Three weeks ago, in ‘Hashtags on Popular Social Media Sites: The Ultimate Guide,’ I explained how to best use hashtags on the most popular social media sites. I discussed LinkedIn, but as with Facebook, it stands out in hashtag use. It seems like hashtags on LinkedIn are almost not done. The tip I found was: place hashtags at the end of your update, keeping your main message clean without the distraction.
I have been following this practice for ages, but in this blog post, I want to know why and how much hashtags contribute to brands’ posts on LinkedIn. Below, I examine hashtag use on LinkedIn by looking at research and expert opinions.
The short history of hashtags on LinkedIn
As David Hartshorne says, hashtags have had a topsy-turvy ride on the LinkedIn platform. A few years back they were present but LinkedIn “rolled it back due to a poor user response.”
In 2016, they were available on the mobile app only: “Hashtags included in your posts (or others) are now tappable and lead to search results so that you can discover other posts with the same hashtag.”
Then, in 2017, hashtags reappeared on the desktop platform as part of the new user interface. But still, nobody knew what they were supposed to do or how to use them.
By early 2018, reports surfaced of some users being ‘forced’ to insert hashtags into their posts. LinkedIn confirmed they were running a beta test “to understand better the value of using hashtags in posts to help members discover and join relevant conversations.”
But now, it is safe to say that LinkedIn hashtags are back and working. I understand that you may be confused about hashtag use on LinkedIn, so here is how you can make the most of them.
Hashtags on LinkedIn: how do they work?
Hashtags on LinkedIn categorize content. They help users find content on a specific topic. And, if you add hashtags to your content, they will help you get discovered by other users, including those not connected to you. From a marketing perspective, making your LinkedIn content available to a broader audience is the winner.
Hashtags on LinkedIn: do they work on profiles and company pages?
Hartshorne discusses an interesting part of hashtag use on LinkedIn. He says that you can add hashtags to LinkedIn Profiles and Company Pages, but that they do not behave in the same way. They are not searchable, and they do not highlight as a blue clickable link, which makes them a non-tagged keyword. For his examples of how hashtags work here, read his article (link previously mentioned).
How to use hashtags on LinkedIn
As mentioned, there are two sides to using hashtags on LinkedIn: