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Maggie Bergin is a digital marketer and copy writer creating brand-aligned, creative, compelling digital content for her clients.

Instagram Hashtags (for Bizniz) EXPLAINED! You're welcome.

Maggie Bergin


I'm a librarian's daughter so the ideas that INFORMATION IS POWER and EMPOWERING PEOPLE IS GOOD are built into my DNA (I grew up in the 70s, so Wonder Woman is in there too. And I finished growing up in the 80s so......hello Prince. I'm pretty sure Wonder Woman and Prince are having a party in my DNA). Why should I–a social media marketer–have all the fun? I believe you should have access to all the beautiful information too.

To bring that to the über micro level, I'm going to share much of what I know about business Hashtags on Instagram in hopes that it's useful and–if I'm honest–that you'll remember I was helpful and allow me to help your business solve a social media problem in the future. Okay. Here we go. All the things:


Best practices (based on engagement research) says 9-12 hashtags is the sweet spot. But there is little to no indication that Instagram's algorithm punishes posts with more than 12 hashtags. Especially if have a newer account, more hashtags are particularly useful. Instagram, however, limits you to 30 hashtags. I've used 30 and had excellent engagement and I've used 10 and had terrible engagement. Play around and watch your results from the 'Insights' page of your Instagram Business account.


It is not BETTER or WORSE to create your own hashtag. Creating your own hashtag is just one marketing tool among many to use. Hashtags unique to your #brand can do the following:

  1. Serve as a way to cull/recall/see a group of posts all in the same place. You might want to be able to do this for a customer or client. It’s a way to see a BUNCH of your calling cards over time on a particular subject.

  2. Unique hashtags are also super useful for CONVEYING YOUR BRAND’S WHY to consumers. Think of a unique hashtag as a headline on your company’s website. Because that’s what it is the equivalent of on Instagram. It’s a way to EXPLAIN YOUR WHY.

  3. Unique hashtags can also be used to #connectwithyourcustomers. Let’s say you’re running a promotion and one of the contest requirements is to RE-POST YOUR UNIQUE HASHTAG with a statement/thought about the hashtag. Now you are ENGAGING with your tribe, deepening the connection they have with what you’re up to in the world.


No matter the total number of hashtags you choose to use, I recommend the rule of thirds when choosing them: pick some VERY popular hashtags (ones with over 1 million posts) some MEDIUM popular hashtags (100-500k posts) and some SPECIFIC hashtags related to you.

For the specific hashtags I recommend picking ones that are true to your brand/products and are SPECIFIC ENOUGH TO BE FOLLOWED BY POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS. These are different for every company. You'll need to play around with these by monitoring the INSIGHTS page of your Instagram business account to correlate the number of impressions from specific hashtags for each post to determine your best hashtags. Need help? I can help you.


For Posts, put them in the comments. For Stories, put one on each story.


You can, but I don't recommend it.

Look: if you don't have time to deep dive, post the same hashtags. As long as your CONTENT IS FANTASTIC, it won't really matter. Because having FANTASTIC CONTENT is way more important than which hashtags you choose.

Think about Johnny Appleseed. No wait. Don't think about that guy. Think about how I am with hair rubber bands because I am the Johnny Appleseed of things that tie your hair back: the more you sprinkle that stuff around, the more likely people are to find your stuff. Also? Instagram likes it when your hashtags MATCH THE SUBJECT OF YOUR POSTS AND STORIES. So, if your post is an inspiring quote, include hashtags about the author oF the quote. Ya dig?


Probably. You can find me and contact me over here.

Check Your Website Copy Against These 4 RULES!

Maggie Bergin


Keep it SIMPLE people! Sheesh.

I’m still surprised by how many websites (hello TECH companies!) don’t actually explain, in lay-person’s terms, what their company DOES. Here are three examples of website company descriptions I’ve come across recently. Guess what category of business they’re in and I’ll tell you if you guessed right below:

  1. “Empowering companies, employees, investors and institutions to make their aspirations a reality through the private market.”

