Updated: Aug 19, 2019
Instagram. Regardless of your personal opinion about sharing an idyllic glimpse of their world through a story of squares, what cannot be denied is the undeniable impact of marketing on the platform. This impact is measured with the metric engagement (likes, comments and shares). Here is where Instagram reigns supreme over other social networks with an engagement rate of 4.21%. That’s 10 times that of Facebook, 54 times that of Pinterest and 84 times that of Twitter. It’s this killer figure that makes Instagram the darling of marketers across the globe - and the reason we are going to focus on Instagram in this blog, providing you with the tools you need to get your salon noticed and drive traffic through your doors. So, without further ado here are our 5 top tops to crush your Instagram.
1.) Focus on Insta
Instagram is the most visual social media platform, which is perfect for the hair and beauty industry. If you only have the time to keep on top of one social channel, your energies should be focused here. 80% of users on the platform are following a business account, which means they are open to marketing and are most likely actively searching for brands and businesses to invest in. Being owned by Facebook, it is possible to link your accounts together meaning that every post to Instagram will be reflected on Facebook. There is no right or wrong answer on how many times a day you should post on Instagram, so experiment and see what works for you. Most large brands post on average 1.5 times a day which is a good benchmark. Experiment with one or two posts a day and track what generates the most engagement for you.
2.) Instagram Stories
"Nike doesn’t sell sportswear they sell the ideology that if you wear their products you can be the next world champion."
People don’t buy your product, they buy your stories. Nike doesn’t sell sportswear they sell the ideology that if you wear their products you can be the next world champion. Coca-Cola doesn’t sell soft drinks, but instead happiness when you share a Coke with your friends. Apple doesn’t sell computers, it sells technology that will bring you closer to your friends and loved ones. As a salon you shouldn’t be selling haircuts, manicures and facials, but instead the experience that will leave your clients feeling great about themselves every time they walk out of your doors. Feeling may seem like a soft word, far removed from the targets and KPI’s that you use to measure the performance of your business. However, if you can elicit a positive feeling in your clients, you can transform them into your own brand ambassadors.
Instagram Stories are the most effective way to communicate your personal story to potential customers. Consider your Instagram Stories as a completely separate channel from your main Instagram feed. Where your main feed may be super polished, your Stories should be real and raw, providing a sneak peek behind the scenes. Using Stories, you can show why you have a salon, and how your clients feel when they see their new hair cut or colour for the first time.
Put yourself in a potential client's shoes. What's more likely to influence you to book an appointment? A photo of the service list with the corresponding prices, or an Instagram story following a girl visiting the salon getting ready for her prom? She enters the salon nervous about getting her make-up done professionally for the first time, but over the course of a few 10 second videos you see her transformed, leaving the salon elated, excited and confident for the evening ahead. After watching the Story you book an appointment without even comparing the prices to the other salons in the area, not to buy the service she had, but to buy what that girl felt.
Although your Stories should be real and raw, there are some tools you can use to make them stand out from the crowd. At Beu we love the apps Mojo and Unfold (not paid or affiliated promotions).
Adding animations to videos is super en vogue right now, and Mojo provides hundreds of fully templates that you can use to make your stories really pop. We use Mojo a lot at Beu, as it gives us the freedom to quickly add animations to our stories.
Free download: iOS
Free download: Android app coming soon
If you have seen ultra clean Stories with film strip effects, Polaroid pictures and minimalist borders - the chance is they were made on this sleek app. Unfold provides templates that will give your salon a clean aesthetic in line with the services you offer.
Free download: iOS
Free download: Android
3.) Instagram Stickers
We know, tip 2 was on Instagram Stories but hear us out. We really felt that stickers deserved their own section. Why? Simply because they are so effective at getting your audience to interact. Since they launched, a plethora of stickers have been added to the platform for all different uses. We love to use stickers to help drive decisions on our app, gaining feedback from clients and potential clients in real time to ensure that we are building a product they want. Stickers are fantastic at transforming your passive viewers into an active audience, and are an amazing way for you as a salon owner or self-employed professional to gain actionable metrics to ensure that you are working to achieve your marketing objectives in a quantifiable fashion. We are going to run over our 5 favourites, and how you can use them in your salon.
