— June 27, 2017
LinkedIn wants you to start using hashtags and I think it’s about time. For platforms, like Twitter and Instagram, hashtags are an essential ingredient to the social posting recipe. Up until recently, hashtags were frowned upon when used on LinkedIn because they were a telltale sign of cross-posting content from Twitter (a big no-no). Not anymore.
Since LinkedIn is hell-bent on becoming the premier social network for professionals and the LinkedIn database has become enormous, they realized the need to better categorize, organize and filter content. Hashtags are an easy way to do just that.
Hashtags allow LinkedIn to “listen” to topics that matter most to their users, and in turn, create a better user experience for members.
LinkedIn has become one of the most prized search engines and it plays nicely with Google’s search algorithms. When you Google search a topic, you will notice that content from LinkedIn will appear near the top of your search results. In other words, improving SEO on LinkedIn will, in turn, improve your search results on Google.
What exactly are hashtags?
Hashtags are words or phrases with a # sign in front of them, which makes them searchable on social media channels.
If you’re not familiar with hashtags, they are simple phrases of keywords that your industry uses when sharing content on social media. They could be related to your job function or your industry, or both.
Examples: #B2BSales, #Marketing, #Accounting, #Finance, #Insurance.
You might also want to create hashtags around keywords your target audience might use to find people like you. For example, #SalesTrainer might be a good term for someone who trains sales teams.
If you want your name associated with any topic in your industry or profession, you should be using hashtags. Hashtags are one of the easiest ways to build your personal brand and get your audience to think of you as being an expert in certain topics.
How do hashtags work on LinkedIn?
Using hashtags helps you increase your LinkedIn reach and get your updates in front of people outside your immediate LinkedIn network without needing to be connected, get comments, or get likes on your status updates. This raises brand awareness on LinkedIn for your company and your personal brand.
When you visit LinkedIn and type any hashtag into the search bar, you will get a list of relevant people, companies, groups, and posts. Technically, you could also search for jobs with that hashtag, but I haven’t seen many job descriptions using hashtags (yet!).
#SocialSelling is one of the hashtags I use frequently because it’s what I want to be known for. After adding that hashtag to my LinkedIn summary, I now appear in the top ten for social selling on LinkedIn. I also have the term “social selling” woven throughout my headline and profile, so that also improves my LinkedIn search results.