At Inovautus, we love helping our clients learn how to engage with and leverage their networks through social media platforms. We often promote LinkedIn as a preferred tool because of its ability to help professionals build visibility and differentiate themselves and their businesses online. However, despite LinkedIn’s wild popularity among the working man (and woman!), it still managed to be the last platform to arrive at the hashtag party (except for that stint in 2013).
Since 2007, hashtags have evolved from a categorization tool to a media obsession to a Jay-Z lyric and somewhere along the way it gained legitimate traction as an advertising vehicle. So, where should the hashtag fit in on the professional network and how should you use it?
- Get more visibility for original content by using hashtags in your Publisher articles (e.g. original article vs. post update). LinkedIn uses hashtags to categorize and index your articles so you should add up to 3 hashtags per content piece.
- Use hashtags to get exposure to other users interested in similar topics, gather competitive intelligence on trending topics and identify people to connect with on social networks via similar topics of interest.
- Promote an event, spread awareness about a campaign or group conversations from an event or campaign by using relevant hashtags.
Technically speaking, there are some trends to avoid when using hashtags, especially in a professional arena.
- Don’t be a hashtag abuser by stringing a bunch of words together. Nobody is going to search #taxseasonismakingmecrazy, nor is anyone going to take you seriously if you let your emotions fly from the flagpole.
- Use relevant words to tag your article; don’t use click-bait. For example, in this post I could use:
#Hashtags What I’m talking about #CPA Who I’m talking to #AccountingMarketing What I do
- Go beyond tagging your brand name by choosing a phrase that represents your brand and what you stand for, e.g. #ideasforgrowth.
- Be selective with your hashtags, don’t add a hashtag to everything you post. Instead, save your hashtag power for posts that separate you from the pack or comments that add substance to the conversation at large.
More than 100 million members are now invited to “tap into professional knowledge with content search at LinkedIn” with the revived functionality of hashtags. While the hashtag tool is still only available for use on mobile apps, LinkedIn promises that hashtags will be coming to desktop very soon. Until then, take advantage of this enhancement to the LinkedIn platform and use it to grow your network!