LinkedIn hashtags have been around since 2016, and, like hashtags on other platforms, they can be a valuable tool for small businesses on social media. As on other sites, LinkedIn hashtags categorize your content and link it with a network of related posts to extend your brand’s reach. But does this mean you should use the same strategy on LinkedIn as on other platforms?

The short answer: probably not. Social media platforms come in all shapes and sizes, and LinkedIn is no exception. It’s focused on making professional (not personal) connections, its newsfeed contains far fewer posts than Facebook or Twitter, and LinkedIn users don’t spend quite so much time on the site—for example, about 17 minutes per month vs 27 minutes per day on Instagram. Topics and theme categories are also much different on this platform. With variations in mind, here are three recommendations to leverage LinkedIn hashtags to strengthen your small business’s social media presence.

  1. Choose the Right Number of Hashtags.

LinkedIn doesn’t set any limits on your hashtag usage, but that doesn’t mean you should over-populate your posts. Given that most people are skimming through content, they’ll be looking for a few eye-catching phrases rather than a huge cluster of tags. LinkedIn experts recommend you add between three and five hashtags to each post. You’ll need to strategize which words or phrases are most “hashtag-able” – those will best expand the reach of your content.

  1. Choose the Right Type of Hashtags.

LinkedIn identifies hashtags in three categories: recommended, popular, and trending. “Recommended” hashtags are those that pop up when you are in the process of drafting a LinkedIn post. While it depends on the content you’ve written, these hashtags are typically more niche and industry-specific. You can find lists of the most popular and trending hashtags through a quick Google search, and hashtags trending in your network can be located on LinkedIn by clicking the “My Network” icon and scrolling to the bottom.

What’s the right type of hashtag to use for your posts? Popular ones reach a lot more followers, and because LinkedIn users don’t post as frequently as those on Twitter, for example, there is less content associated with even the most popular hashtags (and thus less chance your post will get lost in the crowd). Trending hashtags can also indicate your company is well-informed or on the cutting edge. Still, niche hashtags signal your brand’s priorities and values and connect better with your target audience. Incorporating a mix of popular and niche LinkedIn hashtags is usually the best strategy. You can also develop “branded hashtags” to track when people talk about your business.

  1. Choose the Right Hashtag Placement.

When adding a hashtag to a LinkedIn post, there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind. First, you should draft the content of your post before including your hashtags. That way, you’ll be able to see what type of hashtags LinkedIn recommends, and you’ll also be able to judge better which words or phrases would work best to use based on the flow of your content. Also, know that LinkedIn heavily discourages posts that are solely made up of hashtags. Deciding whether a hashtag works best at the beginning, middle, or end of the post is up to your judgment—though you shouldn’t do all three. And some experts do recommend adding hashtags to the end of your content only.

A final note: before sharing any hashtag-populated posts, set your LinkedIn profile to “public”. If it’s private, no one will be able to see your tagged content, regardless of how many hashtags you’ve included, what type you’ve chosen, or where you place them!

Developing a LinkedIn strategy for your small business doesn’t have to be complicated. One Part Social can help! Contact us today to learn how to optimize your company’s presence on LinkedIn and other social media platforms.