Facebook Ads vs. Instagram Ads: Which is Better for Your Salon or Spa

Parker Davis


woman holding smartphone

With so many options for advertising on social media, it can be difficult to know how and where to spend your time and money. Facebook and Instagram are two heavy-hitting social sites that you can’t afford to ignore. 

Both platforms are important for marketing success for spas and salons. They have the largest number of users, and are relatively easy for small business owners to use. The analytics available for individual campaigns are in-depth and tweaking messages for a higher rate of engagement is straightforward. 

Facebook for Salons and Spas

The two most important factors that make Facebook an excellent choice for targeted advertising are its cost and the number of people using it on a daily basis. 

Facebook advertising costs less than many other online marketing options. The minimum investment is $1 per day. According to the results of a 2016 eMarketer survey, 95% of social media marketers consider Facebook their number one resource for maximum return on investment. 

Facebook has 2.01 billion monthly active users. This means that you can reach an audience with your desired location, gender, income, and interests. You can also upload lists of your own customers to reach people who are already customers but don’t follow you on Facebook.


The Facebook advertising interface is set up for ease of use. Simply log in to your business’ home page and select “Create Ads” from the drop down menu in the right-hand top corner of the screen. There are three main types of ad campaigns to consider. A conversions campaign encourages customers to take action by making a purchase or sharing information with you (such as their email address). An awareness campaign generates interest in the services the business provides or the product line. A consideration campaign inspires people to look for more information about the business and gets them thinking about how the product or service fits into their life. 


Defining the audience is the next major step in the process of setting up a Facebook ad. Be specific and aggressive; an audience target of between 50,000 and 100,000 works well for most small businesses. When defining interests, look for similar Facebook pages, brands, books, and websites. Be sure to use the Connections section to take advantage of the Facebook connections between your current customers and followers and their Facebook friends. 

There are two options for setting a budget. Users can give the Facebook ad campaign a lifetime budget or a daily budget. Run the advertisement with specific target dates or continuously. Facebook will spread out a lifetime budget evenly over the period specified in the campaign parameters. 

Making the Ad 

There are five parts to a Facebook ad. The image has a huge influence on how the audience reacts (or doesn’t react) to the ad. The headline is directly under the photo. It’s the attention-grabber and should be under 25 characters. The text is above the photo, and its function is to tell the audience about the URL and what the business is promoting. The call-to-action button tells the audience what the business wants them to do. The news feed link description gives details about where the call to action button leads. 

Be sure to check the ad in each preview mode. Have others take a look as well. Ask for feedback about message clarity and whether the ad is compelling. 

Instagram for Salons and Spas


Instagram users scroll through pictures from the accounts they follow. Sponsored posts, or advertisements, are interspersed between those photos. The only difference between user-generated content and sponsored content is the tiny word, “Sponsored” in the top left-hand corner of the ads. 

Since the Instagram platform is uncluttered by design, users are much more likely to engage with ads. For example, consumers are 120 times more likely to click on an advertisement inside the Instagram platform than they are with Twitter. 

For some types of ads, the advertiser chooses a call-to-action banner at the bottom of their image. When Instagram users click the banner, their web browser goes to the web page designated for the advertisement. 


Second only to Facebook in popularity, Instagram has 800 million monthly users. eMarketer estimates that 70% of U.S. businesses used it to market their products and services in 2017. Like Facebook, targeting specific audiences according to gender, age, marital status, and other parameters is the cornerstone of this powerful marketing medium. Facebook owns Instagram so the targeting capabilities and backend are the same.

Making the Ad

Remember that most users go on to Instagram and gravitate towards aspirational photos, there’s an opportunity for a connection to be made with the photos you choose for your ads. It’s also helpful to research hashtags that are relevant to your business as well as being popular on Instagram. For instance, if your business is within the hair salon industry, utilizing #salon, #hairsalon and #salonlife will ensure that the appropriate audience will see your Instagram ad.

Measuring Performance 

Measuring the effectiveness of a Facebook ad campaign by looking at how much you spent to get someone to take an action. Report columns show information such as engagement, clicks, and performance. Campaign managers can view results by location, date, age, etc. Your goal is generally to get the most clicks and engagements for the lowest cost. But, if you have a very select audience, you should be willing to spend more to get in front of the most valuable customers. 

Moving Forward with Facebook and Instagram 

Technical expertise isn’t required to use Facebook and Instagram advertising to boost customer engagement and sales for your salon or spa. That being said, it is still important to realize that these two marketing tools have different formats and slightly different audiences. 

Instagram is more straightforward. There’s only a small area for text, so the copy must be strategic and to-the-point… and you should utilize relevant hashtags. With Facebook, there’s more room to finesse the message with a compelling description. Both sites have a lot of value potential for your business, so play with both and figure out which platform is right for your advertising needs. For either, you need thoughtful targeting and beautiful images to be most successful. 

Important Note: Facebook and Instagram ad capabilities are changing constantly; these recommendations are up-to-date as of October 2017. 





About the Author

Parker Davis

Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 will achieve record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership.

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