Hashtags on LinkedIn. We have all seen them – and some of us actually use them- but do we really know their importance and correct usage, and should the rest of us care? Well, if you regularly share content on LinkedIn for marketing or B2B lead gen/nurture, then indeed, you should.
For those of you who have been lucky enough to have received the occasional LinkedIn notification congratulating you that ‘your post has been trending,’ you have achieved something great – eyes on your content; For those of you who share ‘occasionally’ on LinkedIn, without much engagement, and think hashtags are a Twitter thing, then you definitely need to read on.
Much like Twitter, hashtags on LinkedIn are a way to group people, who are interested in a specific topic, funnelling them super-relevant content that they want to see. This is truly a win-win! You get great views, which means exposure and engagement ops, and your audience gets served with exactly the content they are interested in.
Sharing is caring. And, increasing your views on your shared social content is what it is all about. There is nothing more frustrating than sharing content and getting zero response. Over two million posts, articles, and videos are published on LinkedIn every day, which makes it very difficult to stand out in a sea of overwhelming posts. That is why it is critical to not only generate the right content but also take the right steps to make sure it is seen.
Again, trending is a great indicator of whether your content is landing. It validates your content efforts with views. For those who are not sure what trending means, it is very simple: any post trending within a hashtag means that it will be additionally exposed to those hashtag followers. And while views technically mean someone only paused on your content in their feed for three seconds – and maybe didn’t read it- it’s still a win.
Here is the absolute benefit: Increasing the number of views of your posted content makes LinkedIn’s content algorithm happy. The more people who view your posted content, the longer it stays around on LinkedIn, and that gives more time for your network, and your targeted connections, to see your content and, ultimately, see your profile and connect!
To help optimize your LinkedIn hashtag strategy, here are a few top tips to take your social posts to the next level of engagements:
1. Do your Hashtag homework
Number one tip: Research your LinkedIn hashtags before you use them, choosing only those who have a significant number of followers, and those that are specific to your post, and not just your professional brand.
How? Simply type in a hashtag in the LinkedIn search bar to see how many followers it has. Obviously, making use of those hashtags that have a significant base of subscribers means that your post, with that hashtag incorporated, gets the greatest number of eyes on it.
PRO TIP: Make sure you do not overdo the number of hashtags in your LinkedIn post. The optimal number of hashtags is three. Any more than that and LinkedIn’s content algorithm may identify your overuse as ‘spammy,’ which is never, ever good.
2. Strategic tagging
Much like hashtags, tagging key connections and teammates to view your post can be an immediate source of views. While it can easily be overused, if you share relevant and valuable content, you should not hesitate to share it with specific people. If you find yourself becoming hesitant to tag, you must then take a hard look at your content and ask yourself if it really is as valuable as you thought.
3. Post valuable content
Feeding the ‘content monster’ is scary. The pressure to keep generating or sourcing great content is intimidating. Ask any marketer. The barriers are many, which often force even enthusiastic sharers to abandon their efforts. According to Trustpilot.com, “Only 1% of users post content weekly, though 91% of marketing executives use LinkedIn as a content source.” From the marketing perspective, ‘content is king, and context is queen.’ Marketing efforts on social must be fueled by thought leadership for success. Adding thought leadership on social is really where you can help boost the value of marketing content or take your third party, industry-specific posts to the next level. Focus on thought leadership, taking a quality over quantity approach, by really adding industry value to your posts. Showcase your expertise in the caption. Talk about known industry pain paints and add your insights for a powerful display of your professional brand. Strive to show versus tell. An informative, or ‘good,’ article is one thing, but personalizing it with your own industry insight and foresight is the key to getting not only views but gaining likes and comments, which build credibility, trust, yielding new connections.
4. Optimize content for mobile
While you may have an amazing piece of content, it takes more than that to rack up the views. Now more than ever, in this cloud-first, mobile-first world we live in, people are using their mobile phones to engage with content. This means that while long-form content on LinkedIn still gets the most shares, you may need to help your audience on mobile by making it easy for them to like. That means no deep-dive or critical thinking articles. Focus on the emotional and authentic, using pictures, quotes, and infographics to convey your point. Make it irresistible.
Another great way to break down a long-form article for your readers is to pull a key quote from within, placing it in the post’s introduction, and interpret it through your professional brand voice, adding key insights that make it valuable. ‘Most shares’ means nothing; ‘Most views’ means everything. By focusing on snackable content that is broken down for easy consumption, you have enabled your audience to easily engage with your content – and they will appreciate your efforts through increased views, social likes, and comments.
5. Appealing content is engaging content
While the trend suggests that video is the new engagement standard on LinkedIn, some folks are naturally a bit camera shy and will probably never embrace it. No problem, but you still need to focus on making your content appealing. Leading with a picture in your post and tying it to your professional brand garners a 98% higher engagement rate than just text and a link alone. Another tip is to add relevant links, which can drive double the engagement. Also, strive to mix mediums each week (pictures, infographics, articles, quotes, videos) and really try to write your own content. There is no substitute for your own words. When written well, an article can serve to underscore your credibility in your particular industry or solution area, making you stand out in a sea of average on social.
PRO TIP – According to an OKDork survey, embedding video in your LinkedIn article isn’t a good idea. The survey found that articles containing zero videos performed the best when compared with others that featured multimedia embeds.
6. Always be testing
While there is no absolute here on what is the right time of day to post content on LinkedIn, one thing that is generally agreed upon is sharing content Tuesday through Thursday. To really dial in on your specific network’s prime time for content consumption, you must review your content’s metrics and adjust, constantly. Did your target accounts consume your content? If the answer is no, then you must continue to incorporate these tips and also experiment on different posting times during the day.
PRO TIP – Clicking into your post views after each share can let you see who is consuming your content. Always be testing means reviewing your content analytics and adjusting to get the right people, in the right role, in the right company, to see and engage with your content.
By incorporating all these tips into your content strategy, you will not only boost your content but possibly launch it into trending orbit!!
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