Have you been thinking that this year is the year you are going to ramp up your salon social media strategy? Well you are in luck! This week, we have a guest post from Hannah Adkins, a professional Social Media Consultant who has shared with us some expert tips for nailing your Instagram strategy…
5 Top Tips for Nailing your Instagram Strategy
It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard that getting social media right is important to your salon. In fact, by now you’re probably realising it has the power to make or break your business (as much as you may have tried to ignore it!). But somehow it still feels a little daunting?
With so many social media platforms and thousands of ever changing features on all of them, it can be a little overwhelming, even for those who have been at it a while! With 70% of social media users looking up new brands they hear about on Instagram*, this seems like a great place to start. Whether you’re totally new to this or you’ve been at it a while, the following 5 top tips, pulled from my most frequently asked questions during Salon Social Media Workshops, should help you brush up on your Instagram skills!
1. Why Would YOU Follow You?
Let’s start with the basics, increasingly Instagram is used as a research tool, people are hunting for informative content.
Think fashion bloggers sharing outfit inspo, fitness bloggers sharing workouts or food bloggers sharing recipes. These are often the pages that attract the largest and most engaged followings, why? Because they are adding value with their content! You leave their page knowing more about about a certain topic than before!
So let’s apply this to a salon. Ask yourself, what does a potential or existing customer wants to see? It’s likely they’ve come to your page wanting to know more about the following; examples of your work, products you stock, what your salon is like inside and who is in your team. This is really only a starting point, maybe consider asking your existing customers what they’d like to see on your Instagram, or use the Question feature within Stories for inspiration! You may want to reduce the amount of personal content or reposted marketing material that you share – it’s not necessarily telling your followers anything new or addressing any of the questions they’re likely to have about your salon.
Top tip: The above doesn’t just apply to main feed content, 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Instagram stories**, but more on that another time!
2. Captions Really Matter
‘Amazing transformation on our client today *heart eyes emoji*’ – sound familiar?
Let me ask you a question, do you know anything more about the associated photo now that you’ve read that? …Anything at all? You see my point!
As we touched on earlier, now more than ever, people are using Instagram not just for pretty photos, but for meaningful, informative content. If you’re guilty of seeing your caption as a last minute afterthought, then the chances are you’re missing an opportunity to communicate with your audience.
Let me give you a real example; a salon once told me that they had posted a before and after of a dramatic brunette-to-blonde transformation, but then explained they had customers coming into the salon expecting the same transformation there and then. So what had they missed? The caption! They should have managed expectations by including details of the transformation in the caption and explaining that it took a few sessions. It doesn’t always have to be a lengthly caption, simply ask yourself ‘what can I write about this photo that adds value?’. Here are some examples; what products you used, what the process was, which stylist or beautician did it, how much it cost – the list goes on!
Once you know what you have to say, use your own tone of voice, don’t be afraid to be playful and ask questions to increase your engagement.
Now more than ever, people are using Instagram not just for pretty photos, but for meaningful, informative content.
3. It’s Not All About Numbers
Possibly the most frequently asked question in my workshops is ‘but how do we get more followers… and quickly?!’. My answer is always the same: you’re focusing on the wrong thing!
I once worked with a salon who had 12,000 followers but didn’t feel they were generating a lot of new business through the platform. When I asked them how they’d gained their following they explained they’d been using an automated follow and unfollow system, a method that unfortunately, I see a lot. The problem is, when we looked into their audience insights, 80% of their following was from Mexico. Now, as a salon based in South London, you can see where the issue lies!
You’re much better off having 1000 followers based in your region that have found you organically, than 10,000 that will never walk through your salon doors.
Top tips for recruiting new engaged followers: consistent posting of high quality informative content, location tagging, relevant hashtags and targeted paid promotion. Plus, location tagging increases your engagement by up to 79% ***, so it’s a no brainer! If you want to check on how you’re doing with this, go to the ‘Audience’ section of your business insights and review your top locations.
4. Video Content
Consider this a bit of an insider tip. During a recent talk I attended at Facebook, the panel revealed that they predict Instagram to feature predominantly video content in the years to come. As a result, the current algorithm really favours video content. You only need to check your explore page to find one of the many ways in which the platform is promoting video content over still images – comment below if you spot it!
The stats on this speak for themselves with video posts receiving 38% more engagement than still image posts, with double the number of comments****! The introduction of IGTV further supports the need to start getting pretty comfortable with video now, if you want to stay ahead of the competition in the future. If you’re wondering where to start, think mini ‘how-to’ tutorials, make up looks for the holiday season or quick hair-up styles. It’s engaging, informative and perfect for short, simple videos. The perfect way to draw new followers to your page and keep your existing followers coming back for more.
5. Be Consistent
Establish how often you’re going to post. I’d recommend at least 4 times per week and what time of day is best for your audience, and stick to it.
Be active on your Instagram stories. Decide on a theme for your feed and try not to deviate. Consistency is key when it comes to attracting and maintaining an engaged audience. It’s not just your followers that like knowing what to expect from your page, the algorithm on Instagram favours frequent, consistent posting. As a reward for being considered a valued member of the platform, Instagram is more likely to push your posts to the top of the homepage or explore feed. This means more eyes on your posts, more likes, more comments, more followers and most importantly, more clients!
So that’s today’s Top 5 Tips for getting Instagram right in your salon! There is so much to consider if you’re serious about building your social media and using it to grow your business. If there is something in particular you’d like to learn more about for next time, comment it down below!
For more information on my in-salon Social Media workshops and consulting, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 7801 534 294 to set up a free 15 minute discovery call.
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