Jordan Ogren

May 5, 2022

To hashtag or not to hashtag?

What are your thoughts on hashtags?

I remember they were the craze in high school. Everyone was using them.

Now, I don't find them to be of much tangible value.

This resulted in me challenging a man on why he believes they are important.

I asked a simple question: 

Have you seen any tangible value from using hashtags?

His answer:

I strongly believe there's value, Jordan.

For one thing, it tells LinkedIn who to show your posts to.

Secondly, people who follow the specific hashtag but who don't yet follow you, may discover you through your content.

Lastly, when a team uses a common hashtag in all of their posts, this creates a stream of content which is very much aligned with their industry topic and brand.

You should quickly realize he failed to answer my question. I asked for TANGIBLE value. Like has it ever driven results? Even for vanity metrics?

But, I'll go through each of his three *answers and share my thoughts:

1. It doesn't tell LinkedIn who to show your posts to. 

It simply puts it in a feed where the rest of the content with that hashtag appears. So even if someone follows the hashtag, it doesn't ALWAYS show them your content. That's what email is for.

2. Who follows hashtags? I don't. 

I don't even use them to search for content. The likelihood that someone who follows a hashtag like "content marketing" will see your content, engage with it, and follow you from one post is low. I mean, have you ever done it?

3. Again, does anyone follow a company's hashtag? 

Look at the companies dominating LinkedIn (e.g., Refine Labs, Gong, Drift) and see if they use a hashtag. I'll save you the time; they don't.

Do I need to continue?

With hashtags or anything that marketers control and can easily manipulate, we put false beliefs around its effectiveness. 

We do this to make us feel like we're doing something productive rather than focusing on creating better content or talking with our customers, which is harder to manipulate and takes time.

That's enough ranting. What are your thoughts?

Do you think hashtags bring tangible value?

🧠 + ❤️ // JO