Use the poll sticker to gain an insight into what your clients want. Thinking of giving the salon a lick of paint? Ask your followers if they prefer blue or pink. Maybe you are thinking of expanding your hair salon into other beauty services? Ask your clients if they would rather manicure or a massage with their haircut before you potentially make the expensive mistake of hiring the wrong member of staff. This sticker is the compass that leads the direction of your business.
Think Poll but more personal. Use the Question Sticker to get feedback from your stories. You could ask your followers what they enjoy about your salon, and then share their responses anonymously to educate anyone else viewing your story. It can also be really useful to quietly find out what may be missing from your salon, and then privately address this issue with the client. What biscuits would your clients prefer with their coffees? Find out what would it take to make your clients recommend you to their friends. You get the idea. Knowledge is power, baby.
So simple but so good. If you stick a location sticker on your post, users will discover your story when they are searching your area. Great for potential clients that don’t follow you to discover your salon and see what you are about.
Maybe you have a client that is insta-famous promoting your salon - lucky you. But if you don’t it doesn’t really matter. The fact is that 42% of the UK population have Instagram, meaning a good proportion of your clients probably have a profile. Every client with their own profile will have their own network, most likely with the majority of their followers in your area. Take a photo of your clients at the end of their appointments, use the tag sticker to tag their name, and upload it to your story. They will then get the option to share this picture with one tap, and if they do their entire network will see your salon.
Because who doesn’t love a GIF? These have been proven to give a significant boost to engagement rates across all social platforms - so use them!
4.) Create a business account
Data driven decisions. Analytics may not be sexy but as a business owner you know the value that good analytics can bring. Instagram actually has its own analytics platform baked right into the app. To access this wealth of information you are going to need to make your profile a business account (don’t worry it’s totally free). With a business account you can see insights into all of your posts. This is fantastic for working out what resonates with your followers, what's causing clients to make bookings, and how effective your hashtags are at reaching users not currently following you. Use this data to optimise your Instagram marketing strategy.
How to make your Instagram a business account
Go to your Instagram Profile
Swipe right on the screen or tap the menu icon (top right corner)
Tap Settings icon
Select get more tools and then follow the onscreen instructions
Bonus point. When setting up your business account link, it with your Facebook page so every post gets seen by your Facebook audience too
5.) Use 3rd party tools to get the most from Instagram
Aside from Mojo and Unfold, which we use for our Instagram stories, there are a couple of other tools that we couldn’t live without. Again, this is just our opinion: we are not being paid for any endorsements and there are loads of others out there. So do your own research and find out what works for you.
Later is a bit of a powerhouse when it comes to managing your Instagram and as an official partner to Instagram, it allows you to schedule posts ahead of time for automatic publication. One of the coolest features in Later is their LinkinBio feature which allows you to link your Instagram posts to the correct page online, whether that is a product that you sell, more information on your salon or a blog post - maybe even this one!
Preview is a neat app that allows you to curate the look of your feed Instagram by trialling different posts in different orders to see what works best for your grid. It also allows you to plan your captions and save a list of hashtags. At Beu we tend to do our posts on the fly, and Preview is our go-to planning app.
If you haven’t used Canva before go straight to their website now! Canva is an awesome website which allows you to make professional grade content in minutes. Instagram posts, stories, email headers, PowerPoints, stickers, service lists whatever you want. Try Canva before paying a designer to do anything for you, it honestly is that good.
Think Instagram for Hipsters and legit photographers and you kind of have the premise for VSCO. It's a bit like Instagram but with more emphasis on the photography aspects than the social. What we like it for is their wicked selection of filters that you can add to your photos, before exporting them to Instagram.
An awesome selection of licence free images that you can use in your Instagram marketing. Fun fact: the photo at the top of this blog post actually came from Pexels.
At Beu we believe technology can improve relationships. We do this by always putting people first. Beu is a platform for the hair and beauty industry that builds and maintains relationships between clients and their stylists, by making every booking personal. As long as you look after your clients within the salon, we will take care of them between appointments. Find out how Beu can nail your “why?”, delight your clients, and help you stay personal by downloading the app and getting set up now.