I help small start-ups, and seriously successful salon owners in the skin, beauty, hair and cosmetic industries by delivering smart and effective salon social media solutions.
HI, I'M NATALIE
To give you a short answer, hashtags work by CATEGORISING posts on Instagram. Basically, hashtags are clickable and when you click one hashtag, it will take you to a page with all the posts using that particular hashtag.
Instagram also recently allowed people to FOLLOW hashtags. When you follow a hashtag you are interested in, for example, #balayage, some posts with the balayage hashtag will show up on your feed, even from people you do not follow.
Now, this begs for so many questions, I know! I will answer some of them below.
1. Why should I use hashtags on my Salon’s Instagram?
Hashtags are a great way to ORGANISE posts.
For example, if you run a giveaway, your giveaway hashtag page will put together all your giveaway entry posts.
Perhaps you can also assign a hashtag for your salon’s before and after images.
It is also a great way to find posts about a particular topic or to add your input into a current issue, which is a great way to build a community.
Most of all, a branded hashtag is a great tool for people to find your salon’s page!
2. How many hashtags can I use?
Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post.
3. But how many hashtags should I use?
There is no definite answer to this. Some people claim that it is “classier” to use a few, 3-5 well chosen hashtags, but if you are just starting off your page, there is no harm in MAXIMISING all 30 hashtags for better chances of getting more eyes on your content.
4. Can other people post hashtags on the comments section on my posts?
They sure can.
However, note that when other people comment a hashtag on your post, it will NOT make your post show up on that hashtag’s page. It is still a great way to share information and connect with each other.
5. Can I post hashtags on my old posts or change up the hashtags on my post every few hours?
Since Instagram shows posts on a hashtag page in a chronological manner, it is HARDLY beneficial to post hashtags on old posts.
6. Which hashtags do I use?
Generally, for regular posts, you would want to use hashtags that are RELEVANT to the exact image you are using and the SPECIFIC service or product you’re selling on that particular post.
AVOID using spam or unrelated hashtags with the hopes of gaining a bigger audience– it may bring you followers for a while, but this will just work AGAINST YOU in the long run.
Ok, Natalie. So I think I get hashtags. But I still don’t know where to start and which to use for my salon!
Don’t worry, READ ON and I’ll help you!
Yes, those words preceded by a pound sign can be very very POWERFUL.
Hashtags are one of the most effective ways to make your posts DISCOVER-ABLE by your potential clients.
But where do I start? You ask. How do I find the right hashtags for my salon?
To find the right hashtag for your salon, you have to consider a few things like which HASHTAGS TO AVOID, how to weed through all the existing hashtags in your field, and how many hashtags you need to prepare
1. Avoid spammy hashtags
Hashtags with more than 100,000,000 posts on them are usually the spammer’s haven. Spammers are NOT your target market and you will just be spammed with unrelated comments like “follow me for free followers” or random emojis. Example of these hashtags are #instagood, #happy, #love and #followme to name a few.
2. Start with relevant hashtags.
Have a quick search in the tag bar for keywords your CLIENTS ARE MOST LIKELY INTERESTED IN.
You can look at relevant accounts or even your COMPETITORS to see the hashtags they use.
List some that are relevant to your salon.
The operative word here is RELEVANT.
Now that people can follow hashtags on Instagram, they can also report posts that they don’t want to see. While this is mainly to tailor a user’s feed, too many reports can only do your account harm.
3. Get specific and niche down!
You can start with more general hashtags for research, but consider them as jump-off points ONLY.
For example, type ‘salon’ in the tags search bar and see all the other suggested hashtags for you. You can also tap a hashtag and see the related hashtags listed for you at the top.
It is also a good idea to check the hashtags with your actual location, for example, #salonandspamelbourne. That will definitely narrow down your audience to the ones you really want to discover you– people interested in such services in their local area.
You would also want to pick hashtags with SMALL TO MEDIUM density. Hashtags that are too general like #hairstyle #nailpolish can be too busy, and you don’t get a fighting chance to be on the TOP PAGE.
Also, make sure to check each of the hashtag to see if the predominant content is something you want your brand to be ASSOCIATED with and if there is ACTIVITY– if the most recent post is 6 months ago, it’s probably not a good idea to use it.
4. Use hashtags hosted by big feature accounts
Some accounts host a hashtag and reposts people who use the hashtag they promote. If the account is aligned with your brand, you can also use their hashtag for a chance to be FEATURED in their page and ATTRACT their followers to your page.
An example is @wakeupandmakeup who features makeup related posts that use #wakeupandmakeup!
5. Mix it up!
Make sure to list MORE than 30 hashtags.
Copy-pasting the same hashtags over and over can ALERT Instagram’s algorithm and mark your account as spam. Have a list you can CHOOSE FROM so you can choose which ones are most relevant to the particular image you are posting.
Also, use a mix of small, medium, and relatively large hashtags in terms of density.
Hashtags with 50,000 or less posts will usually give you a better chance to be in the top page of hashtags and stay there longer. 100,000-500,000 post-hashtags are generally a good size, giving your post a chance to be seen by more eyes. If your account is relatively big, you can also mix in one or two big hashtags, as your activity will give you a chance to be featured in the top page.
It can sound daunting at first but just take the first step and adjust, change, and mix it up as you go along.
Are you ready to amp up your salon’s HASHTAG GAME?
Show me how you’re crushing it by tagging your post with #SSMBOSS!
Don’t forget to share and pin!
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