Once you’ve got to grips with the basics, it’s time to think about what to post on your new account. Remember, this profile isn’t simply for the benefit of your existing customers. Instagram is a place where you can attract endless new custom for your business. It’s important to portray your business in the correct way and display only your best work for potential future clients.
Personalising Your Instagram Account
Once your account is set up and your profile picture and bio have been updated, you’re ready for your first post. Instagram allows potential customers to get to know brands on a personal level, so it’s a great way of showing your business’ niche. For example, you may want to portray your business as a fun, friendly service or a luxurious, high end service. Potential customers will have an idea of what to expect from your business before booking in for a consultation.
You want to try to upload at least 6-9 posts immediately, so that your account looks active and genuine. These could be before and after images of your work, your price list, new products you may be stocking and anything else you might want to add in. Keeping a theme, or a general style to your images is a great idea for increasing the popularity of your profile. Take a look at the SimplyHair Instagram account as an example. We have used a purple theme to help create consistency in the style of our images, which helps give the profile a professional edge.
How To Use Hashtags Effectively
Alongside the caption underneath each image you post, it’s a great idea to include hashtags too. Hashtags are a key aspect of Instagram, they are used in various ways to optimise a single post. If you aren’t using them, you’re probably selling yourself short. People most commonly use hashtags when searching for something specific. For example, if someone is looking for some hair inspiration for a night out, they may use the search bar and enter #hairup or #updo (popular hashtags for hair up styles) to narrow their search. Instagram then filters search results into ‘Top Posts’, accounts/images with the most engagement (likes, comments and follows) and ‘Most Recent’.
Whatever your niche may be (we can safely assume hair extensions, however you may also work with nails, makeup, etc), there will always be an appropriate hashtag to use. For example, let’s assume you have uploaded a before & after client photo to your Instagram account. Any of the following hashtags would be appropriate: #beforeandafter, #makeover, #hairenvy #hairextensiongoals #hairextensions, #instahair, #hairgoals, #hairextensionprofessional #hairextensionexpert, #hairsalon, #hairstyle, #hairstylist, #hairinspiration, etc. Another great way to use hashtags is to include your target area. For example, if your business is based in Kent, some popular hashtags are #kent, #kenthair, #kenthairstylist, #kentsalon. Remember to also mention your town or city in hashtags too. By using these hashtags, you immediately widen your potential audience. Anyone searching for these hashtags is now more likely to stumble upon your account.
Hashtags can also be used to encourage follower interaction. As demonstrated by Hair Guru @GuyTang, he created the now-popular hashtag #hairbesties which has its’ own account @hairbesties_. He created this hashtag and matching account to create a community among his following. With an impressive 1.8million followers, #hairbesties is now used by hundreds of users across Instagram. By asking his followers to tag their #hairbesties, he is not only creating buzz around the hashtag, he is also encouraging his followers to comment and interact with his image.
Before And Afters
For any beauty-based business, it’s important to include before & after images of your work within your Instagram feed. This is a really effective way of displaying your capabilities and services, like an online portfolio. If the client you’ve featured in the image has an Instagram account, an image can become a review. Supposing that the client is happy with their hair, they may choose to comment about their positive experience with you. When a potential customer is impressed by images of your work, responses from existing clients might be what persuades them to book in for a consultation with you. We would recommend sticking to the same style collage each time you post to keep your account looking cohesive.
At SimplyHair we use an app called Layout from Instagram (download for iPhone / download for Android) which was designed by Instagram for use with their app. Simply download for free from the app store and you’re good to go. Start by selecting one of the two images you wish to feature in your collage and then select your preferred collage layout style. You will notice that this adds the single image you’ve selected into both parts of the collage, so you now need to select the second image and tap ‘replace’. This will then give you the option to add in your second image. You can now adjust the images to fill the space as you wish and hit save when you’re finished.
Promotions & Other Ideas
Instagram isn’t simply an eye-catching business profile, there are ways of tactfully utilising your account to increase custom and social awareness. For example, many users choose to run competitions, giveaways being the most common. These usually involve an appealing prize such as a discount off your services or a free product.
Instagram users benefit from these competitions by classing an entry as something that increases activity around their profile. For example, asking participants to follow your account, tag a friend and/or like the featured image to be considered as an entry. Many social media users participate in the popular hashtag #FreebieFriday and choose to run their giveaways each Friday. As this is a well known hashtag, you are far more likely to spark some interest among your audience. Giveaways such as this will help to create a buzz around your brand and increase awareness of your business.
SimplyHair Trade Account
A trade account is quick and easy to set up with SimplyHair, and offers your business 20% off our prices. Simply click on the image below to submit your application and start shopping straight away.