I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that no salon or spa can avoid a presence on social media today. But many salon and spa owners I meet express how they are investing time and effort into social media without seeing this translating into new clients and business growth. I get that. Social media can feel overwhelming. Which social media platform is best for salons? What should I post on social media to grow followers and get new salon clients? How can I manage my salon’s social media without spending too much time? There’s many questions. If you don’t know how to effectively market your salon on social media, it won’t be of much help to your salon. It will only take away your time and attention that you could invest better elsewhere. But when done right, social media will be the lifeblood to grow your salon business.
I want to give the complete picture of the social media landscape for salons and spas. And I want to show you the steps you should take to grab the massive opportunity social media is giving you as salon or spa owner. This is THE ultimate guide to social media marketing for salons. So if you’ve landed here because you want to figure out how you can better leverage social media to grow your business, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started.

Setting Your Salon’s Social Media Goal: Why Should Your Salon be on Social Media?

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road can take you there. Cliché maybe.. But true. Do you want to post on social media to get likes and feedback on your work? ..or do you want to use it to build awareness of your salon or spa brand? ..or do you want to get more new clients to your salon or spa? ..or do you want to build a strong following and become an “influencer”? ..or do you want to entertain your existing clients with updates and offers to keep them loyal? ..or do you want to use it to reach out and recruit staff to your salon? ..or maybe something else? It all starts with understanding your goal of being on social media. When you’re clear about what your goal of being on social is, you’ll have a much easier time deciding on the strategies that are right for you. Take 3 minutes right now. Try to imagine what your business would be like with a successful social media presence. What does that look like? How would it help your business? Write it down. When you’re clear on this, you can read on to learn how you can achieve that.

Which Social Media Platform Should Your Salon Focus On?

Clearly there’s quite a few different social media platforms out there that are relevant for salons and spas. But your salon marketing efforts will not be effective if you go after all of them at the same time. Focus on one first. Master it well. See that it is bringing you new salon clients and is growing your salon or spa business. Then you move to the next. In fact, salons and spas that are most effective in their social media marketing are present on multiple channels. And there’s tools available to help manage multiple platforms effectively. But again, let’s master one first. This will be your main channel that you’ll use also to grow the others. Each platform is a different animal. Some have more similarities than other but they’re all different.
Let me start by walking you through the most popular social media platforms that salons and spas use in their marketing. This should give you an idea of the different platform’s dynamic. You’ll see the most popular ones in the diagram next to this where you also get an idea of how many users are active on each one. I do have a recommendation to what you should focus on first but what’s right for you depends on your salon/spa business as well as how you’re most comfortable communicating. Let’s start with the giant – Facebook.

Facebook for Salons & Spas

Is Facebook starting to get old and outdated? I hear this a lot. Fact is, Facebook is to this date the largest platform out there with about 2.5 billion active users. 2 out of 3 adults in the U.S. use the platform. You can reach almost all of your prospective salon and spa clients on Facebook. Facebook is in my experience the most effective tool you can use to attract new clients to your salon or spa. But you need to use the strengths of the platform. Facebook is no longer what it used to be. At least for businesses like your salon. In the past you could create a page for your salon, post on that page and reach your followers. You can still do that but unfortunately you’ll not reach many people. Facebook is first and foremost designed for friends and family to share life updates and pictures with each other. For businesses, like yours, to reach potential new salon or spa clients on Facebook you really need to buy your visibility. Yes, you can reach some of your most loyal fans of your page. You can also use your Facebook page like a mini website that include important information about your salon and spa (and you should). However, the real power of Facebook lies in the paid advertising program they offer. It’s incredibly powerful. In fact, it’s strong impact on people have for example been a hot topic after the U.S. President election (if you’re interested you can read about the impact of Facebook Ads on the US election here). This why Facebook is now making data about ads for elections and social issues public in the Facebook Ads Library. But what does this mean for your salon?

