During this article, you’ll learn all about the LinkedIn hashtag categories to maximise reach and drive engagement to your posts.
There’s a lot of confusion about LinkedIn hashtags – what are they? How can you use them? And how can you get the most out of them to get more eyes on your content and see more engagement on the posts that you put out there on LinkedIn?
The first thing to know is that with LinkedIn, less is most definitely more. This isn’t the same as other social channels. LinkedIn prefers you to use about three to five hashtags.
That will include your own personal hashtag. I’ve talked before about personal hashtags on LinkedIn, and how to use them to both get more eyes on your content but also to catalogue all your posts together. If you’d like to find out more about personal hashtags, have a read of my blog post “5 top tips to drive more engagement on your content using LinkedIn hashtags”. You can also see my video on YouTube on LinkedIn personal hashtags on my YouTube channel.
If you prefer to watch/listen than read, you can also see the YouTube video accompanying this post here.
Understand LinkedIn Hashtags to Maximise your Post Engagement.
On with the show – The four LinkedIn hashtag categories.
There are four categories or types of LinkedIn hashtags. These LinkedIn hashtag categories fall into the areas of growth (or broad) hashtags, niche hashtags, inspirational (or emotional) hashtags and geographical hashtags.
What I recommend you do is to do a bit of research for each of these categories. Make a list of hashtags that really appear to represent who your clients are and the type of content that they’re likely to be following.
Establish what hashtags your client is following.
The first thing you need to do is to ensure that you aren’t using photography-related hashtags in your posts.
The exception is that you are a photographer who offers photography training courses, and you are trying to appeal to other photographers with your training.
This is important. When you first set up your LinkedIn account, LinkedIn will have asked you to select hashtags to follow. These are to help LinkedIn to tailor your newsfeed with content that is relevant to you and fill your newsfeed with that sort of content. So, if you’re a photographer, you’re probably going to start typing in photography hashtags, because that’s what you want to see in your newsfeed.
Now, imagine you are a business owner. You might be a lifestyle coach or a fitness instructor. Or you might be a corporate head-hunter for a big city firm. Are you going to be following the LinkedIn hashtag #photography? Well, probably not. Unless you are a photographer or are particularly interested in photography, it’s unlikely. However, they are entrepreneurs, so they might be following something like #entrepreneurship or #businesssuccess.
They might be following a hashtag that is relevant to their local area. It might be #businessLondon or #Londonnetworking – something like that.
So what you need to do here is to think about who your ideal client types are, and the type of hashtags that they’re going to be following because that is the sort of content they are asking LinkedIn to direct into their newsfeed.
Broad hashtags – first LinkedIn hashtag category.
So, the first LinkedIn hashtag category I mentioned was broad hashtags. Broad hashtags are basically not subcategories. They cover a huge category on their own.
A good example of this is #marketing. The marketing hashtag covers all areas of marketing. It might be digital marketing, social media marketing, direct marketing, or telephone marketing – the list is endless. So marketing is a big, broad hashtag. And because of that, it has a huge following. I think it has somewhere in the region of 20 or 30 million people.
The problem with these huge broad hashtags is that, yes, they have a huge following and so potentially you could get a lot of eyes on your content, but it also means that the traffic under that hashtag is very competitive. It’s a busy hashtag, so you are going to struggle to stand out.
What you need to do is to research these hashtags, find some of these huge ones with 5, 10, 20 or even 50 million followers, and put them on a piece of paper.
Have them ready to use at the weekend.
This is a brilliant hack. Why? Because on LinkedIn, fewer people post at the weekend. As the posting activity is so dramatically lower, it’s less competitive. But people still tune in to comment and to follow stuff over the weekend. I get a lot of activity on my posts over the weekend, because there are not many people posting.
Give it a go, try using these hashtags over the weekend on your posts. You might be surprised at the reach.
Adding your LinkedIn hashtags to your post.
Remember though, that you want no more than three to five hashtags on your posts. And I do suggest you only use these broad ones at the weekend.
When you do add your LinkedIn hashtags, you want to put those at the very bottom of your post.
Don’t put them inside your content, put them right at the very bottom to finish off your post.
I suggest that you ask a question at the bottom of the post, if you ask a question, that’s going to encourage engagement – you’ll get people commenting and getting a bit more happening on your post.
Then, tab down two or three lines and add your hashtags there. If your LinkedIn hashtags aren’t inside your content, it makes it much easier to read.
Niche hashtags – second LinkedIn hashtag category.
