inboundli Features Update – LinkedIn Supports Hashtags (Again)

inboundli Features Update – LinkedIn Supports Hashtags (Again)

Over the past few months LinkedIn is gradually rolling out their new UI for desktop users. One important change in the new UI is the renewed support for hashtags. To help our users maximize reach, we added hashtag suggestions for LinkedIn posts in inboundli. Below is a short recap of how hashtags are supported in inboundli and our recommendations regarding their use on LinkedIn.

A Brief History of Hashtags on LinkedIn

In 2007, Chris Messina was the first to suggest the pound symbol as a way to group conversations on Twitter. Here is the original post with the hashtag ‘#barcamp’:

First hashtag on Twitter

Hashtags got so widely adopted that in 2013 both Facebook and LinkedIn started supporting them. But while hashtags on Facebook became a constant feature of the network, they had a poor user response on LinkedIn and were rolled back the same year.

In 2016 LinkedIn again started supporting hashtags, this time only on their mobile app. This allowed mobile users to tap and search hashtags on the network while leaving desktop users without this functionality.

A LinkedIn post with hashtags as seen on a mobile device

With their new UI, which is still not universally rolled out, LinkedIn also supports hashtags on desktop. This means that users that were upgraded to the new UI can see and search hashtags, while users of the old UI will see hashtags as simple text which can’t be clicked.

How Hashtags Work in LinkedIn

If you were upgraded to the new desktop UI, you can leverage hashtags to grow visibility, group content and discover interesting posts.

To find posts with a specific hashtag, type it in LinkedIn’s search field and then select the ‘Posts’ tab. You can also click on a hashtag in a post to achieve the same result.

A search for the hashtag "#ContentMarketing" on LinkedIn

We mentioned above that users of the old desktop UI don’t see clickable hashtags. To complicate matters more, company page admins can’t see hashtags on their company’s content feed. All the while visitors to the page and people who followed your company will see hashtags on the company page feed and in their home feeds respectively.

Here’s an example of a post with hashtags when viewed by a page admin:

Hashtags that appear as simple text when viewed on a company timeline by a page admin

Here’s the same post viewed by a page visitor:

Hashtags that are linked when viewed on a company timeline by a regular visitor

How to Use Hashtags in inboundli

We added clickable hashtag suggestions for LinkedIn posts, similar to the ones we have for Twitter and Facebook. Simply click a hashtag label to append it to a post.

Hashtag suggestions for LinkedIn on inboundli

By default, hashtags are appended after your annotation to make it more readable. We recommend putting hashtags on a separate line from your annotation, either on the next line or by skipping one. This will make your post taller (and thus more visible) as well as structure your annotation in a way that causes less hashtag clicks – hashtags are great for reaching new people, but you don’t want them to be lead away from your post by clicking on them.

Hashtags that are separated from the annotation by two line breaks

We recommend 1-2 hashtags per post. If you are an influencer you can use more hashtags, although we don’t recommend going above 4 where engagement starts to plunge.

Summary

Although LinkedIn doesn’t support hashtags consistently, it’s likely that they will be a universal feature across the network once all users are upgraded to the new desktop UI. We recommend adding 1-2 hashtags to your posts to grow reach and to put them on a separate line for better readability.