Have you ever wondered whether #hashtags or @mentions are worth the effort?
The short answer is yes!
Using hashtags and tagging others in LinkedIn can
- Extend the reach of your posts
- Increase engagement with your content
- Generate views of your profile
What are #hashtags and @mentions and what do they do?
The # in blue is a user defined content category. The more people are using the same hashtag, the more people are expressing an interest in that topic.
Hashtags help you to connect with people who have similar interests to you, they can make your profile more searchable, and they can add your message on a topic to a broader audience.
When people choose to follow a hashtag, posts containing that phrase will appear in their feed, even if they are not connected to the person posting.
Mentions (also known as “Tagging”)
A name in blue has been “mentioned” (@name).
Mentions should be used to foster relationships, specifically when you think someone’s views will add value to your conversation – it’s all about creating interaction and engagement. You can mention people in your network, or those who aren’t who you’d like to contribute to your conversation, and they’ll be shown your post.
If LinkedIn sees what it believes is genuine interaction, it will extend post reach to more people, including people in the mentionees network to whom your post may be relevant.
Beware though, if LinkedIn sees your @mentions as spammy or promotional, it will stop showing your post.
What’s the difference between using hashtags on LinkedIn and Instagram, Facebook or Twitter?
Like other social media platforms, LinkedIn runs posts, articles etc through an algorithm to determine who in your network is most likely to respond to what you post, and it shows that specific content to them. If they respond quickly, LinkedIn shows the content to more people. You may feel that you see a lot of content on LinkedIn, but actually, only 2% of users create content on the platform – a lot less than other social media platforms, so it’s worth trying some posting.
LinkedIn is a business platform, and says that you should use hashtags to :
- Establish your credibility and expertise
- Reach people who value your insights
- Start meaningful conversations over shared interests
How should I use #hashtags and @mentions?
- Research relevant hashtags for your chosen topic (There are several listing sites on Google, or simply search for the hashtag you are considering in the LinkedIn search bar – LinkedIn will show you posts currently using that hashtag) . Choose a mixture of broad topics e.g. #digitalmarketing, and niche topics e.g. #emailmarketingtips to trial.
- Use 3 hashtags – two broad topic, and one niche.
- Add relevant hashtags to your posts and articles. Don’t use spaces or symbols other than the #. You can do it in the body of your text, or more effectively, as a list at the end.
- When you comment on someone else’s post, add a hashtag that strengthens your topic
- Follow hashtags to join relevant conversations. In your search bar, enter a topic e.g. #digitalmarketing and you’ll get a list of related topics. Pick the one of most interest and click follow!
- When creating a post, or commenting on someone else’s, type @ and then the name of the person. You will be given a drop down list of people to select from.
- Limit the number of mentions to 2 or3 per post.
- If you use a scheduler for posting, @mentions sometimes don’t work, so you may want to create posts where you want to mention people specifically within LinkedIn.
- Mention people who you think will respond – you are looking for engagement. Avoid mentioning people who have previously shown no interest in your subject.
- If someone @mentions you, you will receive a notification from LinkedIn. It’s good form to respond when you receive one of these notifications as it tells LinkedIn that it was a welcome interaction.