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Do You Need to Use Hashtags on LinkedIn?

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LinkedIn Adds More Ad Targeting Criteria, Provides Tips for B2C Campaigns

There have been various reports circulating throughout different LinkedIn communities as to the effectiveness of hashtags in the app, and whether you even need to bother with hashtags in your LinkedIn posts anymore.

As you may recall, for a long time, LinkedIn didn’t actually support hashtags at all, but then in 2018, the platform not only reactivated hashtag discoverability, but it also started pushing hashtag use in an effort to get more users manually categorizing their posts.

The idea here is that through better content segmentation, LinkedIn is then better able to show more users content that they’re interested in. But over time, as algorithms have evolved, the need for hashtags, in general, has lessened, because social platform systems are now much better at taking in the whole context of a post’s text, including visuals, user history, and all keywords included.

In other words, hashtags are less important because most of the time, relevant mentions and indicators are included in the post anyway, and that’s enough to ensure the system can show your post to the most interested audiences.

In theory, that could mean that LinkedIn wouldn’t actually need somebody to add in a repeated hashtag like the above example, because the system would be able to identify the “Meta” mention within the text.

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But is that right?

I asked LinkedIn, and they kind of answered:

Using hashtags can be a helpful tool for viewers to easily identify what a post is about and find other related posts. However, it’s important to use hashtags that are closely related to the topic of the post for them to be most effective. In addition to hashtags, we also consider conversation topics and keywords to help surface relevant information for professionals looking to advance in their careers.”

So LinkedIn’s saying that you should only use relevant hashtags to maximize effectiveness, but it’s not entirely clear whether you need to add them if the keyword/s are already mentioned in the post.

But:

“When searching for conversations on a specific topic you can use topics or hashtags.”

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So it seems that LinkedIn is now less reliant on hashtags for maximizing discovery, though you should be wary of which keywords are mentioned in your main post, and consider how you can tap into the right conversation streams based on your target topics.

How do you do that?

By following popular pages and people within your business niche, you’ll be able to glean better understanding of the common hashtags related to your sector. You can also search for hashtags in the app.

As a bonus, here’s a listing of the top 50 most-used hashtags on LinkedIn, as of 2021.

LinkedIn popular hashtags

I’m guessing that AI is a bigger trend now than it was three years ago, but this gives you some additional context around the more common discussion trends in the app.

So, do you need to use hashtags on LinkedIn?

I would say that hashtags in the app are less relevant, and as LinkedIn expert Richard van der Blom has noted, hashtags also aren’t helping to expand post reach in the app the way that they once were.

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According to van der Blom’s research, using 3-10 hashtags in your LinkedIn posts did give you a significant reach boost over the past couple of years. But now, hashtags are providing no additional reach boost at all.

Which would seem to suggest that LinkedIn is gradually de-emphasizing them as a discovery tool, as part of its broader focus on topical relevance, as opposed to maximizing reach.

As explained by LinkedIn:

“If you share a post about getting a new job, and people like that post, that doesn’t mean their entire networks will also see the post in their feed since it probably isn’t as relevant to their connections as it is to them. However, if you share a post outlining advice about tackling a workplace challenge it could be seen both by your network and people outside your network who might find it helpful to their career growth.

LinkedIn specifically notes that its system “is not designed for virality”, so hashtags are not necessarily supposed to work on LinkedIn the way that they do on other apps.

That could be part of the reason why LinkedIn is de-emphasizing them, in order to avoid people gaming the system, but the bottom line is that you probably don’t need to be as concerned about hashtags on LinkedIn as you may have been in the past, depending on the context.  

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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