WHAT is a hashtag
It’s safe to say that most people who have watched TV or the news, at the minimum, probably have heard of hashtags. The Arab Spring really polarized the use of hashtags to communicate to a large group of people and the tv show, Scandal, showed us how a single hashtag can be the ultimate marketing ploy. But, in all honesty, how many of you know the exact purpose and usage of a hashtag?
Hashtags, at the very basic level on social media, are used to categorize content, making the discovery of new or related information easy to find.
Definition: hashtag: A word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.
Whenever a hashtag is used in a social media post, the hashtag is then able to be indexed by the social network (including LinkedIn) and becomes searchable/discoverable by other users. Once a person clicks on the specific hashtag, they will be brought to a page that aggregates all of the posts with the same hashtags, in real-time.
✅ If you’re using hashtags for their intended purpose (categorization and discovery), don’t string too many words together with a single hashtag.
✅ On most networks, if you use a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag can find your post.
✅ Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Avoid over-tagging a single post or adding them to every word.
✅Don’t underestimate the power and understand how to use hashtags to join in on conversations, such as:
- Oil and Gas Industry (#pipelines) or (#hydrocarbons)
- Accounting/Finance (#businessanalyst)
Use LinkedIn’s suggested hashtags
LinkedIn will automatically suggest relevant hashtags when you begin to write a post (status update). If the suggested hashtags seem like a good fit, include them. BUT, don’t add hashtags just for the sake of it (i.e. #ididnotgetenoughsleeplastnight). Be deliberate in your hashtag use.
How to use LinkedIn hashtags
Adding hashtags to your LinkedIn updates (posts) and articles gives them a higher chance of being discovered by LinkedIn members who follow or search for the hashtag you’ve used.
How to add hashtags to your LinkedIn update:
- From the homepage, click into a Share an article, photo, video or idea field
- Write, upload, or link to your content
- Add hashtags using the ‘#’ symbol with NO spaces between the hashtag and all the words or between the words (i.e. #hashtag, do NOT do this > # hash tag
How to add hashtags to your LinkedIn article
- From the homepage, click Write an article under the update field.
- When you are ready to publish your drafted article, click Publish in the top right corner. A pop-up window will appear.
- In the “Tell your network what your article is about” field, add copy (text) to introduce your article, along with relevant hashtags. This will appear as commentary above your article when you publish it.
- Note: You cannot edit or remove hashtags after you’ve hit publish.
NOTE: You can also add hashtags to your profile Headline and Summary, however, be aware these will function the same way non-tagged keywords do and will not be searchable. [Instagram only just added hashtag link functionality to bios, so maybe LinkedIn will soon follow suit.]
Hashtags on Instagram and Twitter are huge boosts on both these platforms, with Twitter being the one to revolutionize the use. Hashtags work but don’t really work on Facebook.
LinkedIn Hashtag ACTION Steps
- Find 5-10 relevant hashtags for your industry and/or job to use in your regular posts (status updates)
- Create a post (status update) and use 1-3 relevant hashtags (be strategic!)
- “Follow” at least 10 hashtags that are relevant to your industry and/or job and comment daily on relevant posts that you found using those hashtags. [ Refer to this article I wrote on how to add add value > How to market yourself on LinkedIn ]