Instagram hashtags can damage your salon brand

Did you know Instagram has banned certain commonly used hashtags?

I’m not talking about overtly sexual hashtags. No these are seemingly innocent ones that you’ve probably used recently on your salon social like #bikinibody, #besties and #ilovemyinstagram.

Some hashtags are banned temporarily, while others are permanently prohibited. But either way, using them on your posts could shadowban or penalise your Instagram account.


Using hashtags on your salon Instagram marketing

Perhaps you’re thinking the easy answer is to stop using hashtags on your posts?

The trouble is hashtags are valuable for your Instagram marketing as they can increase your reach and get your salon seen by a new, relevant audience. Which in turn leads to more new clients for your hair or beauty biz.

As you can see, it’s an important part of your salon social marketing to know which hashtags are forbidden and avoid them.

So what’s going on?


Why Instagram bans certain hashtags

Instagram is keen to reduce scams, fake accounts and scammers on its platform. It saw that spammers were jumping on to popular hashtags and abusing them, so its bots now look for IG accounts that use certain hashtags, and flag them as spam.

What is a shadowban?

A shadowban means your posts won’t reach people who don’t already follow you.

Your posts don’t show up on general Instagram searches, which means you become invisible to potential new followers and clients.

Not good news for a beauty, hair or aesthetics business looking to grow.


How do I know if an IG hashtag is banned?

A perfectly sensible question.

After all, it wouldn’t occur to most of us that #sunbathing and #valentinesday are spam and forbidden in Instagram’s eyes.

But they currently are.

And to make your marketing life even more complicated, banned hashtags change on a daily basis.

Instagram doesn’t make it easy for you either. It could publish a list of banned hashtags. But it doesn’t 😕

Nope. It puts the responsibility squarely on you to research and check all hashtags before using them in a post.

I’ve popped a list of some of the hashtags that were banned when I checked earlier this year (2020) at the end of this blog. I recommend you avoid them, or at least check out whether their ban has been lifted before including them in your posts.

Here’s how:


To check if a hashtag is currently banned by Instagram

  • Go to the Explore tab.
  • Type the hashtag in the search bar.
  • Click on it.
  • If you see a message along the lines of ‘recent posts from #sunbathing are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines’ then it’s banned.
  • Don’t use it.


Avoid these hashtags on your salon social

These hashtags are ones a salon business might think about using in their Instagram marketing. They sound harmless, and therefore you might think are okay to use.

But as at spring 2020 they were showing as banned.

If you are desperate to use one of them then DO check it out first as I showed you earlier in this blog. Some are only prohibited temporarily so the list can’t be totally accurate.

With any hashtag you use the best practice has to be ‘check it before posting’.


Innocent sounding hashtags you may use in your salon social that are banned



























































Wondering whether you should use emojis in your salon social media marketing? Not sure what’s good practice for a hair or beauty business?

Learn how and when to use emojis here.

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