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A Salon Owner’s Instagram Guide

This is a guest post by Elizabeth Ballou.

If you own a salon, it’s crucial to know how to market yourself and your business on social media. In a study of hair and nail salon clients, SquareUp found that 36% of people pick a salon based on online reviews; 24% choose based on social media recommendations; and 18% pick a business based on its social media presence.

Since Instagram is one of the most popular visuals-focused social media platforms, owning your Instagram presence is key. When you focus on building your Instagram profile, you give yourself and your clients a chance to highlight your salon’s work.

Think of your Instagram as both social media and a business portfolio.

Here are 5 tips on how to use Instagram to your salon’s advantage.

1. Post Happy Customers’ Haircuts

The most important rule of Instagram for salons is to showcase your work when your clients are happy. This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re scrambling to keep your salon’s schedule on track, dreams of photographing smiling customers may go out the window.

Results shots don’t have to be fancy, though. They just have to show that you’ve changed your clients’ lives for the better in some way – even if it’s small.

Ask clients to stand against a well-lit, neutral backdrop, like a blank wall across from a window.

Local Honey Salon in Greensboro, N.C. does a great job of posting low-key, tasteful results pictures.

This picture implies that Local Honey gave such a good haircut, they didn’t even need to ask their client to pose for a picture. She took the picture herself.

If you see clients taking selfies, by the way, encourage them to tag your Instagram profile so that their followers know where they got their sleek new cuts. Alternatively, you can have clients send you pictures they’ve taken and post them yourself.

2. Show Off Your Specialties

Your salon probably gives all kinds of haircuts, but when you advertise that you’re particularly good at natural hair, kid’s cuts, or dye jobs, your Instagram followers will take note.

In fact, you can establish yourself as a fashion and beauty influencer if you show that your salon is skilled at a service that’s in style.

Consider Guy Tang. This Hollywood, Calif. hairdresser started creating dreamy, ombre looks using unconventional dye colors. His Instagram profile is full of these shots.

As a result, he has over 2 million followers on Instagram and has started teaching how he makes his pastel creations, which have become a popular beauty trend in the last several years.

Tang has leveraged his Instagram to carve out a niche for himself as a color specialist.

3. Advertise Deals And Promos

Social media is a way to promote your business without creating an enormous marketing budget. You can use Instagram to let people know when you’re running deals and promotions, and use a little money to promote posts that do well.

According to a survey by The Manifest, the top social media challenge that small businesses face is lack of resources. That’s not surprising: creating traditional ads can get expensive fast.

With Instagram, though, you can spread the word about deals for free. For example, Seattle-based salon Karma Beauty Bar posted an eye-catching graphic about the prom updo specials they were offering.

By advertising on Instagram, Karma Beauty Bar could tell all its followers about a deal that might have been difficult to communicate to the right audience otherwise.

4. Show Sneak Peeks Into Salon Life

Salons aren’t all business: stylists and aestheticians are real people, after all. Create an emotional connection with your followers by posting photos and videos that show employees and clients laughing, celebrating, volunteering, or doing other everyday activities.

A study by Fractl revealed that happy posts get the most shares and likes. To capitalize on that information, show off your salon’s good vibes.

For example, Bang Salon in Washington, D.C. posts a photo or video of its hairstylists drinking champagne every time a hairstylist gets a promotion.

The champagne and flowers make Bang Salon look like a workplace where stylists have fun and feel valued because of the hard work they do. That positive message sends a good signal to potential clients trying to figure out where to book their next appointment.

5. Use Social Media Analytics Software

Track your Instagram posts to see which ones perform the best. Once you see a pattern emerge, you can tailor your Instagram feed to consistently provide photos your followers connect with.

Instagram has a built-in analytics tool, but it’s hard to find and may not provide all the information you want. You’ll be better served by using a free Instagram analytics tool, such as Socialbakers or Union Metrics.

Union Metrics, which provides an Instagram ‘checkup,’ will tell you bits of information like your top hashtags, top followers, and top posts.

The example image on Union Metrics’ checkup page shows that #cheese netted this account more traction than any other hashtag. Now the account owner can go forth and post more #cheese-related pictures, knowing that this is what’s most likely to appeal to their audience.

Digging up data on your social media habits takes a little time, but the results are worth it. You’ll be able to connect with more habitual customers and find new ones by figuring out where you’re already excelling on social media.

Savvy Instagram Profiles Mean More Customers

When people know what they’re getting from your salon, they’re more likely to schedule an appointment.

A well-curated Instagram that projects positivity, shows off successful haircuts, and plays to your salon’s strengths is exactly the kind of face you want your business to present to the social media world. In addition, tracking what works and what doesn’t helps you replicate your successes.

By following these tips, you’re well on your way to creating an A+ salon Instagram profile.

Author Bio: Elizabeth Ballou is a writer and marketer at Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews company in Washington, D.C.. She focuses on digital marketing and workspace habits. When not writing, she enjoys listening to too podcasts. Email her at elizabeth@clutch.co.

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