We all know that social media is important to grow your business. But where do you start? How do you prioritize? How do you keep up with all the latest trends, strategies and tools?
The first step is to start doing a few things really well, rather than trying to do everything at once. So in this article we will focus on some simple tips to optimize your salon’s Instagram Business page. If you don’t have an Instagram Business Page yet, learn the benefits to switching here and how to make the switch here.
1. Start by following others. Follow all of the industry influencers, top industry salons, beauty brands and associations. Be a student and watch what they are posting and how they are posting. You can repost some of their relevant content (always give photo credit and @mention them, along with your insight about the post). By giving them a @mention, they will see your post and may decide to like or @mention you back, which can increase your exposure to their audience. Reach out to these influencers to build relationships. Your social network is an important factor in your social media success!
2. Determine who your target audience is and understand what content they want to see on Instagram, then, create that content. If you’re trying to grow your business, remember that you must appeal to regular consumers, not other stylists!
3. Boost or increase your Instagram following with a photo and/or hashtag contest. Offer an awesome prize and get your audience to post photos with your brand hashtag and a unique theme in order to win. Set a timeline, and talk about the contest every day until the time is up. Pick a few winners from your followers and re-feature the winning posts on your page.
4. Create a live Instagram feed within your website and link it to your Instagram Business page. This can get more eyes on your work who might not have found you through Instagram alone.
5. To create images that stand out from the rest of the Instagram feed, use non-Instagram filters. Apps like Canva, and Adobe Photoshop Express can help. You can then use Instagram's own "Layout" app to create collages (in the "image" selection screen, click on the icon which looks a bit like a computer mouse on its side) where you can select multiple images and compile them. You can also get free, high resolution images for your social posts from sites like Pikwizard.com and Unsplash.com.
6. Use lots of video content, even if it’s just short clips. Since everything on Instagram is pictures, it’s easier to stand out with video. Try Hyperlapse to take video and Party Party for gifs. Both types of content tend to have higher engagement rates than straight images.
7. Use lots of hashtags in your posts. Instagram lets you use up to 30 hashtags per post, however research shows that posts with 11 hashtags get the most engagement. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to your content! Check out our article where we break down the best hashtags to use for salons.
8. Create a library of fun images and inspirational quotes through Google searches and Pinterest boards. You can then refer to this library to find ‘filler’ content to keep a variety of posts and to be topical (holiday themed messages, images linked to the weather and seasons, etc…). Be careful to give credit for images that are not your own.
9. Focus on "superfans." Social media often follows the 80:20 rule of marketing, where you get 80% of the return from 20% of your audience. Nurture these relationships by following them back and engaging with them regularly.
10. Post at least once per day. Experiment with publishing times. Think of when your target audience has free time to be on social media. Weekends, early in the morning, lunchtime and before bed are typically the most popular times, but it depends on your audience so test it for yourself! (If you have a large following, you can look at your account Insights and see what times are most popular for your followers.)
11. Be Consistent and keep going. Building your brand online has become mandatory for every business who wants to get noticed today. There have never been more ways to connect with potential customers online, and yet, that doesn't make it easy. Using your social media account as a marketing tool requires time, patience and consistent, persistent posting. Find the joy in building something strong, and one day, it will pay off!
Get started today by choosing 1 or 2 tips and adding more to your marketing plan each month. Be sure to let us know in the comments what's working for you!
Looking for more Instagram and social media tips for salons and spas? Check out the rest of our Resource Library for valuable content to help grow your salon or spa business!