By: Sarah Fasolo (@sarah.fasolo) SALT Marketing Manager
Social media has changed the salon world for the better in so many ways.
Channels like Instagram and Facebook are uber-visual, which makes them a natural fit for stylists and salon owners looking to get their services in front of an audience that could turn into paying clients and customers.
While many stylists and salon owners spend money on Facebook or Instagram ads to increase their reach, depending on just how good your social media game is it’s even possible to get these benefits for free. As long as you follow some relatively simple rules and best practices, your ideal client will seek you out on their own and could help your business explode.
Below are some social media planning and marketing tips that you can use to make sure you’re checking all of the boxes and getting as much out of your salon’s social strategy as possible.
Social Media Tips for Salons and Stylists
1. Identifying the purpose for your marketing efforts.
Whether you’re a solo stylist or the owner of a salon, before you spend a single minute (or dollar) marketing your brand, it’s important to have some goals in mind. If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, it will be next to impossible for you to understand what is working and what isn’t, which will make it difficult to adjust your plan in the future. And believe us, social media marketing should evolve over time alongside your business and client base!
So ask yourself:
- What are you trying to achieve with your marketing efforts?
- Do you want to establish a clear brand voice or identity?
- Are you trying to build awareness for yourself or your salon?
- Are you trying to reach new clients or leads?
- Are you trying to attract new qualified artists to your team?
- Do you want to sell more retail?
Even if your goal is a combination of all of the above, identifying these goals early, before you start, is a must.
2. Start with your target audience.
If you haven’t already identified your salon’s target market and ideal clientele, then doing so should be your next step. After all, if your marketing efforts are going to be successful, your message needs to be tailored to the right kind of person. You’re not going to stand out from the rest of the noise on social media if you’re trying to appeal to everyone!
Not sure who your ideal client is or how to identify them? You can start by asking yourself these key questions. Once you’ve got a clear picture of the kind of client likely to want your services (and, just as importantly, the kind of client you want to work with) you can use those insights to craft your marketing strategy, including your social posts and any other efforts.
Knowing your ideal client will impact:
- The kinds of photos you post on your channels
- The hashtags and language you use
- The kinds of product you feature in your photos
- The tone of your posts
- And so much more
3. Choose the right channels and platforms.
While you might think that you need to be on all social channels, the truth of the matter is that you likely only need to be on the one or two that your target clientele frequents most regularly. Identifying your ideal client should also help you determine the social channels that they are more likely to turn to for hair and beauty information and inspiration.
For example, many stylists and salons—particularly those catering to a younger client base—have a lot of success with Instagram. Salons and stylists who cater to an older audience might come to realize through their analysis, though, that Facebook is actually the best channel for them. And others still might find a lot of success on Snapchat, or even on LinkedIn.
There is no right or wrong answer about which social networks you use. The only requirement is that the ideal client you’re trying to attract also uses that channel!
4. Create a cohesive brand and voice to stand out.
Instagram and Facebook are flooded with so much content and so many posts each and every day, that it’s easy to get lost in the mix. In today’s world of social media driven marketing, word of mouth doesn’t cut it anymore.
The key to getting your social channels to really work for you is to find a way to build trust with the person you’re trying to attract. A key way of achieving this is to construct a brand voice that is a.) consistent and b.) tailored specifically to the kinds of clients you want to attract.
Why is consistency important? Think of it this way: If you needed your makeup done for a wedding, would you hire a makeup artist who always posted pictures of scary Halloween-themed makeup? Probably not. Similarly, if your specialty is ombre or blonding (or whatever else) then that’s what you should feature in the bulk of your content—that’s how you get known for it!
Other factors that you should consider include your brand colors, the language you use, and your tone of voice. You want all of your posts to sound as though they were written and posted by the same person—you!—and as though they are speaking to the same person—your ideal client!
5. Plan your posts.
Having a successful social media strategy is about more than simply posting a great photo. You need to plan your posts in advance so that you know they’re going to achieve the things you need them to achieve.
Some things to consider when you’re planning your posts:
- What is the specific thing you’re trying to achieve with this individual post? The answer to this question will dictate the kind of post you upload. If your goal is to educate your ideal client, you might have an inspirational photo that’s got a text-heavy caption. If it’s brand awareness, you might post a photo of your staff or your space. If it’s attracting customers, you might post an inspirational photo of a previous client whose hair came out amazing.
- When should you post? Ideally, you should upload your posts when you know that your ideal customers are going to be on social media. Not sure when they tend to frequent Instagram of Facebook? Be sure to post new content throughout the day to ensure that you get in front of them.
- How should you plan and schedule your social posts? Scheduling new posts each day can be really time consuming. That’s why we recommend you use a social media scheduling app to get them planned out in bulk. There are a lot of apps specifically designed to help you plan out your social media efforts far in advance. Snug is a great app that lets you visually plan your feed. Sprout Social also lets you schedule your posts out far in advance, and offers an analytical component that helps you understand what’s working and what maybe isn’t.
- Should you use a “personal” or “business” account on Facebook and Instagram? You should always use a business account for your posts. Why? Because doing so will give you some powerful insights and analytics that can help you tailor your social strategy.
6. Make sure you have enough material.
If you’re uploading posts to your social accounts once a day (or more) then it’s really easy to run out of new material, which can be detrimental to your social strategy. You don’t want to recycle material!
There are a few ways that you can get around this. First, you should work smarter, not harder, by scheduling some time into every appointment to take before and after photos. Most clients won’t mind this, especially if you’ve got a great relationship with them. They might even be willing to pose with different props or in different situations. (You’d be surprised what a five or ten percent discount can convince someone to do!)
Have a really strong relationship with a handful of clients? Ask them to use different props (like jackets or sunglasses) to get a number of photos from a single client who you can feature repeatedly on your social accounts. You can even style their hair a couple of different ways to get a different look. The goal is to create a bank of content from a single client that looks totally different in each post.
Once you have those photos, we recommend sitting down and editing those photos in bulk one day so that you always have fresh content ready to go when you need it. Facetune and Lightroom are two great apps for exactly this purpose, as is PhotoShop (if you want to get a bit more technical).
Listen to Episode 10 of the Hair Goals podcast to hear Sarah and Bri discuss everything that you need to know when building, organizing, and pursuing your social media strategy.
If you're in need of some eye-catching imagery, check out this FREE download of 18 Salon Stock photos!