Using Facebook Advertising to Get New Salon & Spa Clients

Facebook have all data about people that you can imagine. They know people’s demographics, how they behave, and what their interests are. And you can use this to your advantage to grow your salon and spa business. Facebook allows you to run extremely targeted ads. In fact, you can even upload your list of existing customers and ask Facebook to find people that are similar to your existing customers. The possibilities are endless.
Facebook ads are currently also the cheapest form of marketing you can do. If you execute them right, you can get new clients through the door for less than $10. Imagine that. You pay $10 and you get a new client that over the coming year will bring you 10-50x that investment. This is how you should use Facebook. Facebook is also putting more emphasis on groups now. This is good for larger brands and communities but less often relevant for a salon. You should also use it to share posts with loyal clients, invite for in salon events, or make current salon offers accessible to followers of your page. Facebook have good features for this. You can also use the Facebook messenger service as a direct contact with clients as most people have it installed on their phones today.
But again, you’ll only reach a small part of your followers unless you pay for the reach of your posts so I wouldn’t invest a lot of time on Facebook just to post. In contrast to some of the other platforms we’ll go over today, on Facebook you’ll be able to reach a more mature audience. So if your ideal customer is above 40, you may have better luck here than on Snapchat for example. In summary, you’ll get most out of Facebook by using it as an online advertising tool to reach new clients. And I’m not talking about boosting posts. I mean creating “real”, targeted Facebook ads to people in your area. Getting Facebook ads right can be your one of your biggest source of new clients so it’s worth getting to know how to do it.

Instagram for Salons & Spas

Instagram has become the most popular platform for salons and spas. And no wonder. It’s a highly visual platform and the work in hair salons, nail salons, beauty salons and spas is visual. It’s as if it was designed for salons and spas (and beauty influencers, if you hadn’t noticed :)). Instagram is owned by Facebook and is part of the same advertising platform. So when you run your Facebook ads (as discussed above), you can have them run on Instagram as well. In contrast to Facebook, your posts on Instagram will actually get seen by your followers. Not to everyone but to a higher share of your audience. So on Instagram you’ll grow your followers and reach more people the more your post.
Instagram has a younger audience than Facebook even if not as young as snapchat. It’s a powerful platform to reach potential new clients and show case what you can do for them in the salon. I’ll go through more about what images and content you should be posting but there’s some specific Instagram tactics that you need to make sure you master.

Attracting New Clients to Your Instagram

To get new clients you need to first attract new people to your salon’s Instagram account and then guide them to book with you. Good images are crucial on Instagram. But to ensure your post reaches more potential new clients there’s a number of things you need have in place for your post captions. I’m not only talking about a good local hashtag strategy but also how to write in a way that increases the engagement of your posts.

Maximize Your Salon or Spa’s Instagram Bio

I don’t know your goal with being on Instagram. But it’s quite likely that you don’t just want more people to hear about your salon and engage with your posts. I’m guessing you also want your presence on Instagram to generate new clients and grow your salon business. To enable this, you need also a deliberate strategy of where to send people that engage with you. However, what’s crucial for Instagram specifically is that you make the most out of the tiny real estate you have at the top of your Instagram account page which is your Instagram biography.
On Facebook and other channels you can put a lot of information about your salon on the profile page but for Instagram, you only have a few lines of text and one link that you’re allowed to include. How you use this space is essential for you to get profile visits to engage further with your business.

When to Leverage Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Blog to Market Your Salon or Spa

We’ve covered Facebook and Instagram rather extensively now. These are also the two platforms I typically recommend salons and spas to start on as they have been proven over and over to create big value for salon and spa businesses. But there’s more platform that for sure also have merit for salons and spas. Let’s also go over the unique benefits of these platforms for salons and spas.

Snapchat for Salons & Spas: When You’re Going After a Younger Clientele

What’s unique with Snapchat is the you audience. 90% of Snapchat users are aged 13-24 (source). Making this a good platform for you to be on if you want to go after a younger clientele. The instant Story approach of Snapchat is powerful. I grabs the attention of users even stronger than some of the other platforms. Like Facebook they also offer the ability to run ads. The platform has many similarities with Instagram. In particular since Instagram have copied the Story approach from them. It certainly is an interesting platform for salon and spas to try out.

Twitter for Salons & Spas: For Ongoing Conversations

Twitter is a noisy, high volume, channel. Like the other platforms, they also offer a paid ads model (learn more on the Twitter website here). However, I have had limited success with their ads so far and would rather recommend you to go for Facebook if you want to run paid ads for your salon or spa. It’s not as visual as the other platforms mentioned here which is why I typically recommend other channels ahead of Twitter for salons and spas. However, Twitter is a highly interactive platform and many small business use it as a direct conversation with their customers. Like a public support channel. I know some salon’s use Twitter successfully but I would only recommend exploring Twitter when you have Facebook and Instagram established and you can effectively repurpose content that you produce for those platforms to further the reach of you posts.

