Instagram is enormous and growing at a rapid rate. If you are trying to capture the attention of the 14-25 age group then Instagram is THE place for Salons to be!
But don’t be fooled into thinking that the rest of your target audience aren’t delving into this social platform too….if they are not already, they will be soon! With an audience of over 400 million world-wide it is time to get over your paranoia of Instagram and get into posting your salon pictures.
We are a visual industry and this is the perfect platform to ‘show off’ our work. Stylists, brands and salon owners alike should be using the Instagram platform to engage with their local community and brand audience. The best bit? It is simple to use – it requires only a small amount of attention each day to create a loyal brand following and it allows you to keep up with the latest industry trends, be inspired with creativity whilst keeping an eye on your competition.
The Rules of using Instagram for Salons
1. Understand the Instagram platform
Take time to understand the platform before you begin. Always follow best practice, watch and learn from industry peers and keep up-to-date with the Instagram rules and regulations.
2. Use appropriate images
Use excellent images that are appropriate to the hair & beauty services you provide. Instagram offers stunning inspiration for stylists and clients, so think about image quality and make the most of filters and cropping tools when necessary. There should be a mix of relaxed snaps and high quality pro shots. Whilst suppliers that you work with will be happy to provide professional model images your clients will also expect to see #snappedinthesalon style visuals.(Think before & afters!) Remember to keep it looking professional as there is nothing more off-putting than images showing dirty coffee cups and unbrushed floors. Mood shots of the products and tools that you use and sell will allow you to attract locals that are looking to purchase these brands if you include the appropriate hashtags.
3. Reflect your Salon brand and personality
Whilst Instagram should certainly be a place to showcase your work and products – remember not to bombard your followers with advertising material. There needs to be a mix.
4. Be #hashtag savvy
Be savvy with your hashtags. Hashtags are a fabulous social tool that allow us to become part of global communities (#wella), global conversations (#balayage), or equally be found locally (#yourlocaltown). It is really important that they are not over-used. Always make sure your hashtags are relevant
5. Understand your audience
Your Instagram needs to tell a visual story that will leave a positive & lasting impression about your salon. One glance should showcase your salon’s vision and character. View your Instagram page as important as your salon frontage, after all – this is where new clients will discover and judge you. Recent research shows that if the client is under 30 they are more likely to be on Instagram as opposed to other Social Media Channel *
Post good quality images, engage with your network by liking and commenting and do not over saturate their feeds. Instagram is the more relaxed cousin of Facebook & Twitter. If we could offer you one piece of Instagram advice it would be to ask yourself :
‘ if your perfect client were to browse over the pictures on your Instagram feed would they feel that your salon is a place that they would enjoy, with personalities that they would feel comfortable with, using products that they desire? ’
7. Embrace the Instagram culture
Video clips (ok, so you have 15 secs to impress) and collages are an excellent way to tell a story and capture the imagination. Remember it is about quality NOT quantity!
8. Avoid cross-platform posting
You may feel that connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts to Instagram is a great time saving option. Think again! You have to selectively control which photos to post where. Each type of platform needs different types of content and uses different ways to engage. Your loyal clients will possibly follow you on all platforms and will expect different types of content on each. Remember it isn’t just about posting…..it is about engaging in the community that you are trying to appeal to ie. #hairhour #hairdressersjournal #brumhour #barbersbash
9. Encourage Salon team engagement
Instagram is a great opportunity to motivate your team. If one of your stylists have created a stunning pixie crop or a to die for bronde colour, share it on Instagram making sure that you mention them personally and if possible tag them in. . Our Salon Guru clients now incorporate Instagram within team pages on their website to help potential salon clients identify with a particular stylist.
10. Encourage client sharing
Is there a way to encourage your clients to #snapaselfie in your salon, place it on their Instagram feed and then tag you in? This is the perfect way to grow your following within your local community. Think of incentives to encourage this – could you offer a free in-salon treatment as a reward or perhaps run a competition?