Digital Salon: Quick Look Do's & Don'ts for Instagram

Instagram is a fun way to connect with people, share your story and expertise. It’s also a great way to grow your salon business and expand your client list, however there are a few things to keep in mind to grow an organically successful account (and online business).

By no means an exhaustive list, our do's and don'ts aim to develop your social media confidence and provide a helpful starting point for using Instagram to organically grow your business:

DO be consistent – subject matter, tone of voice, style, editing, colors and filters are important within Instagram.

DO remember to be positive and motivational (NEVER complain about a client or colleague) – positive vibes create positive outcomes (and you never know who's looking!).

DO position yourself as the go-to person in your field to build trust and loyalty with your followers (I.E. potential clients). Consider posting Before & After photos of your clients to show-off your skills!

DO remember to consider your 'best-time' posting schedule – you want to reach your audience when they are actually online. The quicker you receive engagement on your post the more likely you are to receive more!

DO use hashtags, this is the one platform where it matters most and you can use up to 30 in one post (just do your research – some are banned – and you don't want to come across as spammy so think about placement and amount).

DO utilize Instagram Stories – this is a great place to post behind the scenes content or those images/videos that don’t quite fit your feed look and feel. Thanks to the use of location stickers and hashtags, you can reach a number of new (and local!) people that might well move on to explore your feed… and your business!

DO review your bio and profile link periodically – this is the first thing that people see and another chance to get them to hit that ‘follow’ button. It’s also the only place that you can include a clickable link – so if you’re running an offer or have a great new in-salon service listed on your website, change your link and tell your audience to click the LINK IN BIO when you post!

DO post scroll-stopping content with captions that count – think about a call to action and just ASK! Sometimes a question is all it takes to get the comments coming in (comments = engagement which = more eyes on your content!).

DO consider running a competition – it’s a great way to connect with local businesses, brands and like-minded people. It will also help you to grow your following, increase your engagement and expand your client mailing list.

DON'T get too obsessed with how many likes and followers you have on Instagram – instead work on building meaningful relationships with real people and grow your account with integrity.

DON’T forget social media is a two-way street! You need to be present and engage with your community (comment back, reach out to people who inspire you, comment and like other people photos) to connect with people and get yourself noticed!

DON'T post low-quality or offensive material – not only is this unprofessional, it’s against Instagram’s community guidelines.

DON’T just post for the sake of posting, wait for the right image and post it at the right time (if you can’t wait consider using your stories for those less than perfect shots!).

DON’T use bots, buy followers or apps that like posts on your behalf – Instagram doesn’t like this – be honest and authentic, it’s far more rewarding in the long run and you want people to engage with your content because they actually like what you’re doing.

DON'T forget to edit your pictures – even if it's just the crop or focus – this is THE visual social media channel after all. But also DON'T go too over the top with your editing – find your balance and style – people don't want to see anything over photoshopped or too corporate/salesy.

DON'T forget to tag others in your pictures (where relevant) – this is SOCIAL media, and chances are you'll at least get a comment or like in return.

DON’T just live online – your clients and your colleagues are your best advocates – talk to them! Ask to post their pictures, testimonials etc. on your Instagram account, and encourage them to like and comment (or even repost!) on your posts.

Overall, think about what you are posting and monitor the engagement on your account. Make little tweaks as you go and see what works best for you and your audience. Consider switching to Instagram for business, you’ll be able to get helpful analytics on your account’s performance to help you get the most out of this platform. Finally, take time to really connect with people and have fun!