LinkedIn, the professional networking platform, has undergone significant changes in recent years, particularly in how it treats hashtags. The question on many users' minds is, do you still need to use hashtags on LinkedIn for effective post visibility?
Evolution of Hashtags on LinkedIn
In the not-so-distant past, LinkedIn didn't support hashtags at all. This changed in 2018 when the platform not only activated hashtag discoverability but also actively encouraged users to incorporate them into their posts. The rationale behind this move was to enhance content segmentation. By having users manually categorize their posts, LinkedIn aimed to offer more personalized content to its user base.
The initial push for hashtags made sense. LinkedIn wanted to create a more structured system, making it easier to connect users with content relevant to their interests. However, as the platform's algorithms have evolved, the landscape of hashtag use has also shifted.
The Current Landscape: Hashtags vs. Algorithm Sophistication
Fast forward to today, and the scenario has changed. LinkedIn's algorithms have become highly advanced. They no longer solely rely on hashtags for content categorization. Instead, the system looks at the broader context of a post, taking into account various elements, such as the post's content, attached visuals, user behavior and keywords.
LinkedIn's Stance on Hashtags
LinkedIn acknowledges using hashtags can aid viewers in identifying the post's topic and finding related content. However, the platform emphasizes the importance of using relevant hashtags closely tied to the post's subject matter. LinkedIn states, “In addition to hashtags, we also consider conversation topics and keywords to help surface relevant information for professionals looking to advance in their careers.”
This indicates that while hashtags can be useful, the system also takes into account conversation topics and keywords within the post. The response from LinkedIn suggests relevant keywords in the post might already serve the purpose of hashtags.
Strategic Use of Hashtags
LinkedIn further notes that when searching for conversations on a specific topic, users can use topics or hashtags. This implies that while LinkedIn is less reliant on hashtags for maximizing content discovery, users should be mindful of the keywords mentioned in their main post. Tapping into the right conversation streams based on target topics is key.
AI and Trend Analysis
Understanding the prevalent hashtags related to your sector involves following popular pages and people within your business niche. Additionally, users can search for hashtags directly within the LinkedIn app. This approach provides insights into current discussion trends and ensures your posts align with the ongoing conversations in your industry.
Do You Really Need Hashtags on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn clarifies that its system “is not designed for virality.” This nuanced statement implies that hashtags on LinkedIn don't function in the same manner as on other social platforms. The platform seems to be de-emphasizing hashtags to prevent gaming the system.
While hashtags on LinkedIn were once a primary categorization tool, their significance has evolved. The platform's advanced algorithms consider the broader context of a post, including keywords and conversation topics. While hashtags can still be strategically used, the emphasis is now on relevant and engaging content. Users need not be overly concerned about hashtags, depending on the context. It's more about delivering valuable content and aligning with the ongoing conversations in your professional sphere.
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