I’ve written this piece to give you my 5 top tips to drive more engagement on your content using LinkedIn hashtags. I see a lot of photographers making mistakes with this, they are often either using too many LinkedIn hashtags, the wrong types of hashtags or using hashtags that have a very poor following – these won’t give them any organic reach.
So, let’s get started with my five steps to creating and using the best LinkedIn hashtags.
- Understand your ideal client
- Research your hashtag content
- Understand the different types of LinkedIn hashtags
- Create your own personal hashtag
- Post correctly and add sparingly
Understanding your ideal client and the LinkedIn hashtags that they follow
If you are a personal branding photographer, your clients are going to be business owners, entrepreneurs or thought leaders. Or they might be people who are effectively their own personal brand like coaches, gym instructors or yoga teachers.
You need to think about their industry and the jobs that they do.
They’re not going to be following LinkedIn hashtags like photography, they’re more likely to be following hashtags like entrepreneurship, marketing or business marketing, stuff like that.
Research your hashtag content, the LinkedIn hashtags that you’ll be using
So how do you find out what type of LinkedIn hashtags to use? First of all, go to the LinkedIn search bar and type in the hashtag sign. Now, LinkedIn will give you some prompts. Have a look at the screengrab below to see what came up when I did this exercise on my YouTube video that accompanies this blog.
For example, if you type in business, the search will come up with business branding, business, advertising, business leadership, and business advice. So, business branding might be a good one for a photographer who is aiming at personal branding. The kind of people that would follow this might be your ideal client. However, when you look at this hashtag, it only has 342 followers. This is what we call a really low hashtag. Remember this number is a global number as well, so that’s a really small number. If you are a local business, you are not going to get much traction under that hashtag.
You want to look for LinkedIn hashtags that have followers over the 10,000 – 50,000 sort of mark, with the exception of global hashtags. This brings me neatly on to the next step.
Understand the different types of LinkedIn hashtags and select from those areas
There are different types of LinkedIn hashtags, we’ve just mentioned the low hashtag. There are also broad hashtags. These are usually things like #marketing. Marketing itself is a very broad topic and that hashtag, because it’s just one word, covers a huge area. Now a more niche hashtag would be marketing coach or marketing campaign or social media marketing or pay-per-click marketing or something like that.
Usually the broader the topic, the broader the niche of the hashtag is at just one word. You narrow that niche down by taking a sector of that. So if, for example, you were to click on the hashtag #marketing, you’d see that it has a really huge following. There are over 20 million people following that one.
You are going to struggle to get a lot of traction on this one, as the newsfeed is just so busy. However, there is a great way to get around this. This is one of my best top tips.
Using LinkedIn and your LinkedIn hashtags at the weekend
LinkedIn is a lot quieter at the weekends. It may be quiet, but people still log in to see what is going on, so they’re still reading and looking at content related to the hashtags they follow. However, hardly anyone is creating content at the weekend.
If you want to utilise these broad LinkedIn hashtags, for example, #marketing or #personalbranding (which I happen to know has a big following as well – over 10 million), try creating posts at the weekend. If you create posts on a Saturday, use one of those broad LinkedIn hashtags as you’ve probably got more chance of getting into the newsfeeds, and getting some traction early on and that should hopefully keep coming through over the following week.
Niche LinkedIn hashtags
So that was your first hashtag #marketing. That is your broad hashtag. As I mentioned above, there are also niche hashtags. This is usually a broad hashtag that has something in front or after it. So big content topics like #socialmedia or #marketing – you might have #contentmarketing. Or for #photography, you might have #portraitphotography. So that’s a niche down to a particular style of photography.
Geographical LinkedIn hashtags
Then you have what we call geographical hashtags. This is what you want to use when you are looking for a smaller number, or to target your region. You may need to experiment a little here. In my YouTube video, I looked at #londonbusiness but that turned out to be a small follower count – just 219. So, we looked at #London, which was quite big – 47,000. If you are a London photographer, that might be a good hashtag to use.
