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It’s no secret Instagram is a powerful social media tool that showcases the innovative and creative work going on behind the salon’s closed doors. It helps you connect with new and current clients, promote products or services, and share meaningful client success stories.

According to Forrester, brands on Instagram have a 10x higher engagement rate than Facebook and 84x higher than Twitter, and it’s only increasing as Instagram continues to add new features and followers.

Now that Instagram is a go-to tool for many salons and spas, it’s essential to lock-down simple best practices to supercharge marketing efforts and results.

Snagging the top spots on Google is always a goal (let’s be honest). However, something magical happens when you blend a great image and story with the perfect hashtags. Clients find you more easily and you begin to rank for specific keywords naturally over time.

The next step is to implement best practices that showcase your salon and spa, your unique services and story, then use hashtags to take your presence from “basic to beyond”. Online content calendars and planners including Planoly, Tailwind or Buffer are also great tools to help create, schedule, and automate regular posts and keep engagement high.

High Caliber Social Media Best Practices to Implement Right Now

Here’s a quick list of ways to get ahead and feel good about the content you are putting out on social media to represent your salon and brand.

Increase Engagement

Shift focus from static posts and add in more Instagram stories. They are lively, engaging, and allow you to add stickers that feature polls, questions, countdowns and more. Brand the stickers to build fans or add a little creative flair that sets you apart, or create stickers for fans to use and feature in their stories. You can also share or strike up a private conversation directly through Instagram stories. Be sure to keep your best stories in Instagram highlights, as content disappears after 24 hours.

Using Micro Influencers

Including salon staff, clients and fans to help talk up what you do on Instagram. When you showcase a non-corporate voice that offers a touching story, product use and styling tips, or a simple positive comment, you create an authentic connection with your audience. They become invested and interested in seeing what’s next.

Tracking ROI

Track ROI from Instagram overall as well as specific posts. Take note of what hashtags were featured, what kind of content drew people in, and the success of any online campaigns or contests.

Filter Features

Leverage a specific filter feature consistently on all photos or images to help build a unique brand look or style for the salon.

Grabbing Attention

Grab attention on Insta and send it somewhere specific to build more loyalty and following. Common options are your website, individual stylist social media pages, email subscriber pages, or product and event pages.

Social Channels

Use other social channels to promote Instagram traffic, and feature unique content on Instagram by leveraging GIF’s, stickers, emoji’s or a fresh call to action.

Explore Insta

Explore what’s possible with Instagram Story ads that enable you to feature product use in real time and offer a direct way to purchase. Or, share videos of a staff member trying a cool new technique with a direct link to book in the story ad. Instagram TV is another up and coming tool salons can use to film technique videos, classes, client stories and other content, with freedom to record content that runs up to an hour.

Interaction With Customers

Remember to interact directly with customers who engage on the platform on a daily basis. Hire a social media manager to maintain engagement or have staff take turns managing social channels during their shift.

Quality Images

Use only high quality images and video at all times, and move beyond generic stock photos. People want to see and hear the unique creative voice of your salon and what makes it a go-to place to book some time for pampering.

Hashtags To Use

And last but not least, explore the power of hashtag creation!

Learn the art of crafting the perfect hashtag. Each post should feature salon specific hashtags, as well as specialty hashtags that explain more specifically what’s in the post. Don’t hashtag spam either; 5 – 7 max is a good number.

Select keywords that make sense for your salon and the specific post, and be sure to feature beauty tags vs hair tags vs treatment tags as they each draw in a different type of client.

The same goes for posting about makeover stories, stylist stories, products used in a make-over and more. Hashtags should be unique as possible and relevant to who, and what, is being shared and featured.

Some examples of great general hashtags for hair and beauty salons and spas include: