Every salon that wants to attract new clients and engage current ones (aka every salon ever) is on Instagram. However, as popular as it is, many salons are missing out on some of the major ways that the social platform can help them grow.
Success on Instagram begins with a page that represents your brand, speaks to your ideal client, takes advantage of all of the IG features and adheres to current trends. To dig in deeper, we spoke to Salon Owners-slash-Insta-Experts, Jessica Mock of Southern Sugaring and Kalena Duru of KBB Salon and with Stephanie Carter, COO and Co-Founder of Beauty As A Business, a consulting firm that specializes in social media strategies for salons, to get their advice on finding success on Instagram.
Set Your Profile For Success
Your Instagram page only gets one chance at a first impression with current and prospective clients, so make sure it hits the mark. If you’re the salon owner, you’ll need to start by making sure your account is a business account. You can check to see what type of account you currently have by navigating to the Settings within Instagram, selecting Account, then tapping “Switch to Professional Account”. This will allow you to run ads, access analytics, schedule posts ahead of time, add links and more. With a business account, your username will be your Instagram URL (instagram.com/username) and your business name will appear in your profile. Mock, the owner at Southern Sugaring & Spa (@southernsugaring) in Savannah, Georgia advises that the closer your username and business name are to your exact salon name, the better.
What Should Go In Your Bio?
An Instagram bio is a 130 character elevator pitch where your salon’s individuality can shine. Besides the basics – your salon’s name, location and website – it’s wise to use your bio to highlight unique details like:
- Awards + Accolades
- Brand Affiliations
Here you’ll see how KBB Salon (@KBBSalon) does an excellent job showcasing its unique appeal to the local residents of Marietta, Georgia:
Be Sure to Use Highlights
Highlights are the Instagram stories that you choose to feature on your profile permanently and make for a great first impression to new clients. It’s important to make sure you put in the time to set these up and that they look great and tell a story about your salon! It’s convenient to utilize highlights to showcase your best content, promote upcoming events, share your favorite products, answer your followers’ frequently asked questions with a Q&A, highlight testimonials, and much, much more. Let your creative juices flow as there truly are a variety of ways you can utilize Instagram Highlights.
Some strong examples of how Aura’s salon’s utilize highlights include:
1) Feature uniformly styled, professionally photographs of your Team and use Highlights as a platform for showcasing their work
2) Create a “mini-website” to share your salon’s mission right where your audience is
The Rise of Short Form Video
If you take anything away from this article, this is it – short-form videos (Reels + Stories) are gold. They’re what followers latch onto, engage with and re-share. Stephanie Carter, who has been helping beauty schools and students build their social media presence for years, tells us that leveraging short-form video is one of the best things salons can do for their IG presence in 2022.
“We all need to get comfortable being in front and behind the camera. Luckily, Instagram makes it so easy. Salon owners can use videos as an opportunity to not only showcase their brand but to build your team and culture at the same time.”
-Stephanie Carter, COO, and Co-Founder of Beauty as a Business
Carter goes on to explain that when it comes to short-form videos there are several content types that visitors are looking for from salons:
1) Utilize your stylists’ expertise to deep-dive into a variety of topics
2) Show off your skills by posting before and after pictures and videos
3) Post what a “Day in the Life” looks like at your salon
4) Partake in viral trends or challenges
Above all, Carter says the more humor you can bring into your videos the better for viewing, engagement, and re-sharing! Clients and potential clients love to laugh and see you and your service providers being real and having fun.
Quick Tip: Be authentic. Never post basic content just for the sake of posting.
Professionalism With a Side of Humor
Mock explains in the beginning she wanted to figure out how to create something visually interesting to explain Southern Sugaring’s services (their primary service was hair removal at the time). She had the idea to use naked Barbies as a feature on social media, and it took off. This concept has continued to evolve and be used across the salon’s branding. “…it gives us a funny, kitschy way to talk about something taboo like Brazilian waxes while still being professional,” she tells us.
Some salons swear by creating content off the cuff, which can work sometimes. However, Duru explains that KBB Salon has dedicated “Content Days” when cheese, crackers and champagne are delivered to the salon and her team gets to work doing great styles while shooting a wide range of videos and photography. Duru explains this makes “everything look polished and is an easier process than remembering to shoot all day, every day.”
Another nod to delivering good content is to make your salon Instagrammable. You don’t need to transform the whole space, but dedicate a small wall space for stylists to take before/after photos or videos. Creating an esthetic where people are encouraged and want to make social content will help with clients tagging your salon and word getting out.
No matter how you choose to create your content, just remember that consistency is key. Your salon should be posting at minimum 3x per week, daily if possible. You can also utilize insights to best understand what times and days you should be posting to reach your biggest target audience.
Three ways to find top trending hashtags relevant to your geographic location:
1| Search #YourCityName to pull a list of popular hashtags. Choose the ones most relevant to your business and start utilizing them in your posts.
2| Search for top local businesses such as restaurants, bars, boutiques, gyms, etc – and see which hashtags they’re using and follow suit.
3| Do a Google search for bloggers or influencers in your city and use any relevant hashtags they are using.
Make sure you tag your city or salon, anyone in the photos, and include all relevant hashtags in every single post.
Support Service Providers
Support and encourage your service providers in their social media marketing endeavors. All providers should have IG personal accounts where they can showcase a sampling of their work, tag the salon in their posts, and the salon can tag the provider in posts that involve them. This not only brings visibility to the salon’s IG page, but also creates an atmosphere of generosity, support, and collaboration between the salon and stylists.
Social Media in Sight
Out of sight, out of mind! Carter tells us that very rarely does she see salons actually displaying their hashtags and social media handles. Not doing this is a huge missed opportunity to encourage clients to tag the salon and/or service provider during their visit. She suggests salons create mirror clings or similar to promote this information at every station and in bathrooms.
Service providers should also be trained to incorporate this talk track with all their clients and remind them to follow the salon on social media to get access to special, exclusives, giveaways, and more.
Your salon’s Instagram account will constantly be an evolving work of art. Don’t worry about being perfect, make a point to be authentic and follow the tips above – your clients will appreciate that and it can lead to a reputation as a trendsetter all while increasing your revenue.