One of the questions I’m often asked when teaching marketing classes is, how can I get more customers through social media? My answer is simple: start by posting the type of content that you would love to see and share. It sounds obvious, right? But, it’s surprising how many business owners post the same ole same ole, ho-hum content and mostly, they’re just trying to sell you something. Ugh! Boring! We’re in the beauty business, people; we can be more creative than that! Let’s look how you can grow your business with Instagram.
Method 1: As a Communication Medium
For starters, your Instagram page is the perfect place to keep your customers up to date. Think of it as a very efficient, brief and super-current newsletter or email but a whole lot faster to distribute. For example, have your hours or location recently changed? Post it on Instagram! Are you running any specials or offering new services? Is a holiday around the corner, so you’re letting them know they need to book sooner rather than later? Instagram is one of the fastest (and free) ways to spread the good word about your daily, weekly and monthly activities. The key to making it work in your favor is by making your posts stand out.
Why post “just the facts” when you can post a picture or short video of you or your staff having fun, performing a new treatment, stating a reminder or sharing valuable information? Get your creative juices flowing and think of better, more interesting ways to share what you want others to know. I suggest posting at least once a day—you want to be consistent but not overwhelming.
Added bonus: Posts that stand out are the ones that typically get shared with followers’ friends.
Method 2: As a Customer Review Opportunity
Many customers today count on online reviews and social media to make many of their buying decisions. So, ask every person you know and love to leave positive feedback on all of your social media pages, including Instagram. The more specific they can be on the services and products they’ve received from you, the better, and if they’re willing to post a before and after picture of themselves, you owe them a large cup of coffee (or maybe even a free or discounted treatment). Place reminders asking customers to follow your Instagram page (think large posters, framed notices, etc.), and other social media pages. These reminders should be placed throughout your spa, including the front desk, in treatment rooms, hallways and even the bathroom.
Method 3: As a Way to Engage with Others
Tagging other Instagrammers and using hashtags allows you to engage with many other Instagrammers, which is both fun and a good way to market your business beyond your own current followers. Just be sure to use hashtags that are relevant to your business and your brand, otherwise you’ll risk losing followers’ interests and loyalty (and you could even be reported for it). As far as the number of suggested hashtags for each post, current studies say anywhere from 9 to 15, and try mixing generic hashtags (e.g., #aesthetics) with more specific ones (#amazingacnefacials). The more hashtags you use, the more likely others will find you and start following you—and hopefully, become loyal customers.
Method 4: As a Place to Share Beauty and Good Vibes
Whether you’re posting before and after pictures or videos of clients who have gotten amazing results with your products and services, inspirational quotes and stories, cute memes, employee spotlights or beautiful clips from your last vacation, the idea is to post things that evoke emotion in others. Especially during challenging times, people crave things that make them feel good about the world. Let them know they can count on you to deliver some joy.
Be an Insta Star
Staying connected with your customers via Instagram can be highly rewarding, both emotionally and over time, fiscally. Check out other Instagrammer’s pages for ideas and use your imagination to create the type of posts that others would love to see. With Instagram, you, too, can build a brand that is beautiful.
Top 3 Tips for Inventing Yourself as Insta-Famous
- Ask your clients to follow you, like you, rate you highly, share your posts and stay engaged with you on Instagram every time you see them. Don’t be afraid to do this; these days, it isn’t just good marketing, it’s an essential part of staying in the game.
- Follow your clients (if it’s okay with them) and give them positive feedback, too. In other words, return the love!
- Always keep track of the posts that receive the most engagement; keep a record of what you post, when you post and the number of times you’re shared, followed, etc. Duplicate the types of posts that are successful and jettison anything that gets lackluster results.