Hashtag Secrets of a Top Beauty Influencer

You remembered to take the “before” shot, your color came out perfectly, your client agreed to let you post her “after” shot, so far so good, right? Now, what about the hashtags? How many, what should they be, and how can you hashtag intelligently without letting those little hash marks drive you crazy? Keep in mind the hashtag is a means of categorizing content on social media. It helps people discover you and lets you find the content you’re looking for from other people and businesses. It also helps you connect and engage with like-minded folks on social. With 108,000 Instagram followers, styling and top beauty influencer Shelley Gregory (@shelleygregoryhair) knows her way around social media, including the hashtag component. Here’s how she maximizes her hashtag game.

How many hashtags do you usually include in each post and why?
The maximum allotted number of hashtags is 30, and I usually use them all. I want as many eyes on my posts that I can get, and hashtags bring views to my page from people who have never seen me or heard of me. Sometimes, I might post something very simple with only one or even no hashtags just to maintain a really clean look, but in those cases, it’s an aesthetic choice. 

Which hashtags do you use on every post, if any?
I always hashtag my brand #shelleygregoryhair, and I always hashtag the brands I used to create the image in the post. I have a section on my phone in my notes where I store and organize groups of hashtags pertaining to a variety of posts. 

How do you decide which other hashtags to use?

My hashtags are based on the photo. I also like to tag my location, or an event that’s going on. For example, if I’m showing a balayage I did at my salon, it would be tagged #lasvegasbalayage. If I’m teaching a social media class and I’m posting a photo from the class I would tag it #socialmediamarketing. When I’m at Fashion Week, I include #NYFW in all my posts, both in Instagram Stories and the main feed. 

Is there a way to measure the effectiveness of hashtags?
I measure by watching the engagement of the post. My account is set to a business profile so I can see how many people engage with each post.

What’s your best piece of hashtag advice for other stylists?
Just like your page, your hashtags should have a purpose. If you’re trying to attract new clients, for example, you should aggressively use location-based and locally-focused hashtags. If you want to build a teaching business, hashtag your signature techniques. If you want to showcase your art, use words that identify the type of hair you’re creating. Remember, Instagram is your portfolio. Your page can encompass many aspects but be sure the hashtags are specific for each post. You never know who will find you!

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Photography: Courtesy of Instagram/@shelleygregoryhair

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