LinkedIn for Salons & Spas: Reaching the Professional Audience

LinkedIn has been around for a while now. It’s focused on creating connections between businesses and to help in talent scouting and the job application process. If you’d asked me a couple of years ago I probably would have said that this isn’t the platform that makes sense for a salon or spa to focus on. However, since Microsoft acquired the platform things are changing. Out of all platforms right now, Linked in is probably the easiest place to get good reach on your content. Microsoft clearly want the platform to become more social and they want tow reward those who put out content with good reach. This might change over time as the platforms new strategy settles but right now you can get very good visibility of your salon or spa with the attractive high value business audience. Thus, like with Twitter, it’s probably not your first priority if you’re just starting to build up your salon or spas social presence. But it is a very interesting channel to complement your other social channels given the broad reach you can get with a very attractive audience for your salon. It’s also a good place for you as salon or spa owner to build your network with other businesses and find win-win opportunities to grow your business together with them.

Pinterest for Salons & Spas: Visual Inspiration for Global and National Salon & Spa Brands

This is the most visual platform out there. It’s very different than the other social platforms mentioned here. People use the platform to find inspiration. It’s more like a visual search engine than a traditional social media platform where you only get to see what people you follow post. On Pinterest you can search for things like “nail art ideas”, “bride hair style”, or “spa decor ideas” and get a lot of inspiration for your business.

Using Pinterest for Your Own Salon Business Inspiration

As a salon or spa owner, it’s a great place to go for Inspiration. You can also save pins to your own boards so that you can come back and browse ideas and inspiration for your salon.

Using Pinterest to Market Your Salon or Spa

Can you use Pinterest to grow your salon or spa business? You’re surely doing a lot of work in your salon that is visual and that other people would find inspiring. If you start sharing your work on Pinterest, you can easily build a following. There are many salons that have built a strong following on Pinterest. But how do you turn that into business? For the traditional local salon, the value of Pinterest is not as obvious as for other social platforms. The reason is that Pinterest is a global platform vs. local. For example, when people search for hair styling inspiration, it doesn’t matter to them if that hair styling was done in Australia or in the U.S. All they want is to see inspiring hair styles. This means you can build a large following but of people but they aren’t necessarily based in your area and will likely never become a salon client of yours. However, if your salon business stretches beyond just the physical salon, you can be very valuable for you to be on it. For example, if you sell products or digital content on your salon’s website, you can drive a lot of visitors from Pinterest to your website. Having content from you website pinned on Pinterest also increases the trust of your website in the eyes of Google, meaning your salon’s website will start to show up better in search results which will benefit your local salon business. Finally, if your goal of your social media presence is to create awareness of your salon and your name internally because you later want to start an international brand, Pinterest would be great. So in short, for global, or at least national, salon and spa businesses, Pinterest is great. But for local salon’s there is limited upside compared to what you can achieve with other social channels.

YouTube & Blogging for Salons & Spas

Is Blogging and Vlogging something you should be doing to market your salon? Yes. YouTube and WordPress are not really social networks like the other ones I’m covering in this article. Still, I wanted to include them in this article as they’re kind of linked and can provide a lot of value for your salon. Publishing blog posts on your website or uploading videos to YouTube is a great way to promote your salon to new clients. When you have a blog on your salon website, your website will rank higher in Google. And when you have videos on YouTube (which btw is owned by Google), your videos will show up in the search results when people are looking for salons in your area. You are reading a blog post right now. And chances are high that you landed on this page because it came up when you were looking for social media strategies for your salon on Google. Am I right? But you cannot just put random video's and posts out and think that you’re salon will show up at the top of Google now. You need to understand what people are searching for and then produce posts and videos that match that and fit with what you’re offering in your salon. This is process is referred to as SEO (search engine optimization) and starts with you researching the keywords to target with your content. You should now have a pretty good picture of the different platforms that are out there. At least the most common ones. You probably also have a good idea of why you want to strengthen your salon’s presence on social media and what your goal is. And you may already have decided on the platforms that you’ll focus on.
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