A picture is worth a 1,000 words, and the right picture is worth 1,000 likes. With over 300 million monthly users, Instagram reigns as king of visual content. Social media connects people with the things that they love: health and wellness, beauty, fitness, the list goes on. Instagram connects people with the things that they love by using images and video to engage with its audience.
So why is Instagram important to salons and spas? Salons and spas curate their own content through client services every day. Hard to imagine that only 5 years ago, clients would flip through magazines or Google search images of their favorite celebrity looking for beauty inspiration. Now, clients are following their favorite celebrities on Instagram, receiving content in real time, and searching hashtags when looking for the latest trends.
Instagram has become a visual library. As a salon/spa owner, manager, or employee, your goal is to bring clients in the door and keep them coming back. How do you get those potential clients in the door? Instagram creates a real-time portfolio for you and your business and gives you the opportunity to share your talent with the world. Share before-and-after images of clients, behind the scenes with your staff; repost client posts, or anything that shows the talent, mission, and values of your business.
A “tag” or “mention” is the new word of mouth. These types of referrals have the potential to drive awareness of your business to an audience that you might not have reached. Once you have created an Instagram account for your business, make sure to effectively communicate about it with your existing clients. Post your Instagram account name at your front desk, connect your Instagram account with your Facebook and link it to your website. Create a unique hashtag that clients can use to share images of their experience at your business and be sure to engage and participate in the conversation!
Use hashtags, #but #don’t #abuse #them. Think of a hashtag as a filling system. Where do you want your image to be placed? If you’re sharing an image of a new dry shampoo, would it make sense to use #pasta? No. The great thing about hashtags is that anything can be a hashtag. Keep them fun, but relevant. Instagram will show you how many other posts share a hashtag when you go to use it. If #dryshampooontuesday has only been used 5 other times, chances are that potential clients aren’t searching for it. When you’re building your Instagram audience and your goal is to be seen, use hashtags that your audience is searching. #knowledge
Once you have established an audience on Instagram, keep the conversation and interest alive by posting frequently. You don’t want to take over your followers’ Instagram feeds and you don’t want them to get bored, so keep the posts anywhere from 1–3 times a day, several days a week. Make sure that the images you use are clear, clean, and appealing. Would you like your post? Be honest with yourself. Take a look at what other businesses with high engagement are posting, read up on tips from industry professionals like Gerard Scarpaci of Hairbrained.me; keep your posts authentic and be consistent.
Instagram has proven success within the beauty industry, propelling the careers of stylists like Larisa Love and Mark Bustos, through the sharing of visual content. With a good image of your amazing work, you have the potential to reach an audience that you may not have reached before. Invest in a few minutes each day and see what a difference it could make in bringing in new clients or inspiring existing clients.
Check out these cool apps to make your Instagram posts even better: