Header image for article Instagram Hashtags for Your Beauty Business

Instagram Hashtags for Your Beauty Business

September 23, 2019 by Sally Pau

Instagram is a great social platform for beauty businesses to showcase and promote their work. As learned in the blog post, 10 Instagram Marketing Mistakes to Avoid Making, there are right and wrong ways to use it. Hashtags should be included in your content strategy to increase brand presence. When used properly, they can improve the total reach and engagement for your content.

What are Hashtags?

Hashtags work to loop words and phrases on social media to wider conversations on the topic. In other words, they are what make your Instagram content discoverable.

Think of hashtags as a way to tag your photos and videos on Instagram. The pound symbol that’s placed in front of the word or phrase turns it into a clickable link. When users click the link, they will be taken to all the other posts using the same hashtag. It’s a way to categorize and group similar content.

For example, if you use the hashtag #beauty then it will fall on the same page as all the other content with the same tag. It makes your content discoverable to others and vice versa. You’ll be able to find other content that falls within the same category.

Picture of what you see when you search for the hashtag #beauty

Hashtags are an effective and free way to target your audience. Other users can search and follow specific hashtags which fit their interests. Without hashtags, only your followers will be exposed to your pictures and photos.

According to Track Maven, Instagram posts containing 9 hashtags perform 2.5 times better than those with just 1. While it’s difficult to determine how the Instagram algorithm works, you can use up to 30 hashtags to increase your visibility.

Aside from increasing the reach of your content, hashtags are also great at encouraging audience engagement. According to Instagram, posts including at least one hashtag score more engagement than those that feature none. Users will engage with hashtags in hopes of growing their own brand presence.

Which Hashtags to Use?

Your beauty business should use a combination of competitive, non-competitive, and branded hashtags. It depends on what you’re uploading to Instagram, but chosen hashtags should all be relevant to your post.

Competitive vs Non-Competitive Hashtags

Competitive hashtags are ones with millions of posts associated with them. They are broad terms, such as #beauty and #hair. Almost anything relating to beauty or hair can fall under these two categories.

If you’re only using competitive hashtags, then it can get lost in all the traffic. The more popular the hashtag is, the more competition there will be. It was shown that hashtags with 10 million posts will be pushed out of the first 9 posts in the feed within 3 minutes.

Non-competitive hashtags are more specific and niche. They will have fewer posts associated with the term. Instead of #hair, you can use hashtags such as #ombrehairstyle or #ombrehaircolor. Someone searching these terms has a higher chance of finding your content.

Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags are associated with specific brands. Businesses will create them so they can encourage engagement within their audience. It also allows them to easily track user-generated content using the brand. In fact, 70% of the most-used hashtags on Instagram are branded hashtags created by businesses.

An example is Fenty Beauty by Rihanna and their hashtag, #FentyFace. If you search that hashtag on Instagram, you’ll find user content featuring their cosmetics. Users will continue uploading photos and videos with the hashtag in hopes of getting featured. It’s an organic way to create online ambassadors for these brands.

When creating your own branded hashtag, it can be as simple as your business name, tagline, or the name of one of your campaigns. Be sure to make it unique to your business to avoid getting mixed up with the competition.

Finding Engaging Instagram Hashtags for Your Beauty Business

The hashtags you decide on should be a part of your content strategy. There needs to be some thought and reasoning behind each hashtag you decide to use. Most importantly, they should be relevant to whatever you are posting. If you’re posting a photo of someone’s hairstyle, it makes no sense to use the hashtag #nails.

To find new hashtags, you can type in any keyword of your choice in the search bar and click on the “Tags” tab. From there, you will see a list of suggested hashtags and the number of posts associated with each one. Select the ones you’d like to use and keep it in a word document or notepad for future uses.

Picture of what you see when you put in any search query

If you need help finding hashtags specific to your beauty business, you can use a third-party tool such as Later. Later is a marketing platform that allows you to visually plan, schedule, and analyze your post for social media. It’s free for individual users to schedule up to 30 posts on Instagram.

To find relevant hashtags for your post, you can use the Hashtag Suggestions feature on Later.

