You’ve met your sweetie on Tinder. You only shop with phone apps. And you got your education online. So what’s holding you back from promoting your own creativity on Instagram and Facebook and becoming a social media maven?
Face it: Fame and notoriety are no longer limited to word-of-mouth recos. It’s now up to you to speak up the volume of your work, vision and creativity, in order to become the sough after salon and stylist that everyone flocks to. And, no, you don’t need to be a celebrity hairstylist to be endowed with star status on Instagram.
“Be you. That’s what makes you unique. Success is about how happy you are. Trust me!” – Guy Tang, Instagram celebrity stylist with 1.2 million followers (image left)
According to Guy Tang, who has more than one million followers on the popular social media platform dedicated to posting photos: “It’s about being original; it’s about being yourself, not doing what’s already there. Because your personality, your characteristics are going to set you apart. Do something that’s unique to you. If it’s updos or braiding, just do it.” And do it brilliantly. Or take it from Canadian hairstylist Josie Vilayvanh from Winnipeg, who has a staggering 65,000 followers on Instagram. Far from owing her loyal following to a celebrity clientele or being backed by a big brand, she has made it to the top by fine-tuning her skills as a colourist, sharing her passion on Instagram (for pics) and YouTube (for tutorials) and just having fun with her sizzling, kick-ass personality.
How to do it
On Instagram and Facebook, the social media platforms preferred by hairstylists, colourists, and makeup and nail artists, beautiful images are key to showcasing your best work. You don’t need a professional photographer at your fingertips to snap your best work, but you do need to follow a few simple rules to gain traction. Remember that photography is a language, too, and that the aim here is to communicate your image effectively.
Image: @josievilay, 65.9k followers
What to say
If you don’t have great images to share on a particular week, you can always populate your account with:
1. Popular themes on social media such as Motivational Mondays and Throwback Thursdays.
2. Calendar and seasonal celebrations: Easter, spring, Mother’s Day and Canada Day.
3. Celebrity news. They always have something going on to gossip about in the beauty biz.
4. New products, treatments or colours now available in your salon.
How to say it
Use a tone that’s fresh, friendly and approachable—as if you were talking to your best friend!
Include hashtags: Use ones that most people in the industry are already familiar with. How do you find the best hashtags? Simply search Instagram for the ones that have the most popularity.
Follow the leaders: From professional hairstylists and educators to distributors and brands you’ve worked with, encourage them to follow you and “like” your posts, particularly if you’re featuring some of their products, which will help build your following.
Image: @mattyconrad, 28.3k followers
Tracking Your Traction
Max Fortin, founder and CEO of Brave & Bearded, a new men’s line out of Montreal, has 125,000 followers on Instagram and shares his tips with Salon Magazine.
Get analytical: We use Iconosquare (iconosquare.com), which is a powerful tool that has advanced analytics to track your metrics and give you a good idea of the most appropriate hashtags for your market.
Give a boost: Ask a brand or an individual with a product or service that’s similar to yours to do a shout-out for your brand and you will do the same for them. Use the hashtag #s4s.
Model perfection: Reach out to models, interact with them and send them products to thank them for promoting your brand on their own Instagram feeds.
Be bold: Ask celebrities if you can use their snaps. Be polite and professional and they will likely say yes.
3 Tips for Great Pics
1. Great lighting ensures that hair and nail colours are bright, not too dark or washed out. You don’t need a mini-studio to achieve this — natural light is your best ally on a budget.
2. Frame your subject accordingly. Don’t leave too much space around your model’s head or zoom in too much on the hair so that your audience doesn’t lose focus on what you are communicating.
3. Go easy on the filters. Particularly if you’re a colourist, stick with the real thing so that your work doesn’t lose credibility.