Eugénie Bertrand

[En] Hashtags and mentions: the anti-algorithm weapons?

People&Culture

8 mai 2022

3 min

Admit it, even though you have been on LinkedIn for several years, you have not yet discovered the secrets of hashtag and mentions. Don't worry, you're not alone! Fortunately, it will only take you 3 minutes to read this post which, let's not be afraid of words, could make your life a lot easier.

Hasghtags for users

Is a keyword preceded by the # symbol, which is used by users on social networks. It has two basic uses, quite different depending on whether you are a LinkedIn user who reads, or a user who also publishes.

Who is mainly a reader, hashtags will allow you to access content that contains this keyword, whether or not you are in the network of the person who uses it. In concrete terms, let’s imagine that you are interested in the very fashionable topic of caring at work. In the search bar of your LinkedIn homepage, type #kindness (yes, you’ll have to get used to it, most of the LinkedIn hashtags are in English…).

At the top of your homepage, you can see that this hashtag is followed by nearly 75000 other users. Click on follow, this hashtag will now appear in the list of hashtags you are following, and you will be notified each time a post or comment with this same hashtag is published, whether the author is part of your network or not.
In other words, with hashtags, you decide what information will reach you, not the LinkedIn algorithm that decides for you. Convenient, isn’t it?

If, on the contrary, you are a user who publishes, the use of hashtags will allow you to considerably increase your visibility by being read by users other than your subscribers, but who are interested in the topic you are dealing with. Provided of course that you have added all relevant hashtags to your publication!

The figures are clear: a publication with hashtag generates 55% more interactions. But be careful not to overuse it: beyond 5 hashtags, the number of generated interactions falls quickly. Not to mention that if you use too many hashtags, LinkedIn’s algorithm risks cataloguing your publication as spam…

What about the mentions ?

And the mentions, what are they? While the hashtag is a keyword referring to a subject, designated by the # sign, the mention is a keyword referring to a person, designated by the @ sign. The usage is exactly the same as for the hashtag: decide which people you want to follow (even if they are outside your network) by programming them on your profile.

Similarly, when you publish, indicate useful people to your readers by quoting them preceded by the @ sign, this will allow you to increase the circulation of your article, and thus your own visibility. It’s as simple as that…

Here’s some practical advice :

1. Where to find the hashtags?

To search for a hashtag, go to the search bar at the top of the home page and write the # symbol followed by the keyword you are interested in. LinkedIn will show you the most popular hashtags and their respective number of subscribers. You will also be able to view all publications that mention this hashtag and eventually decide to follow it.

2. How do I add hashtags and mentions?

When you are about to publish an article, an image or a video or when you share a publication, you can add the # symbol followed by the keyword you want to reference, and/or the @ symbol to identify the person(s) of your choice. It couldn’t be any easier !

Use hastaghs within sentences

Don’t leave your hashtags hanging. Even if you only share an image or a video, the hashtag alone is not enough: the content you share must always include at least one line of descriptive text. Ideally, you should embed hashtags and mentions within sentences, turning keywords into hashtags and involving one or more people if necessary.

4. Include punctuation, but in the right places

Be careful, a hashtag can only include letters and numbers. Any punctuation or symbol used will break the link. This means that your hashtags must not contain spaces, apostrophes, commas, exclamation marks or hyphens. This applies when you search for a hashtag as well as when you use them in a publication.

5. Find your niche

Depending on your sector of activity and interests, your publications will deal with different subjects from those of your network, as will your use of hashtags, which must correspond to the subjects you deal with. There is a niche community for each sector and topic, and they often use very specific hashtags. Search for the most popular specific hashtags in your industry, you will be informed and you will reach a larger community. For example, if you work in natural cosmetics, you can use the hashtag #beautyaddict or #cleanbeauty to reach a community that shares this interest.

6. Don’t be afraid to use popular hashtags as well

The popular hashtags suggested by LinkedIn are very good tools to increase the reach of your publications (the number of members who receive them). Useful if you are not yet familiar with hashtags specific to your field of activity or you simply want to reach a wider audience, popular hashtags are not popular for nothing .

7. Or to mention influential people

LinkedIn is a way to expand your professional network far beyond your closest contacts. If you want to stand out, feel free to mention influential people if they have inspired you to share a certain type of content or tell a story. Likewise, it is recommended that you share with your network any third-party publications that you find interesting, mentioning their authors. Mentioning is a great tool for attracting attention and expanding your network!

8. Using event hashtags

If you publish, event hashtags are a great communication tool to create content and demonstrate your presence or involvement with your network. Moreover, they are very appreciated by readers because they can identify with them.

On the other hand, if you want to stay informed, most popular events have hashtags and count for the most popular, several thousand publications and subscribers. For example: #InternationalWomensDay, #EarthDay or #ChildrensDay are very popular hashtags that refer to events that are followed all over the world.

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