5 Tips to Up Your Instagram Game

Instagram is your biggest resource as a stylist. It is has become one of the most influential platforms of our time and is the most used platform by professionals in the salon industry. 

So how do you stand out among a sea of other stylists that are offering the same services and doing the same things as you? 

Below I have outlined a few tips and tricks to make sure your Instagram is aligning with your brand to showcase your best work so you can get more clients through the door! 

1.    Instagram Audit

This is the boring part of doing Instagram but it is an often overlooked task. Take a moment to review your stats on your posts. What content are your customers responding to? What images or hashtags did you use for that post that got you more profile views, followers or website clicks? Knowing how your current content is performing will help you to effectively plan so you can boost your engagement. The higher your engagement, the better your profile will perform thanks to Instagram’s “algorithm.”  

2.    Research What Your Customers are Interested In

Again – another boring part of the process but highly valuable if you want to create content that genuinely speaks to your customers. 

It’s a bit tedious, but I recommend going through current customers that follow you to see who else they follow. Try to find common links between them all. Are they frequent Netflix users? Do they all seem to follow similar types of podcasts? Gather as much information as you can about them to help develop content. 

I also recommend using Google Analytics Keyword Planner to help you out with this. I personally find Google Analytics to be overwhelming, but I often use the keyword planner to see what people are entering into the search bar. When using this tool, type in a simple phrase or word that relates to your business such as “hair color.” The planner will outline searches that relate to that word and how frequently it is searched. You can even see what keywords relate to your business name! After typing in “hair color” and you see Redken got a lot of searches or a common question was “how much does a balayage cost” it will give you insight as to what questions your customers are looking for answers to.

3.    Create a Content Mix 

When creating Instagram posts for SalonScale I always try to plan posts for the current month and more if I have time. Even if you take a moment on a Sunday or Monday and plan out your content for the week it will go a long way. When planning content, try to have a mix to showcase everything about your business. Of course, clients want to see the work your salon does, but they also want to get to know you and your culture! Brainstorm what things you want your customer to know about you and then lay it out day by day. 

For example: “Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays we are going to post photos of the work we’ve done, Tuesdays we will promote our favorite product, Thursdays we will ask our customer a question, Saturdays we will post a photo of our team and Sunday’s we will post our favorite quote.”  

4.    Become a Valuable Resource 

People only follow brands for two reasons: 

1) They believe in the work you do
2) Because your brand provides them value

When creating your content mix you may want to incorporate resources that your customers might enjoy: Did you listen to a really uplifting podcast? Let them know about it. Are there some cool life hacks for the busy mom that you read about? Share it. Latest hairstyles and color trends in the industry? Show them! 

5.    Creating a Design that Aligns with your Brand

Finally! We get to the fun part. The creative part of these long-winded tips you’ve been waiting for and the part that you truly excel at. It’s not necessary to have a design at all. It has no effect on the visibility of your profile. But it sure looks pretty. 

Think about your brand. What culture or feeling are you trying to evoke from your customers? What colors and fonts make up your brand? Make sure it’s consistent throughout your Instagram. Here are a few suggestions for you when you’re creating your design: 

Puzzle Format 
Checker Box 

Another avenue you could go for example is – "first 3 boxes I will showcase brunettes, and then the next 3 boxes I will showcase our favorite products and then the 3 boxes following that will be blonde highlights, etc."– you have total creative freedom here! It seems like a tedious task to design a full grid but you want to know a secret? Most of them are using pre-generated templates anyways. Just plug in your content and go!

I have outlined below some really good resources for you to use for your Instagram. 

Canva – template generator  
WordSwag - great for quotes or quick images with text) 
Etsy - use for pre-generated Instagram layout templates or photography presets for your photos so they look consistent 

You all are killing it out there, you know that? You guys inspire us every day and we hope together we can change this industry so it benefits EVERYONE. 

Until then, 

Caila Ellerman, Marketing Lead at SalonScale

Caila Ellerman