  2. “A company dedicated to centralizing proprietary enterprise information”.

  3. “The most advanced engagement platform for professionals in offices.”

  • 1 is a like the Stock Market, but it allows you to invest in private tech companies that aren’t public yet.

  • 2 is…….honestly I have no idea! See if you can figure it out:

  • 3 is an app that allows workers to reserve a conference room, order food and beverages or make office-related maintenance requests within a large company.

When crafting your website copy, assume your readers have NO IDEA what you do and they are all in 5th grade. A good website is clear to everyone reading it, not just to someone who looking for Drupal cloud providers (WHAT?). Copy that’s too technical reduces the quality of customers’ experience and it is likely to make them disengage, or worse, feel left out and angry. Overly technical copy is also terrible for SEO!

Here’s some more free web copy advice:

WATCH OUT FOR UNINTENDED AFFRONTS. If you’re a white guy who grew up in America, put a process in place where your copy is reviewed by a woman, several people of color, a LGBTQ person, a disabled person or ALL OF THE ABOVE. Admitting you need help is the first step in not doing a WHOOPSIE or worse for your company. If you don’t know any women of color, LGBTQ or disabled people, contact me and I can put you in touch.

BEWARE OF COPY THAT SOUNDS TOO GENERIC. It sends the message that your products are generic as well. Put a particular emphasis on personalizing the copy, making it more engaging and differentiating what you do from the rest of the marketplace.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER PROMISE. High-claims in your marketing material sets you up to over-promise and under deliver. Saying that something you make is “in high demand” or “the most popular” is setting yourself up for an unhappy customer whose expectations were raised and is now feeling relatively disappointed.

Need help with your web or marketing copy? Contact me!

Can Your Brand Laugh At Itself?

Maggie Bergin


If your brand can’t laugh at itself, you’re in trouble. When we build brands without imperfection built into the brand, we are choosing to NOT connect. When we build brands where a certain distance or facade is always present, we're choosing to NOT connect. In my B2B and B2C experience, connection is where the longest lasting, deepest and most satisfying customer relationships live. Facades are boring and EASY TO SPOT.

I was recently a guest on a podcast about the Marketing industry. And because the podcast is about the good, the bad and the ugly of Agency Life, the host asked me to share the worst client experience I’ve had. And I almost answered because it’s fun to tell stories about how other people suck and I don’t want to pretend everything is shiny-happy-sunny-all-the-time. But I didn’t want to talk shit about a client in public. Maybe it’s because I’m the daughter of a Canadian Librarian, but the thought of it made me feel kind of sick. So-in about 2 seconds-I considered my options, remembered I don’t mind being the butt of my own joke and told a story about a moment where I screwed up.

Here’s what happened: I finished a client’s web copy. I deposited their payment. My ego was strutting around the room, chest puffed out. I’d created amazing words! About a special person!! About the things that made her special! But while the copy might have looked ok in a word document, it didn’t translate to a formal website. The website was Cheerleader-y. The word equivalent of a smiley emoji waving pom poms. It didn’t connect because it wasn’t really her.

I apologized profusely and asked for the opportunity to re-write the copy for free. And now it’s GREAT because her true self, as opposed to my marketing idea about her true self, comes through loud and clear.

One of the GREATEST things about being in my 40s (there are approximately 40,000 great things about being in my 40s). I can receive feedback about my imperfections without getting angry or initiating a 3-day shame spiral. That kind of even handedness exists because I know I’m really good at what I do and I have the ability to hear requests as feedback, not a personal attack #hardwonknowledge DO YOU SEE WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS?

Brands: KNOW THYSELF! Be the equivalent of a woman in her 40s. Because your potential customers are dying to find some BELONGING. And belonging is knowing who you are, telling YOUR story and never changing who you are for other people. That's vulnerable and that's what connects you to your clients and customers. Need some inspiration? Let’s talk!