Picture of what you see when you use a tool like Later

For example, let’s say you’re posting a picture of braids you did on a client. You can put #braidstylist into Hashtag Suggestions and hit “Suggest”. The feature will generate 30 other hashtags sorted by relevance. You can choose the ones you want to use and insert the hashtag into the post.

Are Your Hashtags Performing?

With a business account, you can see if you’re gaining traction with your hashtags. This can be done by going to any one of your posts and clicking on “View Insights”. From there, a bar will pop up with basic analytics associated with your post. You will see the number of likes, comments, profile visits, and reach it had received. If you click on that bar, it will take you to a page with detailed insights.

Under “Discovery”, you will see how many of your impressions came from hashtags. Impressions are the total number of times your post has been seen.

Picture of Instagram Analytics

You won’t be able to determine exactly which hashtags are performing well. You will need to test several combinations to find which set will perform the best.

Other factors to consider affecting the effectiveness of your hashtags include:

  • Relevancy of your content to the user
  • How many people are using the same hashtags? If too many people are using it at once, your content could get lost
  • Time of day you’re posting

Later analyzed 12 million Instagram posts and found that the best times to post on Instagram are:

  • Monday: 6am, 10am, and 10pm EST
  • Tuesday: 2am, 4am, and 9am EST
  • Wednesday: 7am, 8am and 11pm EST
  • Thursday: 9am, 12pm, and 7pm EST
  • Friday: 5am, 1pm, and 3pm EST
  • Saturday: 11am, 7pm, and 8pm EST
  • Sunday: 7am, 8am, and 4pm EST

Planning Your Instagram Hashtag Strategy

Instead of tossing a bunch of hashtags into your post and hoping for the best, you will need to plan a strategy. From everything we’ve learned, your hashtag strategy should:

  • Use up to 30 hashtags. The more you use, the greater the visibility your post will gain
  • Only use hashtags relevant to your content
  • Use a combination of competitive and non-competitive hashtags
  • Create brand hashtags to encourage others to share your work
  • Test a variety of different hashtags to test for performance

Example of hashtags you can use for your beauty content:

General Beauty and Salon Hashtags

#beauty #instabeauty #modernsalon #beautypro #beautygoals #beautyguru #organicbeauty #naturalbeauty #salon #salonowner #beautysalon #beautybusiness #modernsalon #salonandspa #salonspa #beautycare #beautytips #beautysecret

Eyelashes Hashtags
#eyelashextensions #lashextensions #classiclashes #russianvolume #cateye #lashlift #lashlove #healthylashes #wispylashes #lashtech #lashartist #lashstylist #lashesfordays #lashgamestrong #falselashes #falsies

Hair Hashtags
#haircare #behindthechair #hairdresser #hairgoals #hairstylist #instahair #hairinspiration #hairoftheday #hairtrends #hairinspo #maneinterest #upstyle #haircut #hairideas #hairtransformation #instahairstyle #bestofbalayage #colormelt #hairpainting #haircolor #haircolorexpert #haircolorspecialist

Permanent Cosmetics Hashtags
#permanentmakeup #microblading #powdereyebrows #ombreeyebrows #semipermanentmakeup #pmu #pmuartist #cosmetictattoo #browshaping #browmapping #eyebrowshading #liptattoo #browsonfleek #3dbrows #microbladingartist #archaddicts

Esthetician Hashtags
#beautifulskin #smoothskin #esthetician #aesthetician #facials #healthyskin #luxuryskincare #moisturizing #radiance #dayspa #beautybar #healthyskincare #skintreatment #pampering #beautyessentials #skincareroutine #naturalskincare #beautyregime #organicskincare #selfcare

Makeup Hashtags
#makeupinspo #makeupartist #makeupaddict #wakeupandmakeup #makeupisart #makeupartistsworldwide #dressyourface #motd #lipart #theartistedit #makeup #muanation #makeupaddict #makeupjunkie #makeupgoals #cosmeticslover #makeuplook #makeupideas #contouring #makeuptutorial #dailymakeup

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Sally Pau

Sally is a Product Marketer at Jupiter. She enjoys the art of storytelling through content creation to build relationships within the online community.