With more than 700 million users, Instagram is one of the top online destinations for both consumers and businesses. And when more than 50% of those users follow a business and 60% learn about products or services on the platform, using Instagram for promoting your business is a must. For businesses where an image speaks a thousand words—such as salons and spas—Instagram can be the best social media platform for brand awareness and growth.
Whether you’re new to Instagram or have been building your following for years, follow these essential five tips for leveraging the platform for your salon.
1. Use Targeted Hashtags
Using hashtags for your posts helps you reach new audiences and build your following. For every post, include several hashtags that highlight the image you’re sharing as well as the features of your salon. For example, as your customers will be based locally, include your location as a hashtag, such as #SanDiego and #California. This can help people find your business when searching for posts within that hashtag.
Using a tool like Tagboard helps you track trending hashtags and see how similar brands are using them so you can use those same tags in your posts to build your audience. Tags like #MermaidHair have had quite the moment over the last few months, for instance, so featuring those looks and hashtags would let you capitalize on that popularity.
2. Tag Strategic Partners and Similar Instagram Accounts
By tagging another Instagram account in one of your images, you can notify that account you’ve featured them in your post. This is a great feature for salons to take advantage of. When posting a photo of a hairstyle, just tag the brand of products you used to create the look—it’s that easy.
Occasionally, the brand you tagged will repost your image, helping your brand reach a new audience. You can also tag accounts that specialize in sharing other spas’ and salons’ photos. For example, Nail Post and Stylists Supporting Stylists encourage users to tag them for a chance to be featured on their accounts.
3. Share Before and After Pictures
Everyone loves a success story involving beautiful hair, skin, nails, and makeup, so before and after pictures are a must for any salon’s Instagram. Use your Instagram as your digital portfolio and showcase your and your team’s talent and creativity. For really dramatic styles, consider using the new swipe feature to keep the end results hidden until a user swipes over for the big reveal. Just make sure to let readers know they need to scroll over.
Third-party apps like Layout (on iOS and Android) or Snapseed (also on iOS and Android) can help you edit and frame your before and after pictures. In your caption, describe what your customer wanted and what you provided. Including specific details, like techniques, products, or hair color you used, helps establish you as a pro and garner attention from fellow professionals and brands.
4. Offer Incentives to Your Followers
Many people use Instagram to discover new businesses and find deals. Build your Instagram following and encourage repeat business by providing Instagram-only promotions, such as $10 off a service if they share one of your posts or tag your salon in one of their photos.
You can also use Instagram to announce last-minute openings for services, special holiday promotions, and any special events you may host. And don’t underestimate the power of a contest or giveaway. Encouraging users to follow your account for a chance to win a free pedicure or haircut can boost your following and engage your fans.
5. Run Sponsored Posts
Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, and social media is no exception. If you want to build your following, announce a new salon location opening, or promote a new color service, running paid sponsored posts can help you reach tens of thousands of more Instagram users than you’d typically reach.
Facebook Power Editor helps you set up, launch, and manage your paid posts and target audiences based on age range, gender, location, job title, and other factors. This helps you reach your ideal clientele and get the most bang for your buck. The only thing to be careful with is the objective you choose—not all are supported by Instagram.
With a focus on all things beautiful and visual, Instagram is one of the best social media platforms for salons and spas. Using the right hashtags and apps can help your posts attract more attention and drive more business and referrals.
Along with exploring some of the apps mentioned here, browse hashtags on Instagram for inspiration from other salons and spas. The great thing about social media is that it’s always evolving. When in doubt, take risks, be creative, and try new strategies to see what works and what doesn’t. Happy ‘gramming!
About the Author
As a communications specialist for Frontier Business, Alec Sears helps small businesses stay on top of changes in their industry. He lives in the Silicon Slopes of Utah, where he loves trail-running with his dog and snowboarding with his wife.More Content by Alec Sears