Engage AI Institute

7. How to use Hashtags to reach a larger audience

In this lesson, we’ll be going over how to use LinkedIn hashtags to your advantage to promote your posts to like-minded people who are searching LinkedIn for topics that you post about.

how to use hashtags,linkedin hashtag,linkedin hashtags,hashtags on linkedin
An example of a LinkedIn post using hashtags

How to use hashtags

Using hashtags on your posts is simple. All you need to do is place the # symbol before a keyword, phrase, or topic in order to create a hashtag. You also have the option to click Add hashtag on a post to add the # symbol for you.

How to use hashtags on LinkedIn
Adding a hashtag to your post

Hashtags can be placed anywhere in your post, though we recommend placing them in a group at the end of your post, or individually in important sentences, like so;

“So excited to be attending the upcoming #insurtech conference coming up!”

FYI: Hashtags have no effect when used in comments or in PULSE articles, so keep them in your posts!

It is also important to note that spaces are not used in hashtags. If you were to use a space in a hashtag, only the first word would be considered part of the hashtag.

Here are a few examples of the right and wrong way to use hashtags;

  1. #datascience (RIGHT)
  2. #data science (WRONG)

2 is wrong because leaving a space after data means the hashtag will only be for data instead of data science.

  1. #hiring (RIGHT)
  2. # hiring (WRONG)

2 is wrong because leaving a space after the # symbol means that the hashtag will be broken.

  1. #womenintech (RIGHT)
  2. womenintech (WRONG)

2 is wrong because leaving out the # symbol does not make a hashtag.

When choosing hashtags for your post, try to think about what hashtags people would be searching for. Overly specific hashtags such as #whoelseisonlinkedinat7am are amusing for the audience that will see it, but no one outside of them will find your post through this hashtag. Try to use a mixture of broader hashtags and niche ones to find a good balance between competing in the popular hashtags and finding your small but perfect audience in the niche hashtags.

Before utilising a hashtag, use a Google Chrome extension like this one to observe the popularity of said hashtag. You never know when one letter could make thousands of followers in difference.

With this extension, you can:

  1. Hover your mouse over an existing hashtag in a status post. It will show you the follower count of said hashtag.
  2. While typing out your hashtags in creating a status post, you’ll also be shown the follower count of each hashtag.
  3. If you include more than one hashtag in your post, before clicking ‘Post’ you can click the ‘Sum’ button that appears beside ‘Post’ to automatically calculate the total follower count from all the hashtags you included in the post.
  4. By clicking on the extension in your Google Chrome toolbar, you’ll be able to type in a hashtag and automatically find the follower count for it.

Through the simple and easy use of this extension, you’ll easily be able to decide on which hashtags will help you find the best reach possible.

LinkedIn Hashtag Analytics chrome extension
Finding the follower count of related hashtags using this extension

It is also possible for you to create your own hashtag, related to something you post often or consistently. That way, your audience will be able to click your hashtag, and find all the related posts you’ve created with it. However, before you settle on one, make sure that it’s not already being used. Common words such as #data or #smallbusiness will not be your own. If you own a small business, the company’s name may function well as a hashtag if it’s an uncommon word or phrase.

LinkedIn will also recommend hashtags for you to use automatically. These will appear in a dropdown menu as you are typing your hashtags and are often based on the most popular hashtags at the time. However, it will not show you the exact follower count.

LinkedIn Hashtag Analytics chrome extension
Suggested hashtags from LinkedIn without using this extension

On that note, only use hashtags that are relevant to your post, even if they seem to have a large audience. Otherwise, you risk annoying people who are browsing these hashtags with your unrelated post

Finally, limit the number of hashtags you use. While LinkedIn doesn’t have a limit of the number you can use in a single post, your content will look cluttered and difficult to read with too many, and you’ll be using up valuable character space. From our research, a maximum of 3 hashtags per post will yield the best results.

By using hashtags, it’s been observed to get you 50% more reach on LinkedIn, so make sure to use them to your best advantage.