If your ideal clients are business people, you could type in something more niche such as #londonnetworking, or #londonentrepreneurship. If you do food photography, you could look at #londonevent or #londonhospitality. Do a bit of research and see what comes up. Try to get a decent local following if you can, ideally less than 50,000. Something in the region of 10,000 or 5,000. Even if it’s quite a small number, like 2 to 3,000, that’s not too bad as you know that it’s going to people who are going to be in your area. That is what we call a geographical hashtag.
Now we have emotional hashtags. Emotional hashtags are things like #happiness and #feelgood. These do tend to be the sort of hashtags that have more of an Instagram feel to them. But then #happiness does have a huge following. Positivity hashtags work really well on LinkedIn as well. So for example #motivation #positivity, and #success. Things like that are popular. I actually use #success as one of my own hashtags.
Create your own personal hashtag to build your following
The final thing I always encourage is for you to create your own personal hashtag for LinkedIn. This could be what you do, it could be the name of your business. So, you might have #jimmartinphotography or #suefinefoodphotography. If nobody else is using that hashtag, and it doesn’t have any followers then you can claim it as your own.
I created my own which is #creatingsuccessfulphotographers – nobody else uses it, and I use it in all my content. As you can see from the screenshot below, I have 445 followers for that hashtag which is quite a few. This means that every time I post my content it appears under that hashtag and is shown to the people who are following it.
If somebody decides to follow my hashtag, then they are more than likely going to see my content. It basically means that they’ve said to LinkedIn that they’d like to see my content before they see anyone else’s.
The other good thing about doing your own personal hashtag is that it collects all your content together. I regularly do LinkedIn Lives, and often people will message me to let me know that they’d missed the actual live recording. It’s then really easy for me to tell them where to find it, I just direct them to my personal hashtag #creatingsuccessfulphotographers. I can then tell them to simply scroll down the feed until they find the live session that they’d missed.
It really is a good thing to create your own hashtag on LinkedIn. You can also then display it on your headline and even on your banner as well. On the banner, you can ask people to follow your hashtag, and in your professional headline, just add a little bit of text to say something like “follow my hashtag #davesmithphotography for regular top tips on building your brand online”, for example.
LinkedIn Hashtags summary
I hope you’ve found those tips useful, so just to recap, we’ve covered four different areas. You need to understand your client type – you need to work out what your clients are following in their newsfeed, and what is of interest to them. Remember, it’s probably not going to be a photography hashtag, unless, like me, you offer photography training or photography mentoring. You need to research your hashtags before you use them.
Try not to use LinkedIn hashtags that only have 500 or 1,000 followers. You want to reach more people than that.
Remember to try to understand the different types of hashtags. We’ve talked about geographical, emotional, broad, and niche hashtags and, of course, your own personal hashtag.
Add sparingly and post LinkedIn hashtags correctly.
The final things to consider are the number of hashtags you should use and where in your content you should put them. This is important too.
First of all, get your post written. You want to get the content of your post down first.
After that, leave a space and add your personal hashtag. When I add this, I always say “click on and follow my LinkedIn hashtag #creatingsuccessfulphotographers for regular photography business tips and advice.”
In other words, your hashtag and the reason that they should follow it.
It’s really important to include the words “click on and follow”. I discovered this some time ago – I used to just ask people to follow my LinkedIn hashtag. I’m not sure how it happened, but I don’t think people understood what to do. Since I’ve started telling people to “click and follow”, I’ve seen the follower numbers on that hashtag grow massively.
After you’ve done this, I recommend that you use five to six hashtags related to the actual content that you’ve created. So, add another two or three lines of space under the personal hashtag and add them there.
Keep your hashtags away from the main content of your post, not inside it.
You really don’t want to be using any more than seven or eight at the absolute most. LinkedIn is not like Instagram; you don’t want to be using 10 or 20 hashtags here. In fact, you’ll be penalised if you do – your organic reach will go down.
LinkedIn doesn’t work that way. The key is to research your hashtags, to understand that less is more and to make sure that you are being seen by the right people.
Hopefully, you found that useful guys, if you have any questions at all, just drop me a message in the comments.
If you’re interested in learning more about LinkedIn for photographers, you might be interested in my recent post on using LinkedIn Creator Mode to optimise your content.
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.