LinkedIn actually had hashtags as early as Sep 2010, they were called ‘Signal’ (not Signals) and were retired in July 2013 because apparently not enough people used them. LinkedIn was a very different platform back then, non-influencers couldn’t write articles or posts (until 2014), there was no content algorithm, no followers, users hung out in groups, remember them? Hashtags got a new lease of life on LinkedIn in Feb 2017, initially mobile app only and then they became available for desktop use last summer (July 2018). As with so many other newly added features (messaging, native video, live video and most recently reactions) LinkedIn is playing catch up and taking its cue from other social channels.
In April 2018 LinkedIn conducted a small ‘test’ which forced users to use hashtags. Some perturbed users were unable to post without adding a hashtag.
Weirdly, not a lot is known or perhaps, meant to be known about hashtags on LinkedIn. I say this because the information shared with LinkedIn users is fairly rudimentary, to say the least. For example, when hashtags appeared, there were no guidelines on best practices. Some LinkedIn users assumed the more the merrier. A lot of people are turned off by posts that are dipped in hashtag soup. Spammy. Thankfully Pete Davies, Senior Director Of Product Management recently advised that we should all use no more than 3 hashtags per post and all of the sensible LinkedIn denizens nodded, sighed in relief. The folks that were guilty of hashtag stuffing their posts Instagram style, complained, obviously.
Pete also suggested that hashtags can help a post get a higher ranking in someone’s feed depending on the hashtags they follow: “If a connection uses a hashtag you also happen to follow, it gets an extra boost”. All well and good – but how do you know if someone else follows the same hashtag? And here comes the rub, you don’t. I mean you could ask them but that’s just not feasible. Besides, asking everyone what hashtags they follow sounds like something an engagement pod would do.
Also, should we be using our own made up hashtags or just use the popular ones followed by lots of people? How do we know whether a hashtag is truly popular? No one seems to have a conclusive answer. I suppose if we have a choice of 3, it may make sense to use 1 for our own branding purposes and the other 2 for popular hashtags that are 100% relevant for the content.
Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we knew which hashtags were being searched, used or clicked on the most? Of course we don’t have that data either. Although we do have ‘Hashtags trending in your network’, which you can find by clicking on ‘My Network’ and clicking on ‘See all’ in the Hashtag section. Not very insightful though, still doesn’t help us with targeting.
And then there’s the phantom trending notification. Why phantom? When you click on the hashtag feed (‘View hashtag’), it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s trending. None of the content in ‘Top’ below it is trending, that’s for sure. Very confusing LinkedIn. Are we doing well. Or just doing?
So What Hashtag Data DO We Have?
LinkedIn shows us total follower stats for every hashtag used on LinkedIn. That’s it. One more thing, LinkedIn makes it incredibly difficult to find out which hashtags have the most followers. You have to conduct search, after search, after search. Painful.
It’s almost as if LinkedIn doesn’t want you to have this data. LinkedIn provides it begrudgingly in piecemeal fashion. Maybe they’re doing this because they don’t want you to focus on the most followed hashtags? They did the same thing with LinkedIn groups years ago, stopped ranking them by size.
So What’s A LinkedIn User Supposed To Do?
Luckily for you, I’ve compiled the ‘HOT 100 LINKEDIN HASHTAGS’ list.
This data was recorded on July 14th 2019.
This is the most comprehensive list of most followed LinkedIn hashtags available on the internet today. Do I guarantee that it has every popular (most followed) hashtag? No. I may have missed some, like I said, LinkedIn doesn’t make this easy.
Want More? DOWNLOAD My Hashtag Tracker Tool
For a small donation, I’ll provide you with my master (excel) spreadsheet already populated with juicy data for not 100, not 150 – but a whopping – 170 of the currently most followed LinkedIn hashtags with columns for:
(1) Name of hashtag.
(2) Total follower count (dated 7/14/19).
(3) Url address (which will take you directly to the relevant hashtag page on LinkedIn with just one click).
You can obviously update and add to the sheet, make stunning charts, data crunch etc. If you want this one-of-a-kind, handy tool, simply click on the DONATE button on the top right of the screen, pay me $25, tell me where to email it – and I’ll send you the spreadsheet asap.
Andy Foote is an insightful LinkedIn coach who has helped many professionals to get their LinkedIn game on. If you need expert help with your summary, headline, profile page and/or LinkedIn strategy, hire me: email@example.com