Marketing a spa or salon and want to up your digital marketing efforts?
Look no further than Instagram.
Instagram is a visual social network with high engagement – especially with women, who may be your most valuable clients, given they spend more on average at salons than men.
But how do you make the most of Instagram? Is it a matter of just copying what other brands are doing, or are salons unique?
I did some digging to save you time. While there are common best practices that salons share with other local businesses, such as restaurants, there are also nuances you should be aware of.
Let’s take a look at what’s working for spas and salons on Instagram by analyzing some successful accounts.
Highlight Your Stylists
Just as real estate businesses highlight their agents on Instagram, you should shine the spotlight on your stylists. After all, they are the ones that create a personal connection with your customers and bring them back time and time again.
Jenson & Co, a hair salon from Reno, does an excellent job of presenting its stylists in a favorable light. Brian, Micaela, and Lisa all have a designated spot in the Highlights section of the Jenson & Co Instagram profile. The Stories saved under each stylist show their best work with happy customers – a perfect way to build trust with prospective clients.
They also “Spotlight” stylists in posts, breaking down their specialties, experience, and personalizing their story. Here’s Brian’s spotlight:
Tangerine Hair Studio takes a similar approach by categorizing its Stories Highlights by stylist. One thing I like that Tangerine has done differently is to brand the thumbnail image for each highlight to create a consistent look and feel on its profile:
The punchline? Your stylists are the lifeblood of your business, don’t hide them in the background – flaunt what you’ve got!
Go Big With Customer Photos
Nothing sells a salon like a customer photo that depicts the beautiful outcome of an appointment. Be it a haircut, makeover, or another service you offer.
Eden Med Spa offers a range of services from massages and facials to botox and fillers – and they’re not shy about showing off how good their customers look after a visit. It’s one thing to see a nice photo of a haircut or a makeover, but what Eden does particularly well is share before and after photos. Authentic photos like the one below are gold on social media.
Ask your clients if they’re willing to participate in a before and after photoshoot, and you’ll have some super compelling content for Instagram.
Jensen & Co also use the before and after technique to generate interest – it’s a winner, trust me!
If your clients need an incentive to participate in a before and after photo, you could offer them a discount on the appointment. The social proof you’ll receive on Instagram will be worth it.
Instagram giveaways – such as hashtag or comment contests – are a fun and engaging way to connect with your audience. All you need to do is offer up a compelling prize and let the viral nature of this marketing technique do the rest.
Eden Med Spa used this approach to generate interest as the New Year approached. Entering was simple – Follow > Tag Friends > Share the Post – all three criteria organically spread the word about this giveaway.
If you want to spread the reach of your giveaway without spending big on ads, you could partner with another brand that fits with your customer group. This is what Oasis Day Spa did when they collaborated with an exotic car dealer to run a 2-day giveaway.
The car dealer they partnered with, in this instance, has over 15,000 Instagram followers. That’s some nice extra reach they couldn’t have received organically with a standalone giveaway.
Just make sure you follow best practice Instagram giveaway rules so you don’t put your brand at risk!
Diversify Your Content
One thing that is critical to a successful Instagram profile is to switch up the type of content you share. Some of your clients might prefer watching Reels, others might like Stories, while some may just prefer scrolling through photos. The more diversity you have in your Instagram feed the more chance people will stay engaged with your content – it keeps things interesting.
For example, Sola Salons regularly share motivating quote images mixed in with photos and videos. Like this one:
Tangerine Hair Studio makes the most of the trending Reels feature to show potential clients how work gets done in its salon:
Then you have Salon 1800 which uses a nice variety of Reels, videos, and carousel posts to hold people’s interest. Hint: Carousels are perfect for before and after photos!
The big takeaway from these examples is that Instagram content is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Different content types suit different people and some like to see your salon’s personality in numerous formats.
Feature The Products You Use
Some of your customers may have an affinity for certain products or brands. By featuring the products you use in your salon on Instagram, you can reassure customers that they are getting the highest quality salon products on the market.
For example, Salon 1800 posted this short video of a Lift & Blend Blonde hair product from Schwarzkopf that is suited specifically for “mature salon clients who wish to maintain and enjoy a blonde hair color that looks natural” – they know who their target audience is!
Special FX Salon & Day Spa sprinkles product-based photos into its feed to remind clients they use Redken – a well-respected salon-quality brand. Here is one example:
You don’t need to go overboard with product photos, but most customers will respect your opinion when it comes to hair and skincare (depending on your salon), so educating them via Instagram about the brands you use is worthwhile.
Create a Lifelike Experience
A big part of your salon business is the experience you deliver when a customer comes in for an appointment. In essence, you are trying to recreate this experience as best you can on Instagram – using diverse content, videos, customer testimonials, and more. You want new clients to get a feel for what it will be like when they use your services.
Of course, creating a lifelike in-person experience on a social network is challenging! But one thing you can do is focus on a tone and style that depicts your salon throughout all your content.
AIRE Ancient Baths is a spa that does a great job of delivering on this objective. All of its content creates a similar feeling that aims to depict exactly what it is like to visit their business. You can see that the colors and tones are consistent throughout all of their content.
Think about what it’s like to visit your salon and try to replicate that experience with your Instagram feed.
The last section of this article is a reflection of the rest of the tips. Your Instagram feed should aim to accurately (and compellingly) reflect what it’s like to experience your salon or spa.
What are your stylists like? What results do they achieve for customers? What products do you use?
All of these questions can be answered with a diverse portfolio of videos and photos that capture your brand on Instagram.
Want more ideas on how you can use ShortStack to pamper your customers? Learn how to make them feel special using ShortStack for salons & spas.