This article has been moved to Milady Training for a better experience. Please click here to view the most recent version of this article.
It's hard to remember what life was like before Instagram. Founded in October 2010, the platform is young, relatively speaking. But with one billion active monthly users, Instagram has quickly risen to the top of the social media pack, especially in the U.S. For any business with a visual component—think artists, photographers, salon owners—having an Instagram "presence" is a must.
Of course, there's a big difference between simply having an Instagram presence and having an effective Instagram presence. To that end, if you're a salon owner, you should maintain a business Instagram profile for your salon. Why? Well, the potential benefits are many. As Instagram notes...
Plus, true business profiles have extra features built in (like advertising capabilities).
For this article, we're going to assume you already have a business profile set up for your salon. (If not, check out how to do so here.) We're also going to approach our salon social media ideas from a salon owner's perspective.
That said, many of the tips can also apply to individuals with their own personal accounts. Remember, it's perfectly OK for your employees to have their own IG accounts. In fact, the Instagram "magic" happens when employees tag their salon—and vice versa. This article from Marlo Beauty Supply can help you find out how some of the most social media-savvy beauty pros grew their following, it could inspire you!
Let’s move onto the tips, tricks, and recommendations. (Note: many of these recommendations will apply to other social media accounts that are good for salons, like Facebook and Pinterest.)
Instagram is all about the eye candy. Just consider this compelling stat: 995 photos are uploaded on Instagram every second.
The good news? You don't have to be a professional photographer to take professional-looking shots. Your smartphone camera will work. Simply learn some basic techniques, invest in a few budget-friendly props, and you'll be on your way to more followers, likes, and—best of all—clients.
Note: Remember to ASK permission before you snap and share a picture of your client! And, of course, respect your client's wishes if they don't want their picture taken.
Why does video matter so much? Well, as Search Engine Journal reports, video posts on Instagram receive twice the engagement as other posts.
A couple notes regarding videos...
Keep in mind that videos you record on your phone can be used in multiple channels—not just Instagram. Think FB, YouTube, your website.
Instagram Stories are that little extra something-something for fans of your brand. They last only 24 hours. They can be pictures or videos. They're different from other videos you take with your phone and upload to IG because they don't appear in your tiled IG page, but rather behind your profile pic.
If you've ever gone to a profile and saw the pinky-orange swirling ring around the profile pic, that means there are some IG Stories you haven't seen yet. They're fun and casual and best of all, no one expects editing or professional perfection!
Even better? They increase engagement BIG time. As HubSpot reports, "Since launching back in August 2016, a total of 250 million Instagram users have started sharing disappearing content on Instagram Stories -- contributing to the huge jump in time spent in-app every day from 24 minutes to 32."
We were going to put this recommendation under the section below on promoting your page, but hashtags are such a big part of IG, that we felt the subject deserved its own section.
Hashtags help people find and engage with content they care about. For example, someone interested in discovering their next new hair style might search on #hairinspo. If you've used that hashtag with your images, they'll come up.
So which hashtags should you use? And how many is too many?
Check out best.hashtags.com for real-time trends and great ideas. (For example, here's the link for best hashtags for hair dressers.) You can find trends for other beauty pro topics, like nails, skin, makeup, barbering, and so forth.
When it comes to numbers, less is more. You don't need to stuff every hashtag under the sun into your post. Search Engine Journal reports, "Using more hashtags actually decreases the average engagement rate. It’s likely better to use fewer hashtags (no more than 5) than to use too many. Ultimately, when it comes to hashtags, it’s not about quantity. It’s about relevance."
Just because you built your IG account, that doesn't mean they'll come. Some people will, but you still need to regularly remind folks about your IG presence.
Social media is SOCIAL. You're creating a community. Make sure you participate in and monitor what's going on in yours.
We get that you might not want to end EVERY Instagram post with your salon's phone number. You might think it looks too salesy or spammy. But hear us out.
What if someone just looked through a bunch of your pics and LOVES the work you're doing? And what if they are on the prowl for a new salon? Don't you want to take advantage of that immediate interest? Putting the salon’s phone number front and center at the end of a post could be a good way to capture a booking.
Be fun and cheeky in how you give the number out: "Want a fresh new color for spring like this one? Book an appointment with us and let's get fresh! 555-555-5555."
At the very least, make sure you have a link in your bio to your website. And make sure your website is up to date with hours and contact info. (Oh, you'd be surprised what we've seen.)
You can't know if your Instagram marketing (or any marketing effort, for that matter) is working unless you measure the results.
Brand awareness, of course, is hard to quantify. Many people believe IG marketing is all about building a brand. And it is. But that's not all it is. You can—and should—get clients and re-bookings from your efforts.
Remember, social media is supposed to be social. Yes, you have a business account. But that doesn't mean it has to be "all business." Enjoy yourself. Make sure your employees are having fun. Experiment and play. Pay attention to what works (and what doesn't). Be open to learning new features as they roll out. Be authentic. And again, most of all—have fun! You got this!
If your interested in finding out how some of the most social media savvy beauty professionals grew their following, check out this interview by Marlo Beauty Supply.
Get more expert career advice in your inbox by telling us what you're focusing on:
State Board Exam Practice
Textbooks & Materials
Continuing Education for Practitioners
Continuing Education for Instructors