As we are in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, online networking has never been more important to stay top of mind and build connections – whether you have a job or are looking for one.

There are three essential building blocks of LinkedIn – your profile, your connections and your interaction on the platform. I find that many professionals focus on the first one – creating a strong profile, but they don’t take it to the next level by strategically building their network (meaning sending and accepting connection requests) and maintaining a consistent presence through liking, commenting and sharing posts.

Here are some ways you can fire on all cylinders when it comes to strengthening your LinkedIn presence. Remember that LinkedIn is where business professionals gather, do research and look for information especially now.

I keep updating this story because the hashtag follower counts are rapidly changing and rising. Here’s an updated version of the chart and the article as of 4/19.

Hashtags are great tools to help your content become discovered on LinkedIn, but only if you know how to correctly use hashtags and you use the most effective ones.

If you’re writing about the coronavirus on LinkedIn, you should be using hashtags so your content can be amplified and have a stronger impact. The content you post should have your target audience in mind and be designed to help them navigate this unprecedented time.

But first off – what is a hashtag? Just like on Twitter or Instagram, a LinkedIn hashtag is any combination of letters, number or emoji that follow the # symbol such as #coronavirus. Any spaces or symbols used within the tag will break the link, so that means you can’t include apostrophes, commas, exclamation points or hyphens in your hashtag.

Hashtags help users find content on a specific topic. If you add hashtags to your posts, they’ll help you get discovered by other users, including those not connected to you (2nd and 3rd degree connections). This is because individuals now search for content under hashtags and click on the hashtags in posts. In addition, you can follow hashtags on LinkedIn, meaning that posts containing the ones you have selected will appear in your news feed.