If you post a picture from your workout on Instagram but don’t use hashtags, does it even exist?
Jokes aside, hashtags are second nature on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and yes, even LinkedIn these days. Sorry Facebook, they just never caught on with you. Maybe it’s something you said.
LinkedIn actually released its first hashtag feature back in 2011 as part of a job seeker tool. Needless to say, it didn’t stick. That is, until LinkedIn saw the success of hashtags on platforms like Instagram. Unable to resist the urge any longer, hashtags returned to LinkedIn in 2018 with a makeover.
But like other latecomers to the hashtag train, LinkedIn had to put its own spin on hashtags.
If you came here looking for the details on how to use LinkedIn hashtags, you’re in the right place. We’re not holding anything back today.
Using hashtags on LinkedIn is straightforward. When you create a new post, just throw up one of those # and follow it up with a relevant keyword or phrase like #MarketingWins. (Without the punctuation.)
LinkedIn will suggest hashtags as you start typing – just like Instagram or Twitter does. Although LinkedIn doesn’t seem to include any metrics in the preview like other platforms do.
As per LinkedIn, you can use hashtags in a feed post to share a video, article length, or document.
But that’s not all. LinkedIn also lets you add hashtags to any articles you publish on their platform. When you have a draft ready, click publish. A popup window will ask for some meta data where you can include hashtags.
You can only add hashtags to your LinkedIn articles at the time of publishing. That’s your only chance. You can edit the copy later but not the hashtags.
As you can imagine, there’s a right and wrong way to use hashtags on LinkedIn. Here’s how to blaze your own path with some general dos and don’ts.
Reaching a wider – yet targeted – audience is the biggest benefit to using hashtags on LinkedIn or anywhere else. Choose a handful of keywords that relate to your post topic and general industry.
Make sure some hashtags are niche enough to reach those unique conversations while others are broad enough to grab mass attention.
#Hashtagging every #other word in your #post is #annoying everywhere else and it’s still #annoying on #LinkedIn. Just don’t do it. It’s spammy and distracting.
Make sure a wall of hashtags doesn’t outweigh the size of your post’s copy either. Only use a few hashtags for shorter copy that you know won’t get truncated.
Spend time looking for those triple threat hashtags: consistent activity, specific, low competition.
Using general industry hashtags like #marketing is fine – that’s relevant. Hashtag hijacking irrelevant topics, however, is tacky at best and rude at worst. No one wants to see a product promotion in #StopAsianHate no matter how relevant it might be.
Ever have a moment where you click a hashtag that seemed brilliant only to realise it’s totally dead? If not, you should start clicking and following your hashtags to see for yourself.
Otherwise, following your most-used hashtags gives you a chance to engage with everyone else using them too.
It happens more often than you think. Accidentally showing up in a weird internet community might happen more often on Instagram than LinkedIn but it’s still possible – especially for podiatrists, for example.
Want to run a user-generated content campaign or just boost engagement around your brand? Make your own branded hashtag. For events, branded hashtags are necessary.
Apple did and now they have an endless stream of Instagram content. Try to think of a clever way to combine your brand name with an action verb. If you can turn your brand into a verb like #HubSpotting now that’s even better.
The only thing worse than falling into the double-meaning hashtag trap is sharing a post with a misspelled hashtag – especially on a professional platform like LinkedIn.
Remember, any space will end the hashtag. Same goes for punctuation. Keep the hashtag one word without punctuation and definitely capitalize the first letter of each word to make the phrase clear.
LinkedIn’s own best practices suggest using no more than three hashtags in each post. You can probably go as high as five – if you have enough relevant hashtags in mind, of course.
Don’t go overboard though or LinkedIn might flag your post as spam. And even if LinkedIn doesn’t flag the post as spam, it will certainly still look spammy. You don’t want that.
You should, however, try to work in a handful of both niche and general hashtags that relate to the post’s content. That will let you reach a highly targeted audience while ensuring the best reach for the topic too.
If you haven’t noticed, LinkedIn does not like giving away analytics. They even removed their API with BuzzSumo a few years ago so you can’t use BuzzSumo to track popular LinkedIn content.
The best you’ll get for straight LinkedIn hashtag analytics is through the hashtag’s direct page. Here, LinkedIn will give you the follower count:
You can also guess how well your hashtags are performing with some hints:
Some third-party platforms might claim to pull LinkedIn hashtag analytics but tread lightly. The analytics could be completely inaccurate. The tool could also violate LinkedIn’s terms of service which would put you in violation of the TOS as well. And you don’t want to get booted from LinkedIn.
Finding relevant hashtags on LinkedIn is pretty easy. If you’re stumped, start by opening the post creator. Type # and start writing a keyword around the topic. LinkedIn will give you a scrollable list of hashtags:
You can also search hashtags to follow via the top search bar. It just might take a little finessing to get to the right hashtag page to follow the hashtag itself.
But once you’re there, you can click on the three dots and tap “Discover new hashtags” for similar ideas:
You can also broaden your search to find LinkedIn hashtags with these ideas…
The best hashtag inspiration comes from following other accounts. Follow pages and individuals in your industry, in your audience, and whoever shares the kind of topics you need hashtags for.
Keep an eye on their posts and you’ll eventually manage to build a nice hashtag library.
Being a business platform, LinkedIn is big on location hashtags when the occasion is right. If you serve specific areas, definitely search for hashtags that include the location keyword – especially busy urban centres.
Keep in mind that not all Instagram hashtags translate so well on LinkedIn. At the end of the day, LinkedIn is still a professional business platform so something like #MarketingThot isn’t the best idea even as a joke.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t add some personality. Lord knows, LinkedIn could use it once in a while. The trick is to add some creativity without alienating your professional audience or appearing tacky.
It’s a fine line to walk but some things are worth the risk.
All Hashtag is a decent hashtag generator you can use for any platform including LinkedIn. Just pop a keyword into the search bar and you’re off to the hashtag races:
You can copy the hashtags in bulk to save for later or grab individual ones that stand out. It’s your call!
Hashtagify is another hashtag generator but this one offers tons of insights on any hashtag you search. Fair warning: These insights do not include LinkedIn stats – just Twitter and Instagram. Instead, consider the Twitter analytics as a barometer.
Like any other platform, LinkedIn hashtags can help you explore topics, categorise posts, boost your post reach, and add a little control to your reach as well. Just don’t expect any detailed analytics any time soon.
Learning how to use hashtags on LinkedIn, however, is simple and easy. All you have to do is add a healthy dose of creativity and resist the urge to spam your posts with hashtags – both easier said than done.
Feeling a little bored with LinkedIn or just need to spice things up? We offer end-to-end company profile management, and we specialise in creativity.