How to Increase Engagement on LinkedIn: Using Hashtags and Interactive Content

People often ask, ‘How can I increase engagement on LinkedIn?’ LinkedIn is the world’s largest “professional” or B2B network, so for many who want to reach affluent professionals, the network is a must. But how? You can’t just spam people and posting pictures of puppies isn’t really within the “LinkedIn culture.” Let’s investigate!


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First, you want to make sure you have an “optimized” LinkedIn profile. This isn’t a post about “how to optimize your LinkedIn profile,” so suffice it to say your profile should clearly communicate your “value proposition.” It should convey – what can YOU do for THEM, what is YOUR area of specialty? I liked to think of this as the “helpful expert” positioning. What are YOU a  HELPFUL expert in? You can check out my Jason McDonald profile on LinkedIn as an example – I am a “helpful expert” in SEO, Social Media Marketing, and Google Ads. Thus before you even try reaching out to people, make sure that you have an optimized LinkedIn profile.


Second, you need to have a clear idea of your own target “Buyer Personas.” Who wants what you have? What types of “customers” in a broad sense of the word do you want to reach? Are they on LinkedIn and if so, what are they doing? Start with “seed keywords.” For example, you might be a realtor and want to look for people who have keywords like “real estate,” or “real estate investing,” or even a city (e.g., Miami or Dallas) in their own profiles. Then pop these “starter keywords” into LinkedIn and write down the search suggestions.  Drill into not just “people” but use the “more” tab, and drill into content as in “real estate” in content. Remember you can use both the quotes and the no quotes format (e.g., “real estate” and real estate). Identify core keyword themes that are highly relevant (e.g., foreclosures, investment properties, Miami real estate) and adjacent themes (e.g., investment or investing, Miami, etc.). Write these down into both a keyword and a hashtag list.


Third, I like to use but you can use any bookmarking system (e.g., Google bookmarks) and bookmark your “canned” searches on LinkedIn for keywords. This makes it easy to “bookmark” your keyword searches AND your hashtags. You can also follow hashtags on LinkedIn. Remember that a hashtag is a “conversation theme” on LinkedIn. By bookmarking these, you can make it super easy for you to just log into LinkedIn when you have a spare moment, see who’s discussion what and then “chime in” with your two cents.


Fourth, go into a search, especially one that is focused on content. Quickly read, assess, and then like, comment, or share on posts that you find. For example, you can zero into the conversation around investing and then read, assess, and like, comment, or share posts on that “theme.”  You can do this for any word such as Miami, a phrase like “real estate“, or a hashtag like #realestateinvesting. Here’s a pro-tip: identify keywords / hashtags of your PROSPECTS which might be different than those used by you and COMPETITORS. For example, a real estate agent might use REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust), to find people who are interested in REIT and investor opportunities. Or the more general word, “Miami,” might be more relevant.

As you search, like, and comment on posts, these generate alerts in the feeds of the posters; thus heightening interest in you and who you are. But remember not to spam! Post content that is actually useful.


Fifth, LinkedIn has a nifty ad format called message ads. These allow you to identify people by keywords in their profiles and job titles, and then “spam” them (not to put too nice a point on it), with messages in their inbox. I call this “carrot and outreach” marketing. Identify a carrot (such as a “free consultation” or even better a “free white paper” or “free webinar”) that is actually interesting to your prospects. Then create a message such as “I see you are interested in REIT investing. I’m having a webinar on why investing in actual property might be better. Do you want to attend?” and then let LinkedIn reach out systematically to prospects for you. Yes it costs money, but time is money and this can be an effective way to use LinkedIn to get attendees to a webinar, download a white paper, etc. It all depends on whether you can create the carrot, identify your prospects by keyword, and deploy an effective advertising strategy.

Happy LinkedIn-ing!

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About Jason McDonald

Jason McDonald is a top-rated San Francisco SEO Consultant. His consulting services include search engine optimization consulting, social media marketing consulting, and Google AdWords consulting. Jason's motto as a consultant is that he doesn't do SEO 'for you' but rather he does SEO 'with you.' That goes as well for his social media marketing consultant activities and Google AdWords consultant services. Besides serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason consults with clients in Silicon Valley (San Jose), Oakland and other cities throughout the Bay Area. Beyond the Bay Area, Jason is available as an SEO consultant, Social Media Consultant, and as an expert witness in litigation involving social media marketing, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.