Instagram is for far more than just selfies and pictures of your latest meal. Like it’s other social media counterparts, it’s a great tool to market your salon and stylists while having some creative fun. The mobile app helps even the photo novice take pictures that look polished and sharable thanks to a wide selection of filters for stylizing and a cropping tool. The best part is that it’s free and easy to get started!
Getting set up
Instagram is an easy free download and quick to set-up. When choosing your Instagram name, remember the importance of social media consistency and choose an account name that is the same as your other account names, particularly your Twitter handle. It’s also good to consider a consistent profile picture. Once those two things are established, don’t forget to fill out your description/bio. Always include the link to your salon’s website in it. Some salons also include address and phone number for appointments. Also be sure to that your other social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) so you can easily share photos to those platforms, as well.
Outside the basics, several apps and websites work alongside Instagram to help you make the most of your account. A popular option is creating photo collages, typically 3 photos in one Instagram post, or having the option to repost other users’ photos, just as you would share on Facebook or re-Tweet. There are apps that help you do both. Instagram recommends these apps for creating photo collages, while these are recommended for re-gramming. There are also several for added styling and creating graphics and helpful sites you can bring up on your computer for viewing, searching and downloading your photos so they can be used on your website, blogs, etc.
Focus on variety
Before you get overwhelmed by all of the shiny options and add-ons, determine how to best use Instagram to show off your salon and work. Just like on Twitter, Facebook, etc., it’s important to focus on variety. But unlike the others, this is highly visual medium, meaning it’s an easy way for salons to shine since what you do is inherently visual. Your Instagram account can act as a live, growing portfolio that showcases your space, your best work, and happy clients. In addition, it’s a visual promotion tool that helps you get the word out about specials and product lines you carry.
Let’s look at how some salons are using Instagram:
Jane Salon in Sacramento, CA nails the before and after photo–one of the best ways to showcase your skill! It’s easy to look at photos of pretty hair, but it makes a bigger impression to see the transformation.
Studio 6 Salon in Tallahassee does a great job of utilizing photo collages to show their work from multiple angles. Plus, a smiling client is one of the best non-verbal recommendations you can show off. They also utilize these photos on their Facebook page (where they’re also rocking a great cover photo).
Another great collage, D’Vaa Salon in Baldwin, NY utilized Instagram to show off pictures of a salon event. It’s great to show stylists in action and give a glimpse of an event. The round-up of what happened can encourage others to attend them in the future by helping to explain what they’re like.
Tina’s Beauty Salon & Supply in Santa Ana, CA, specializes in extensions and created this great, simple yet eye catching graphic to promote their back-to-school special. Another way to utilize Instagram in a similar way is having a contest just for Instagram users, with the rules presented via Instagram image.
Brown and DeLine Salon in Ann Arbor, MI, has an overall fantastic Instagram feed in which they utilize product promotion. This image advertises the addition of the Nioxin line to their salon. Another idea to promote a product is showcasing just one–like Nioxin System 1–as a product of the week to explain what each product does and why it’s helpful.
Don’t forget to have fun! At Hairstyles Weekly we love to share fun quotes and images related to hair and beauty, and you should, too! It’s not all about the sale. Be sure to show off your personality and sense of humor.
A few other key tips:
—Use hashtags! This will help you easily be found in searches (that’s how I found several of these great examples for the post). Common ones like “salon” and “hairstylist” are great, as well as tags about types of products. Also consider two to three hashtags that are personalized to you, like #ChicagoSalon or simply the name of your salon. You can share this hashtag with clients, asking them to share their own photos after a fabulous appointment that you can share through your social media platforms.
–Give each photo a description. People might not automatically know what the photo is showing.
–-Ask clients permission to share. It might seem like a no-brainer, but be sure to ask clients it’s okay if you take their photo and share it via social media. If you do take their photo, remember to ask them to smile!
–-Keep it clean. If you’re an individual stylist, it’s great to have your own Instagram account to showcase your work. Don’t be afraid to show snippets of your life, but like with everything else, remember to use caution when posting.