How can salons stay relevant to the guests they presently service and attract new clients? In today’s modern age of technology, salon professionals know that social media has become the go-to marketing tool, allowing them to build their businesses from “likes,” “regrams” and “follows.” Read on to learn about those who grew their audience from zero to up to 20k and how you can benefit from their experiences.
Tell a Story—at the Right Time Having quality photos is what Utah-based stylist and educator Elizabeth Faye (@BeautybyElizabethFaye) suggests, first and foremost. “I think it’s important to look extremely professional and to invest in good quality photos and videos,” says Faye, who posts a combination of lifestyle and hair images on her Instagram page. Either will add a higher level of professionalism to your Instagram feed. And when people are attracted to your page, they tend to follow you more frequently. Also, monitor the insights for your page. Facebook will show you when your audience visits your page most, and third-party schedulers like Iconosquare.com (for Instagram only), Hootsuite.com or Buffer.com will also provide more analytics about your audience.
Be Specific Get clear on whom you want to attract as followers. If you’re posting puppy and epicurean images more than hair photos you’ll get followers who love those things. Evie Johnson (@ContactEvie), owner of E&E Hair Solutions salon in Bowie, MD, attracted her first 1,000 followers on Instagram within one month of joining the platform. She did this by being “consistent, [monitoring] timing and being known for cuts and color.” Four years later, she has 20,000 followers and has increased her revenue for those services by $1,200 per week.
Connect with Followers What’s the first thing you do when you enter a gathering? Say hello and make friends. The same rule applies to social. Person-to-person communication on Instagram and beyond connects you to future followers and fans. “Comment back on comments, like others’ photos, compliment others’ work and build relationships,” says Faye.
Collaborate with Others Amplify your contests on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram by including your staff, clients and even local influencers. Ask an influencer to host a contest where your services are the prize; enroll your staff so they can post the contests on their pages, then tag each collaborator when it goes live. Jessee Skitrall of Swanq Style Studio in Everett, WA., began by asking his team and friends to follow his salon’s account. “From there, having contests with the purpose of getting the most likes worked very well. It [was] really about making every guest aware that you are on social media by incorporating it into all [of the salon’s] communication, written or electronic,” says Skitrall. You can create contests around milestones—help us get to 1,000 followers, holiday specials or charitable causes. Think back-to-school makeovers, beard grooming during the “Movember” celebrations, etc.
Cross Promote It’s very likely that the fans following you on Facebook are not the same as the ones following you on Instagram. Facebook, after all, skews to an older audience than Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. But this is especially true if you provide different content on each platform. If you wrote a great post on Facebook about caring for your hair color at home, take a screenshot of that post and share it on Twitter or on Instagram with a linkback to your Facebook page. It’s a great way to remind your followers of where else they can find you—and what type of content they can find from you on that platform.
Use the Right Hashtags Be specific about the hashtags you use, especially on Instagram and Twitter. Create hashtags that identify what you do and connect with a larger audience. But before you begin posting, “you have to ask if the hashtag is going to drive more exposure to what you are posting,” says Mike Street, a social media expert based in New York City with clients like Ford Motors and McDonald’s. Street recommends using Ritetag.com to find associated hashtags and searching by keywords. Use “location hashtags like #chicagohairstylist,” and put all the relevant hashtags in the comments instead of the post.
4 Hair Hashtags You Should Follow:
- #Haircut (10 million posts)
- #Naturalhair (7 million posts)
- #Hairstylist (5 million posts)
- #Haircolor (4 million posts)
Many thanks to program sponsors Matrix, Redken, Pureology, L’Oreal Professionnel, Baxter, Decleor, Essie, Mizani and SalonCentric for making this Digital Supplement possible.