Tips for hair stylists and salons posting to instagram...
As always the first step in creating a marketing plan and solid branding is to identify your audience. Is your instagram feed mainly for other professionals or clients and potential clients?
Once you've decided your target audience start a hashtag list.
I recommend doing it in the notes section of your phone so that you can easily copy and paste. If you are targeting other stylists make sure to tag the terms professionals use. #Balayage #provana #folica
For clients use common and geo tags #SFstylist #WeddingHair #Sacramentohairstylist etc... Make sure that these hashtag lists are saved. If you are known for a few specific styles you can also create sub-lists #shorthair #pixiecut or #hairpaint #colorhair ...
As trends and seasons change update your lists. This initial work will take a bit of time and research, but will save you during your busy day at the salon.
Taking the photos
You've got to make the money, keep on schedule and keep clients happy. If you can manage to add 10 minutes to each appointment to accommodate taking before and after photos I would highly recommend it. If you have an assistant or front desk staff, work with them on capturing what you're looking for and have them snap the shots during intake and payment.
Getting the right vibe.
You know your clients and your specialities. What type of trends do your clients follow? Salons are not built with your instagram photos in mind, and there is rarely good blank wall space. It is often mistaken that putting a hair do against a white or blank wall is going to give you the best picture of the hairstyle. Some stylists also put their clients too close to the wall, which makes the photo feel crowded.
This feed by Rebekah Jae Hair shows some great before and afters, vibrant colors and obviously wicked talent. Notice the different levels in the hair and texture contrast from the backgrounds. The only note is the feed does not seem well branded. These shots could have been taken by 6 different people.
More recently, with a change in salons, her feed looks like this:
You can see when salons changed how she took advantage of the wall. The clients are not too close to the wall or the camera and there is good lighting. However there is a lack of contrast and texture. These photos are by no means bad, just lacking in a bit of personal flavor... or branding.
The Before and After
Not all stylists take their clients to new extremes. While some specialize in the big changes, that is not all that is done! When you're a good stylist, you have your maintenance customers. If you mix your feed between maintenance and bold comparisons you're likely to get a new customer in the door who will trust you to make their hair look great every time. Salon Non-Fiction is run by 3 stylists, but the bulk of their posts are bold before and afters.
Know what photos to to choose... or photo. Not all styles need the 4 by. This section is a great example of knowing when to show before & after, versus angels, versus one really well solid angel. The differences don't make the feed look messy because they styling is always the same with the 2px white border. It gives potential clients the ability to capture the full essence of the new do.
Not just a trend- videos on Instagram can now be up to one minute long- and nothing captures the movement and texture of hair like a video. Play up the video to show processes, tutorials, before and after and even just running your fingers through the hair.
Promote & Tag
If you're already being bold enough to ask a client to allow you to take their photo, don't stop there. Ask if you can tag them! By making them a part of the process you'll not only expand your reach, but you'll make your client feel like their hairstyle is something you proudly created.
Need advise on your feed? Send me a message for a free consultation!