Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why you should use hashtags on LinkedIn and Facebook – in addition to the usual suspects of Twitter and Instagram


March 7, 2017

Social media

You can now use #hashtags on all four of these networks:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

I think the case has been made to use them on Twitter and also Instagram-many conversations are threaded around hashtags on those networks. Few people argue with me over not using hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. LinkedIn and Facebook are different stories however. 

Should we use them? Does it work? Is it worth it? Are you sure? Etc.

Volume tip:

Use up to three hashtags per tweet and up to ten per Instagram post. More on hashtags in general here.

And some people argue with me that hashtags make social media posts look ugly. I actually agree with that to an extent. Here’s an example of an uglied up hashtag tweet:

#marketing #techniques #work when they are #implemented well. 

Yes, posts like that look ugly. And that’s really overkill to begin with. And who will really search for topics around “implemented?”

In general I would recommend hashtags to go at the end of tweets and Instagram posts. Occasionally they are OK within the content but they can clutter things up quite a bit when overdone. How many within the content is too many? It’s a judgment call. As you can see with the post below, I do use them within content but not on every word. In the example below there are two hashtags within the content. That didn’t seem like overkill to me.

SIDE NOTE: Check out a picture of my hashtag Halloween costume here.

But let’s get to Facebook and LinkedIn. Both of those networks also now support hashtags. That means that you can use them and then actually search for other people’s posts using the same hashtags.

Here’s how that looks on LinkedIn. I’ve started using occasional hashtags.

Hashtags on LinkedIn

Once the post shows up in feeds, you can actually click on those hashtags from the LinkedIn mobile app and read related hashtagged posts:

Hashtags on LinkedIn

The other way to search for hashtags on LinkedIn is to go to the search bar on the app and then type in the hashtag. Then click on posts to browse.

Hashtags on LinkedIn
On Facebook, The system works very similarly. Just use the relevant hashtags in your post and make sure your privacy setting is set in a way that enough people can see it. For example if you’re only allowing your post to be seen by friends, only your friends can find your post with the hashtag. If you want more people to find it be sure to set it to public. The search functionality on the Facebook app is very similar to the LinkedIn app:

Hashtags on FacebookThat’s how you use hashtags  on Facebook and LinkedIn, but is it worth it? Are people actually using hashtags on those two networks?

It’s probably still a little early to tell but some people use them on Instagram and Twitter, but not necessarily all people use them there either. Take a look at an example of a tweet that included a hashtag: 

Hashtags on TwitterEven though over 600 people saw the tweet, just one clicked on the hashtag. Of course, it’s much harder to tell how many people were browsing the hashtag #DadLife and only saw the tweet because of that.

Either way, I’ll take my chances and it has potential to broaden and increase the audience for any particular post.

Overall recommendation

Overall I would recommend to use hashtags on all the networks but use them strategically and sparingly. Keep in mind that too many can clutter things up and make you content look silly and ugly, maybe even unprofessional. But when used strategically and at the right amount hashtags can help us reach more people no matter what the network.

And building our relevant audience is always a good thing.

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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