I see so many large law firms and every size firm in between – as well as individuals – not using hashtags at all or not using them correctly. This is likely why your posts don’t have many likes and why the same people like your posts over and over.

Hashtags amplify the reach of your content. Hashtags are trending and commonly used search terms on social platforms (a hashtag uses the # sign followed by the term, so for example #socialmedia).

Some users follow and search for content using hashtags and their usage is increasing across all social platforms.

Incorporating hashtags into your social strategy will enhance your ability to reach prospects, clients and other interested parties because individuals who are following or searching that hashtag may see your content even if they are not connected to you.

Use only 3 to 5 hashtags or LinkedIn will mark your post as spam. This is SO important. You can’t just stick in a bunch of hashtags into your post and think it will help your post get discovered. It will only make your post invisible.

Also, please don’t put the hashtags within the body of the post – so don’t do this:

#Hashtags are a very effective way of increasing your #visibility and building your #personalbrand on #socialmedia.

This is hard to read for many people. The hashtags should be at the end of your post and you should skip a line between the last line of the body copy of the post and your hashtags for readability.

The best way to find the right hashtag is to use the search functionality in the main search bar and type in a term to see how many followers it has. Too many followers will ensure your post will get lost as will using a hashtag with few followers. Just changing a letter or abbreviating it can make a huge difference in the number of followers of a hashtag.

The suggestions that come up when you type in a post aren’t always the best ones to use because they’re based on the context and not the number of followers a hashtag currently has. So many people rely on the words that come up when they type in a post, or they just put in the ones they think are best without doing research. And that’s not having a smart LinkedIn strategy.

Using hashtags helps with increasing visibility of your posts on LinkedIn, but it’s crucial to check the number of followers of a hashtag before you use it. Just changing a letter or abbreviating it can make a huge difference as noted above.

Don’t rely on the hashtag suggestions that LinkedIn provides, they’re based on content and AI – double check them first using the main search bar. There is no quick easy automated tool for this – YOU are the best resource.

Also remember that too many followers is not great because your content will get lost and too few followers is not great because no one will see it.

Look at this example to see how just a few characters can make a big difference when it comes to using hashtags on LinkedIn. Consider this a special gift for my intellectual property lawyer followers!

If you find yourself writing about the same topics, you should make a list of the top hashtags in that area so that you can copy and paste them. This will make your life much easier. Note that a hashtag will rarely lose followers but rather gain them.

I can’t stress the importance of researching permutations of hashtags before you use post them. You will see a huge difference in the discoverability of your content IF you take the time to do this!

I am not a huge fan of making up your own hashtags because that won’t help your content be discovered (these hashtags have a low number of followers if any at all). You always must click on the hashtag to see how many followers it has or you are not creating a strategic social strategy.

Hashtags are incredibly important on LinkedIn – start using them today!

Happy hashtagging.