Optimising Instagram hashtags for aesthetic clinics
There is one desire when it comes to posting on social media – to get your posts seen by as many in your target audience as possible; and in the case of aesthetic clinicians, you want to convert those followers into leads who book a consultation and go on to have treatment, becoming loyal, repeat patients.
In this blog, Miranda Pearce, Dr Tim’s wife, who is an expert on marketing for aesthetic clinicians, will demystify hashtags and help you to understand how to use them effectively so that your Instagram posts attract more patients for your aesthetic business.
Miranda will soon be introducing an amazing online e-learning course on marketing which is specifically designed for aesthetic clinicians. Be sure to be one of the first to hear about the official launch by joining Miranda’s marketing e-learning waiting list.
What are hashtags?
Hashtags form a type of language on Instagram (and other social media platforms) that allow posts with a similar theme or subject matter to be grouped together. This makes them easier to find by those interested in a particular subset of online content – like different noticeboards for different groups. A notice board for #baking and one for #sailing will carry different content, as might one for #cosmeticsurgery and one for #weightloss or #beauty.
Grouping content by hashtag is useful for both humans seeking targeted content, and for computer algorithms, like those employed by Instagram for correctly grouping and displaying contents to appropriate audiences, where they can also sell targeted advertising
Why should you use hashtags on Instagram?
If you post regularly on Instagram and your content is of good quality, it will be seen by your existing followers, but ultimately your aim should be to grow your audience, and this is where the use of appropriate hashtags can help increase your followers.
It is possible to review how successful hashtags have been for you at gaining new followers. You can do this by looking at your posts and clicking on the ‘view insights’ link to the bottom left of an individual post – this will give you further statistics and information on the performance of the post, including the hashtags and if you gained new followers. Try some different strategies with your posts to test which hashtags are helping to increase your reach and grow your audience.
Where should you put hashtags in an Instagram post?
Place them in the caption
You can choose to add hashtags to the caption text which accompanies the image you are posting on Instagram.
Ideally you should add hashtags at the end of the written content.
Avoid putting hashtags within the caption text as it can make it difficult to read your message, is a distraction, and may put off your audience who feel as if they are reading code for computers and not humans.
Place them within the first comment
The alternative is to add your hashtags to the first comment for the post, which must be done immediately after the post is published if you are to optimise your performance gain, due to the immediate scanning action of the Instagram algorithm.
It is believed that this option provides some advantages over adding hashtags to the caption content as it appears less “spammy”. Similarly, the Instagram algorithm will view the comment with targeted hashtags more favourably and can serve it to individuals with like-minded interests, as well as your existing followers.
What is the optimum number of hashtags to use?
Instagram permits the use of up to 30 hashtags – in either the caption or in a comment – however, digital marketing experts are divided on the optimum number to use. It is true that quality usually out strips quantity though.
Find an amount that you are happy with and which covers the topics for your posts and your aesthetics business. If you can think of 30 relevant hashtags, then go ahead and use the maximum permitted by Instagram; I mean why not?
However, you need to be specific, relevant and think about how your audience will find you to drive engagement.
Research the hashtags or keywords and phrases you are considering using – search #word or #phrase in Instagram and review the posts returned – is this where you want your posts to appear too, or do you need to consider alternatives?
By searching for and researching hashtags you will be prompted with similar options or those which are closely related. You can also use websites like www.all-hashtag.com to find related hashtags for your consideration.
7 Biggest Instagram hashtag mistakes and how to avoid them
- Irrelevant hashtags – Hashtags should be relevant to both the post and your business.
- Generic or popular hashtags – Avoid using hashtags that are not specific enough, e.g., #business or #medicine. Your posts will be competing with so many others and it is unlikely it will be seen due to the volume of posts for that hashtag.
- Get specific – Use a sliding scale towards more specific words/phrases and consider geo-targeting your hashtags, e.g., #facialaesthetics, #cosmeticinjectables, #lipfillers, #lipfillersnewcastle.
- Trendy hashtags – Avoid jumping on the bandwagon to use trending hashtags or memes. This is a distraction and will not help the overall performance of your post. You may gain more followers in the short term, but they will soon realise that your content is not for them.
- Repetition – Using the same hashtags repeatedly, for all your posts, irrespective of their differing content is a mistake. If you do this, you risk invoking a shadow ban from Instagram, who will mistakenly regard you as a computer bot and penalise you accordingly. Your posts will only be seen by your followers and will not display in the group boards for the hashtags.
- Mix it up – Have a group of hashtags that you commonly use and include additional ones which are relevant to the post content. This means that a post from you about lip fillers would not appear in all the same search results as another post from you about skincare or chemical peels.
- Banned hashtags – Avoid using hashtags which are likely to be on the banned list due to their links to sexual, violent, abusive, or profane behaviour and language as you will risk a shadow ban or worse. Although most are obvious, it is worth a quick Google search for an up-to-date list of banned hashtags which you can crosscheck against for anomalies.
Are you unsure about getting the best from Instagram?
Then why not start with Instagram Reels – even if you do not have Reels enabled on your Instagram App you can still create short, informal, up to 30 second videos for your audience. Have a read of this blog where Miranda shows you how to create Instagram Reels in 6 easy steps.
Also, check out and learn more marketing top tips from Miranda Pearce’s Instagram feed.
Aesthetics Mastery Show Video – Hashtag best practice
How to get your posts seen by more patients
Watch our recent Aesthetics Mastery Show for more information.
New Marketing eLearning Course
Dream Customer Attraction Method
Coming soon – an innovative eLearning course to help aesthetics clinicians to produce the best possible marketing campaigns for their own aesthetics businesses.
The Dream Customer Attraction Method will help you get new clients and build your business through a deeper understanding of your customer.
It’s about building value, both in business and the way your customers see you, which will help you to attract AND convert more customers to your aesthetics business.
The course includes a whole section on Instagram mastery!
This course will be ready at the end of May – watch this space for more information!
Join our waiting list
To be the first to know about this course, please sign up for the DCAM list below:
Dr Tim Pearce eLearning
Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP founded his eLearning concept in 2017 in order to provide readily accessible BOTOX® and dermal filler online courses for fellow Medical Aesthetics practitioners. His objective was to raise standards within the industry – a principle which remains just as relevant today.
Thousands of delegates have benefited from the courses and we’re highly rated on Trustpilot too. For more information or to discuss which course is right for you, please get in touch with our friendly team via email on email@example.com or using the contact form below.