PR effort to publicise The Hobbit was sent out as #hobbitch. it happens and proofreading is a must when seeking to post in another non-native speaker language.
  10. You may think I know what you are saying  #IMHO is well used in both English and German language Twitter accounts, yet some #bad.hashtag.use occurs and it is not a bad thing to use Twitter successes to help you to work out what to use.

Examples of successful use include:

  • #WantAnR8
  • #LetsDoLunch by Domino’s Pizza
  • #WorthSaying by L’Oréal Paris

Refining your use of the Linkedin Hashtags

Check out the popular LinkedIn hashtags and see how many each has following it to assess its value.

To see how many people are following a LinkedIn hashtag, enter the tag in the header search bar as a #hashtag and even #linkedin only has 8,193 followers at the time of writing.

The results page will show you the hashtag follower number and if we look at other more popular ones (15.3.2019) the results are:

  • #mindfulness – 1,011,954 followers
  • #leadership – 30,057 followers
  • #professionalwomen – 17,980,965 followers
  • #innovation – 37,120,316 followers
  • #socialnetworking – 19,306,284 followers
  • #digitalmarketing – 27,080,419 followers
  • #entrepreneur – 3,299 followers
  • #startup – 28,897 followers
  • #womeninscience – 16,813,334 followers
  • #elektrofahrzeuge – 3704 followers

To conclude:

The #hashtag use serves only to help you to advertise your experience or knowledge or seek to attract a company`s attention, so use it wisely and with some thought.

The majority of Linkedin users have yet to adopt its use and the Linkedin 2018 update is still a catch-up move for the Microsoft group company.

They are still behind Facebook and the many tools freely available through WordPress Buddypress etc.

Yet at the same time they have platform dominance and use of the cannot be ignored.

Companies whose name is also a geographic location have a media messaging strategy refinement to address, especially if you post and then cheat a little to get friends,family or colleagues to give it a like, share or comment to spoof the Linkedin algorithm to keep it top of the feeds in low activity streams.

CEO company statement timing and release are always a good time to feed out networking news, that hack works well for some post types and yet we do not know how long how we can use the can last before the next update.

All we can say is, you have time to adopt and play with its use so you are well positioned to take advantage of any future changes.

Reference Credits / Sources:

  • – Andrew Travers
  • Linkedin Answers
  • Twitter
  • Western Governors University
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