In the not so distant past, if you wanted to get your name out there, you had to hire a publicist or an ad agency. Today, the control is in your own hands.

With the power of social media, more specifically Instagram.

Instagram started eight years ago, originally as a photo sharing app, but quickly gained one million users within two months, ten million in a year and currently an estimated 800 million users.

Among all the social networks Instagram has the highest engagement rates.

The popularity of Instagram surpassed Facebook because it was strictly picture based, thus cutting out taboo topics such as politics or religion.

Users could enjoy the visual treats either via picture, video or disappearing story. 

Instagram became the preferred social media for users 30 and under, changing how we marketed to that targeted demographic.

The struggle then became how to grow your Instagram following, especially if you use it for business purposes.

Beauty pro’s, how would you engage your fans and gather new ones when there are so many others posting pictures and videos?

cosmetology salon tool

In a visual business such as ours, creating an account that attracts authentic followers gains more potential clients than buying followers who don't really care about your brand.

Utilize your Facebook Friends

Suggesting your Instagram page to your Facebook friends is the easiest way to gain followers and create an audience who already like your posts!

Connect your Facebook to your IG and then post the same content separately. Instead of always linking the post from Instagram, you can tailor to your audience by linking articles with your posts.

Post Consistently at High Engagement Times

According to research, the highest global engagement times are Wednesdays at 3pm, Thursdays 5am, 11am, 3pm and 4pm and Friday 5am. 

For Instagram, you want to post at least once a day, at minimum.

Also, make sure your Instagram is a “Business Account” this way you can keep track of analytics through your Instagram dashboard.

Once you are setup, you can track when your audience is most engaged. This will help you decide when to post.

theworkinggirl Instagram

​​​Create a Visually Captivating Instagram

Clients used to bring magazines to their stylists to show what they were looking for.

Now it's a quick search of screenshots from Instagram and Pinterest.

Create looks that are the most popularly requested color and styles. Use a professional camera or a quality cell phone with an outstanding lens.

If you're using a professional DSLR camera, the lens I feel showcases both makeup and hair in portraits is the 50mm.

Use proper lighting (specifically no camera flash), which takes away the detail in the photo.

Salons and freelancers are investing in a ring light set up, which brings a consistent look to their photos.

It gives your brand a cohesive, uniform professional look.

Always be sure to have a clean background or set up a designated wall to showcase the hair.

Integrate both Pictures and Videos

Don't limit yourself to just pictures on Instagram.

Some users prefer watching videos.

Cater to everyone in your audience.

Some cuts and color don't always translate well in a still photo. Showing movement is perfect for certain cuts, and peekaboo or multidimensional hair colors.

Using the Boomerang or Ripl app helps add variety to your posts.

 If you like that filtered flawless look when you are in a video speaking, use Snapchat filters (minus the animal faces) to enhance your beauty.

This gives that personal interaction that your fans enjoy.

But, also remember not to “over filter” your photos. This takes away from the originality and will have people questioning what the raw footage looks like.

Engage Your Fans

I always encourage clients to take a selfie and tag me in it.

Sometimes clients like to use my ring light or they will take the typical car selfie and tag my page.

Clients are more likely to share and advertise if they like the way that they look in the picture.

User generated content increases engagement 28% when used, which leads to more followers and sales.

Liking and commenting on other Instagram accounts that inspire or captivate you also creates engagement and traffic.

Do Your Hashtag Research

Always research what hashtags are trending, so that you can include them in your post.

It's always recommended to put the bulk of your hashtags in the comments section, not directly in the post description.

Make sure to match the hashtag to the photo that you're posting.

Also, use hashtags with low competition, meaning it would come up easier as trending without as much competition.

Instagram finally created the option to have a business account and this is always the one that should be your business profile! Your clients don’t need to see your nights out with your friends. Granted, many of our guests are our friends however, someone from the outside “looking in” may not get the best first impression.

Keep your content professional and relevant to your brand!