In this day and age, using social media to market your salon is a no-brainer. You know it, we know it, and your socially-savvy customers certainly know it. That’s why you’ve already been connecting with them on Facebook, sharing your latest special offers and doing all you can to get those all-important likes adding up. With so many other things demanding your attention, surely that’s enough, right?
While it’s certainly a good start, if your salon’s social media presence begins and ends with Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to really connect with new and potential customers. What’s more, you’re missing out on a way to connect with them that can produce much more valuable results than a few likes and shares, actually getting people away from their phones and into your salon.
How do you get yourself a piece of the action?
By using the incredibly popular image-based social media platform known as Instagram.
#1BillionUsers – Why your business needs Instagram
From cutting-edge styles to classic looks, creative nail art and cool new products, ours is very much a visual industry. And, as luck would have it, Instagram is very much a visual platform.
In other words, it’s a perfect match. If there was ever a tool that was so ideally suited to showing off your work, this one is it.
Sure, you can add a few words to your posts if you want to, but Instagram is one platform where pictures – lots and lots and lots of pictures – take centre stage.
Every month, as many as one billion accounts are active on the app, between them sharing an average of 95 million pictures every single day. That’s 95 million pictures featuring just about anything and everything you could possibly think of, from classic cars to contemporary cuisine to – yes – hairstyles, beauty treatments and more.
And it only gets better.
#FollowMe – 80% of Instagram users follow a business account
Unlike other social media tools that see businesses desperately trying to get attention amidst a sea of cute cat memes and updates from friends and family, Instagram has a reputation as being the one platform where users are much more open to engaging with the brands and businesses that mean something to them.
As many as 80% of users follow at least one business account on Instagram, though typically the average user will follow many more. In other words, this is a chance to meet your target audience in a space they’re already using and engage them by really speaking their language.
Ready to get started?
Here’s everything you need to know about using Instagram for your salon.
#DoneIn60Seconds – Getting started and creating an account
If there’s one thing we love about Instagram, it’s that you don’t have to especially tech-savvy to get started. You can download the app for free from the Apple App Store or from Google Play if you have an Android device.
Once it’s downloaded, it should take you no more than sixty seconds to create an account and fill in your profile. Remember to name your account after your business rather than using your personal name, and use your salon’s logo as the profile photo. After all, the whole point of this is to help people identify your business and connect with you.
You’ll have space to include a link to your website as well as to include a short bio. We recommend filling these in and optimising your profile so that you’ll stand the best chances of Insta-success.
You could, for example, use your bio to quickly mention your latest special offer and link to it in the website section to help increase your bookings.
#WeMeanBusiness – Switching to a business account
If you already use Pinterest to promote your salon, you may be familiar with the concept of switching from a personal account to a free business account. Simply go to the options menu in the top right-hand corner, scroll down and select “switch to a business account.”
This gives you extra features, such as the ability to include your opening hours, your address, and a telephone number. You don’t need us to tell you what a difference that can make when it comes to getting more customers through the door.
#MakeBeautifulThings – Creating captivating content that works
This is where the fun really starts.
Yes, it’s time to get creative, snapping the kind of pictures that are going to attract attention and get people talking about your salon To use that old cliche, the only limit here really is your imagination.
Perhaps you could show off that creative new style you’ve just finished, something that’s truly different and stands out from the crowd. Maybe you could use your Instagram account to showcase seasonal ideas, such as that Christmas-themed nail art you’re proud of or the perfect set-for-summer look.
Don’t forget before and after shots too. These often prove a hit with Instagram users looking for inspiration and can really speak volumes about the quality of your work.
#NoFilterNeeded – Keeping filters to a minimum
One of the main reasons why Instagram has become so successful is that you don’t have to be a professional photographer to post great-looking photos. You can create stunning images simply using your camera phone and a selection of filters which you can tweak to your heart’s content.
Yet as the old saying goes, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
There’s so many ways to edit your pictures and so many ways to fine-tune those filters that it can be easy to get carried away. When you do, you’ll likely find that you’ve filtered your pictures so much that they’ve lost what made them special in the first place.
By all means, experiment with different styles, but aim for a “less is more” approach when using Instagram filters.
#GettingFound – Using hashtags to help your audience find you
We haven’t used hashtags throughout this article just to be cute.
Okay, we have a bit, but mainly we’ve done it because hashtags are the most effective way of getting your Instagram posts found by your target audience. Anyone with an interest in hair and beauty, for example, can look up any number of hashtags relating to that particular interest and find all the images and accounts using that particular tag.
To get the best results, try using niche hashtags that don’t have as many posts under them. Whilst this might sound counter-productive, it actually isn’t.
At time of writing, almost 18 million posts had used the hashtag #hairstyles. Sure, it helps to still include that tag in your post, but doing so means that you’ve got to really a post something special if it’s going to stand out among a crowd of 18-million.
Meanwhile, #Hairstyleoftheday has only around 170,000 posts, meaning there’s a much better chance of your posts being seen by people looking for ideas, inspiration and accounts like yours who they can follow.
#SalonSelfie – Getting your clients involved
Speaking of hashtags, #Salonselfie has almost 48,000 posts under it, proving that it’s a great one to encourage your clients to use when sharing snaps of their stunning new look. Some salons have even taken the trouble to create a special “selfie station” where clients can take great looking pics and upload them to Instagram, tagging the salon’s account in the process.
As you can imagine, when your clients are sharing your name –and your great work – with their followers, it helps you reach even more people than you could reach from your own account, making it a valuable step on your salon’s journey to Insta-Fame.
Is your salon already using Instagram? What challenges have you found with it so far? Let us know in the comments, or join in the discussion on Facebook or Twitter and tell us how you’ve made your Instagram account a success.