Content is simply king and queen on social media. Gaining eyeballs of the ideal audience with relevance is key.
For professional businesses, the number one social media platform is undisputedly LinkedIn. Australia has 11 million plus members with over 49 per cent using the platform weekly and 80 per cent of all B2B leads originating from the platform. Significantly, over 50 per cent of social traffic to B2B websites is driven from the LinkedIn site.
With the current COVID crises, the usage and dwell time on the platform has increased substantially (as with all social media platforms). But LinkedIn holds a unique value as 90 per cent of executives consider it a top credible source of information and research.
And that presents a golden opportunity to create and distribute outstanding content that resonates and engages with your market. There is a lot of noise and content on the platform and one of the key ways to drive targeted eyeballs is with strategic hashtag management and insights.
Why hashtags are important
LinkedIn success is a mixture of time commitment, strategy, creativity, science and best practice. And hashtags are a key tool for visibility. The purpose is to seamlessly categorise content for distribution and visibility of subject matter and keyword topics.
Since early 2018 LinkedIn has ramped up their focus on the AI of hashtags and algorithm weightage and prompters. The algorithm will distribute content to reach more second- and third-degree networks who are following the topics that matter to them. The SEO value cannot be undervalued either as part of an overall strategic focus on and off the platform.
I estimate circa 20 per cent of members are using hashtags correctly or well. And many apply Instagram tactics of mass overload which do not impact reach and distribution (LinkedIn can classify such as SPAM) but sends a desperate and/or disconnected brand image.
Early in 2020 I started my research into hashtags as there just wasn’t any detailed lists available. Then the COVID crises hit and with that, a new wave of hashtags evolved around the actual crises and working from home topics.
This was insightful as it was the first time a swag of new hashtags grew. Even the bushfires didn’t create the volume of new hashtags and corresponding high Follower metrics. And Followers is the focus point to analyse. There are many hashtags and keywords which are localised or unique to a sector. But hashtags are mostly useless unless there are Followers aligned and engaged.
After spending weeks analysing COVID hashtag trends it became clear how many nuances there were and a lack of continuity of subjects. The different “working-work-to-from-at-home” swag of hashtags is extraordinary. What became clear was the huge gap between Followers vs Posts. And that is where science trumps creativity as many hashtags have few followers but many use them in content. Or they use ones with differing and less valuable configurations of plurals or acronyms.
In my Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Hashtags I have compiled a world first list of the Top 400. It covers every industry, topic and location with over 60,000 Followers. And there are several COVID and work ones on those lists. There will be metric movement of course especially around the COVID, career and work topics but relativity will be similar.
The value of using the right hashtags is immense. It will improve content visibility and reach whilst strengthening critical thinking around branding and topic pitch. Great content has to enlighten, entertain and educate. And applying hashtag analytics and insights will ensure your content has a better chance to get to the audience who matters.
Sue Parker, Founder, DARE Group Australia