As a stylist or salon owner, there are few channels more important to your marketing efforts than your social media channels. And one of the most powerful social channels you should definitely be leveraging? Instagram.
Instagram is such an important marketing tool for stylists to use because, as long as it’s managed with a strategy in mind, it can actually grow your clientele. For free!
No matter what style of salon professional you are—commission stylist, chair renter, suite owner, salon owner—by creating a compelling brand and marketing yourself as a business on Instagram (and elsewhere), you have the opportunity to create a community and network with potential clients.
Below we review some of the benefits of Instagram for stylists and salons, and then offer a number of tips that you can use to get started with Instagram today!
Benefits of Instagram for Salons & Stylists
Instagram is by far one of the best social media platforms for stylists, for a number of reasons:
- At its base, it’s free!
- If you choose to run ads, it is reasonably priced
- It’s a visual platform, which is perfect for a visual industry like hair
- It allows you to reach a larger audience than simple word-of-mouth
- It can help you build a community of trust and respect with potential clients
- It allows you to showcase your work and client experience through the images you post and the words you use
- It allows you to build brand recognition and relationships with clients before you ever meet them in person
- You’ll get immediate feedback about what’s working and what’s not
Instagram Tips for Salons
1. Post consistently.
When you post to your account on a consistent basis (same time every day, same days every week), you are sending signals to the algorithm that runs Instagram about when it should bubble up your content in your followers’ feeds. It also helps to increase engagement from your followers.
Consistency is so important that it’s what the C in Jamie Sea’s C.O.P.E. method stands for!
2. Maintain your brand voice.
Brand voice is so important. It’s literally the voice that your followers and clients hear when they consume your content, and it can go a long way in either attracting clients or alienating them, so you’ve got to get it right!
One great tip is to designate a single person to police your brand voice (if it isn’t you). This person will review every single social post before it goes live to make sure that it feels right. Again, consistency here is key.
Another tip: Speak to your community to find out if your voice is resonating or if you need to make adjustments!
3. Lean into your brand’s culture and aesthetic.
Just as you want to be consistent with your brand voice, your social posts should also be consistent with your overall brand aesthetic. Once you have a firm aesthetic, make sure that you incorporate it in everything that you do. Your photos, your graphics, your colors, and your fonts should all tie back to this aesthetic, which itself should be based in your salon culture.
4. Showcase your personality.
The most successful stylists, when it comes to Instagram, are the ones who use the platform to showcase their personality and their services. After all, it’s your personality and services that set you apart from everyone else that your clients might consider!
On the personality front, this means uploading images and posts that show the real you as a client might expect to find you behind the chair. On the services front, this means centering posts around the specific services that you offer.
5. Focus on your ideal client.
While it might feel good to have thousands (or millions) of followers on Instagram, the vast majority of those people will never come to you for an appointment, and that’s okay! Instead of trying to build as large of a following as possible, we recommend building as large of a following as possible of your ideal client: People who are in your target market and who could actually one day give you business.
While this strategy might lower your overall appeal to a national or international audience, it’ll most likely increase your appeal with the people who will actually spend money on your services, and that is what really matters.
One way of leaning into this persona? Determine the common hair concerns (or goals) that your clients have, and weave those into your social posts. This can go far in helping your audience feel that you are actually talking to them.
Instagram, like all social channels, is a network. That means you should be using it to network and grow your client base. When someone follows you or like or comments on a post, take the opportunity to engage in them, either in the comments or via direct message. If they’re local and fit the profile of your ideal clientele, it’s totally possible to turn that connection into real business!
7. Open a business account.
Having a business account on Instagram will allow you to unlock so many possibilities! One of the most powerful is ads: With a business account, you can run ads and target them pretty specifically on the kind of person likely to do business with you. But perhaps even more powerful is the fact that a business account allows you to dive deep into the data and uncover what’s working (and what isn’t), which in turn will allow you to hone your strategy.
8. Showcase positive client reviews.
You’ve already gone through the effort of building a following on Instagram. Once you have them, take the opportunity to feed them content that’s likely to encourage them to reach out and book an appointment!
One of the most effective examples of this is to feature positive client reviews within your posts. One format that works well for this is to post a picture of the client (with her permission, of course) as the post, and then include her testimonial as the caption. Another format is to actually show the words as the image. Both work great!
9. Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look.
There’s no better way of getting your followers to actually picture themselves in your chair than to show them your client experience, and Instagram offers a couple of really effective ways that you can do this. IGTV and Stories can both be great ways of showing your followers what they can expect if they were to take the step to book an appointment.
10. Use the latest IG features to rank in the algorithm (reels, carousel imagery).
Instagram is always rolling out new features. Reels is one example, while image carousels in ads are another. Taking advantage of these new features can help you to stand out from your competitors, especially early on when not everyone is using the features. It can also reward you in the algorithm. So take the time to experiment and find what works for you!Of course, while Instagram is a powerful tool in your social media arsenal, it isn’t your only one! Other social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest can and should also form a part of your social media strategy. Download our free Salon Branding Guide for more tips on creating your salon’s brand. Then sign up for our online Let's Get Social Mini Course to learn even more tips and tricks to take your social strategy to the next level!