As of February 2018, Instagram hosts over 1 billion active users and more than 60 million photos are being posted each day. Over a third of Instagram users have used their phone to purchase a product online – making them 70% more likely to do so than non-users. Looking at the stats, it’s a no brainer that your business should be active on Instagram. Why wouldn’t you want to utilize a platform that can give you that much exposure, for free?!

Instagram allows you to build brand awareness, attract new clients, boost sales, and get to know your existing clients better. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a little more seasoned on the platform, we’re sharing 8 tips to help shape your social strategy:

1. Switch to a business profile

When you switch to a business profile, your followers can click on your contact button to get in touch with you directly from your profile. No hoops to jump through there! You also gain access to Instagrams insights (an analytics tool) that provides data on the reach of your posts and direct feedback on how your clients are engaging with your content. This helps you better understand your audience and gives you insight on how to adjust your content accordingly.


2. Share stories

Think of stories as a movie trailer to your feed. They’re endless in their potential and a great way to showcase your brand, share behind the scenes, share products, product tips, stylist work, upcoming salon events, etc.. They can also be saved as a highlight on your page so users can view them later. Highlights allow you to quickly showcase what your business does, what you offer, and why someone should follow you. Tip: Create a highlight for a couple categories that will live at the top of your feed. (Examples are: products, product tips, prom styles, mens styles, behind the scenes.) This way your audience or potential new clients can quickly find content that’s of value to them.


3. Use hashtags!

Hashtags are searchable elements you can add to a post to help it be seen by a larger audience. Created a branded hashtag unique to your business can be even more useful. When clients tag your hashtag in their posts you can search your hashtag and scroll through UGC (user generated content) and find a post that you may want to re-share to your page. It has been said that followers enjoy UGC more than brand created content because UGC feels more authentic. An important tip to remember is to always ask permission before reposting someone else’s photo, even if they tagged you!


4. Use location tags

Similar to hashtags, when you tag your location, users searching for posts in that location can see your tagged posts (hello new clients!)


5. Use a scheduling app

There are many apps that allow you to schedule posts in advance and will auto post them for you. Some of these apps even allow you to preview your feed. This will help you keep your page on brand and aesthetically pleasing.


6. Respond to comments and messages

It’s so important to respond to your followers on Instagram. It is social media after all. By responding directly you add a personally feel to your brand and show that you value customer service. Your audience will appreciate this.


7. Don’t over post

A good rule of thumb is 1-2 posts per day. If you have more that you want to share in one day, try a carousel post or share it to your stories. You want your brand to be fresh in the minds of your followers. At the same time, you don’t want to flood their feed and be perceived as annoying. Find a middle ground and be consistent!


8. Don’t be overly sales-y

DO post about products and product teasers. DON’T make every post a product post. That will only annoy your followers and have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. A great way to share a product is by having a stylist film a tutorial using the product. Your clients will not only be introduced to the product, they will learn how it works, how to use it, and how it can benefit them. This adds value to your “ad” that your audience will appreciate. Speaking of product tutorials, click here to learn 4 ways you can use video to help sell retail!

Take advantage of everything instagram has to offer to help grow your business. Looking for more ways to build your salon’s brand? Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of offering private label products, and order a sample kit to help you get started!