Of course, you don’t need any further emphasis on the importance of social media for business – any self-respecting business owner should be acutely aware of this already. The difficult part is coming up with original and effective tactics that will encourage users to engage with your brand, and build a legitimate, responsive following.
Although these tactics will vary according to the nature of your spa or clinic, there are plenty online and in-salon methods of attracting new users to your platform.
Whenever you run competitions, always consider engagement and sharing options as part of the entry method, whether it’s requesting entrants like your Instagram page, having them share a post and tag you in it, or comment on a comp post tagging 5 friends. Also consider teaming up with other brands and businesses for ‘round-up’ comps, to maximise your profile’s exposure to their followers as well.
This is a great tactic to implement if you’d like to increase the number of times your clients are posting during their visits – and ideally tagging you in the process! Create an opportunity where clients feel absolutely compelled to share an Instagram post, for example, a photo wall. Flower or plant walls work like a dream, but the style you choose will depend on your branding. Don’t forget to display your business’ Instagram tag and relevant tag/s somewhere on the wall.
A tried and true strategy that works, inviting social media Influencers to experience your services and having them share the experience, can boost your following substantially in an instant. Just make sure you do your research, and that your chosen Influencer’s following made up of users that may turn out to be true prospective clients. For example, there’s not much point inviting a food or lifestyle Influencer to a spa or clinic, as even if their followers are in the tens of thousands, only a small portion of these will be interested in your business. Another tip is to check the comments on an Influencer’s posts that include similar businesses to yours. It’s not a good sign if there aren’t many comments, or if the feedback isn’t positive.
Time Your Posts
It was with great joy that we heard the recent industry news that Instagram will soon be reverting back to a more chronological-based news feed. The change in algorithm in 2016 has seen a lot of confusion, particularly around events and public holiday-based posts being seen days after the fact, and making any strategy based on timings of posts moot. Once Instagram restores its ‘most recent’ feed algorithm, you can once again place more emphasis on posting around times that might attract more viewers, ie. before 9am, during lunch hour/s and after 5pm.
Use Recommended Hashtags
Instagram has implemented some very useful new hashtag functions of late. You should already be familiar with the recent ‘follow hashtags’ capability, which allows users to follow specific hashtags in addition to accounts. With this comes ‘suggested hashtags’. Go to your profile, click on ‘following’ and select the ‘hashtags’ option. Once you start following specific hashtags, below these, a list of suggestions for similar hashtags will appear – a list of highly useful tags similar to ones you already follow which may offer even better engagement. Start using these suggestions wherever applicable. Don’t over-binge on hashtags though, as engagement will decrease on posts with more than 12 hashtags.
Tag Your Brands
Whenever you post an image containing one of your in-salon brands, be sure to tag them. Any like or a comment from them will increase engagement on that photo, and best case scenario if it’s a great shot, they may repost it themselves and tag you, exposing your profile to a new and often much larger list of users.
Track your Insights
You should have switched your account to a business profile long ago (if you haven’t, please do this IMMEDIATELY and report back) but you should be monitoring your insights regularly. This is the only way you can see where your audience is coming from, which posts have been most successful, and how many clicks to your website you’re receiving. This step is absolutely vital in deciphering what works most effectively for your business, so you can replicate these posts and tactics to your advantage.