The next category of LinkedIn hashtags is niche hashtags. Basically, a niche hashtag is a niche, or narrowed down version of that broad hashtag. Usually, it’s a broad hashtag with a word either at the beginning or the end of it.
Let me give you an example – digital marketing. If you type digital marketing into the LinkedIn search box – go up to the search bar, type in #digitalmarketing, and you will see it appear in the search results. Click on that and you will be able to see the following, or follower number.
If you want to follow that hashtag, you click on “follow now”. Digital marketing will have a narrower following than marketing.
Another example of a niche hashtag is #photographybusiness. This is one of the hashtags that I use because I am trying to get into the newsfeeds of photographers. #Photographybusiness is a niched down hashtag of photographers because it’s aimed at photographers who are interested in the business element of photography. So that’s a niche hashtag.
Again, you need to look and research for your ideal clients – what type of niche hashtags are they likely to be following?
Inspirational hashtags – third LinkedIn hashtag category.
The next category of hashtags is emotional or inspirational hashtags. These are quite popular on LinkedIn – these tend to be hashtags about positive things and LinkedIn is a very upbeat and positive place. People love to compliment each other when they’ve been successful.
So, words like “success” are good. That’s one that I tend to follow. Others are “positivity” and “inspiration”. There are a lot though, things like #sunset, #love, #sunrise, #harmony, #togetherness.
These are all emotional or inspirational hashtags.
Geographical hashtags – fourth LinkedIn hashtag category.
The final hashtag category is geographical hashtags. Geographical hashtags tend to be a lot smaller. You’ll see that the following numbers tend to struggle here, they often don’t get more than a couple of thousand.
Now, depending on where you live, if for example, you are in a really small town, you’re going to really battle to get a following of more than a couple of hundred people on a geographical hashtag.
If you live in a bigger city, maybe London, or Paris or New York – somewhere like that, you might get a few thousand.
A geographical hashtag can be quite useful if you are a local business.
I tend not to use geographical hashtags because I’m not a local business. I have clients in over 20 countries around the world. I tend not to use geographical hashtags unless I’m talking about my local area which is Northumberland. If I put a landscape picture up, talking about being somewhere then I will use the hashtag #northumberland.
If you’re a local business, I suggest you do some research for your local business hashtag. You don’t really want to use the general hashtag as this might be aimed at tourists (unless that’s your ideal client). If you are targeting local businesses, entrepreneurs in your area, or food or hospitality photography then geographical hashtags can be great. If you are promoting your food photography or personal branding photography for example.
To find the hashtags that will work best for you, look for things like networking, then the name of your city (#networkinglondon) or even business then the name of your city (#businesslondon).
Do some research on your geographical hashtags. And remember, you can go for much smaller followings with these because there’s a 90% chance that the people that are following them are from your local area. So, you are targeting well here, down to the people who are effectively right on your doorstep.
LinkedIn hashtag categories summary.
So, to summarise, there are four different types of hashtags on LinkedIn.
There are broad hashtags with huge followings, quite often over the million number. You want to keep those maybe for the weekend.
Then you’ve got niche hashtags. A good niche hashtag following would be around 10,000 to 500,000, 800,000 – something like that.
You have inspirational or emotional hashtags, which are things like #happiness, #togetherness, #success, and #love.
And finally, there are geographical hashtags, which are a lot smaller, but if you can get some good ones in your local area, they’re brilliant as they’re going to be hitting people who are right on your doorstep.
Don’t forget – you should be using three to five hashtags in every post. Make sure that those hashtags appeal to your ideal clients and put those hashtags right at the very end of your posts.
I really hope you’ve found this post useful. If you have any questions at all, drop me a message in the comments, I’ll always get back to you.
More useful links and content.
If you’re interested in learning more about LinkedIn for photographers, you might be interested in my recent posts – the first is on using LinkedIn Creator Mode to optimise your content
The second, I mentioned earlier, and that is my post on driving more engagement on your LinkedIn content using hashtags. You’ll find lots more about using LinkedIn hashtags effectively there, and I also explain what a personal hashtag is, how to create one and how to use it.
Also, I really do suggest that you check out my book “The Photographers Missing Link-edIn” on Amazon.
This is one of the most up-to-date books about LinkedIn taking you from absolute beginner to influencer, and it’s just 170 pages long. Just go over to Amazon and type in the “The Photographers Missing Link-edIn”. The book is brand new; it’s only been out for a few months so the content on there is really up to date.
Just for fun, below are also a few books that I recommend to photographers who are members of my photography mentoring group, my “6 Steps to Success” programme.