As some stylists are focused on getting their next picture-perfect shot, learn how others are finding ways to make social media work—literally—for their business.
Since the start of the pandemic, more and more salons, stylists and brands are utilizing the power of social media to propel their businesses to the next level, all the while reaching a new audience and demographic.
“When first embracing social media, I used it as a platform to share photos and videos with my followers. I quickly realized, it was much more than that,” says Cindy Duplantis, a celebrity hairstylist, Redken artist and brand ambassador for Chatters Hair Salon. “Social media allows me to stay connected with stylists and artists globally to interact and support each other’s work and as a result, allows me to grow my following with people from around the world.”
Whether it’s due to a lack of time or the fear of putting themselves out there online—or both—some salons and stylists have been slow to integrate social media into their day-to-day business practices. However, our experts say it can be easier to do than you may think.
“Social media is exciting and ever-changing, which can be intimidating to some. A lot of people are hesitant and uncomfortable with being in front of the camera, but my advice would be to jump right in! Share what you are passionate about and stay genuine and true to yourself. A lot of stylists are super busy behind the chair, however it’s so important to always carve out some time to post on social. Think of it as a simple way you can invest in yourself and your business.” — Cindy Duplantis, brand ambassador for Chatters Hair Salon
“Social media is like a muscle; the more you do it, the stronger it gets and the more you learn when you’re actually doing it. I’ve learned so much just by taking social media classes and webinars on how to create content and on when and how to post. We invest so much in our craft, but people forget that social media is another tool and craft that we need for our business. Finding inspiration can help you get started. Be inspired by others while aspiring to be your very best.” — Sonia Yarkhani, co-owner of Evolve Hair Studio, Toronto
While you may feel the urge to tailor your content to either stylists or clients, the lockdowns during the pandemic have emphasized a strong need for both.
“Even though Instagram is always changing, one of the basic things that isn’t going to change is good content and creating valuable content for people who are following you. I’ve noticed my followers have shifted from clients to people in the industry. When I post hair photos, they do have some consumer appeal but it’s all about the captions and how you communicate to your followers. Some captions can be very simple so they can appeal to both [hairstylists and consumers]. I’ve seen a lot of people on Instagram sharing their pricing, which appeals to both hairstylists and consumers, because now consumers are more aware of what it costs to achieve that colour.” — Sonia Yarkhani, co-owner of Evolve Hair Studio, Toronto
“Social media is a wonderful way to maintain your relationship with your clients when you’re not able to see them behind your chair. A consistent social media presence will also help to gain the trust of a new or potential client. It’s a great tool to help me connect with my followers on a more personal level, to help share tips and tricks with photos, videos, tutorials, and step-by-steps.” — Cindy Duplantis, brand ambassador for Chatters Hair Salon
“Being active on social media, especially during the lockdown, really brought our brand to a whole new level of awareness.” — Sonia Yarkhani, co-owner of Evolve Hair Studio, Toronto
It can seem overwhelming to create content and build your brand while competing with others who’ve been on social media for years, but it all comes down to showcasing your strengths and celebrating you (or your salon’s) unique attributes.
“Each stylist has their own specialty, whether it be colour, cut or finishing, so use this to your advantage; no two stylists are the same and the work you’re doing is unique and will speak for itself. Create a weekly content goal for your platform and try to stick with it—the more consistent you are, the better engagement you will receive from your following. It’s always important to maintain consistent engagement with your followers via social media and respond to any questions they may have. Stylists that stand out the most to me on social media and do a fantastic job building their business are the ones who consistently post and show a wide variety of different content through photos and videos.” — Cindy Duplantis, brand ambassador for Chatters Hair Salon
PRO TIP: Duplantis recommends paying close attention to your analytics to understand which days and times your followers are most active on social, so you can plan your posts accordingly.
“I think a lot of people want real, rawness from the people they follow. If you don’t put yourself out there, no one will know who you are. Some salons don’t share a lot about what they do but it’s like a lens—open up that lens into your salon and give people the opportunity to see what it looks and feels like to be a customer or employee in your salon. No two salons are the same—your vibe and staff differentiate your salon from others, so highlighting those two are really important in making yourself unique. Direct outreach is something I’ve learned from other stylists and coaches that helps build a really strong connection with people. I think it’s really important for building your business, because while you can speak to a mass amount of people, when you can speak to individual people it can actually be even more effective.” — Sonia Yarkhani, co-owner of Evolve Hair Studio, Toronto
As some stylists may share their work on social media to help increase their clientele or build their portfolio, others are in search of opportunities to collaborate with brands. Here’s how to get noticed.
“If you consistently put out engaging and compelling content, you’re going to attract new eyes and be given additional visibility via the Explore page on Instagram. Brand recognition is huge—we’ve never had direct access to brand pages as we do on social media. You can interact with a brand via comments, Instagram Lives and giveaways. Do your best to engage with your favourites as much as possible to try and get your name out there. Make sure to always tag the brands that you’re using and use any designated hashtags they may have to help with gaining their attention.” — Cindy Duplantis, brand ambassador for Chatters Hair Salon
“Start to create work that the brand will love—work that resembles or is inspired by the work that they do. Engage with brands by tagging them, using hashtags (and not the same ones all the time). Getting specific and putting yourself out there takes some time, but it creates this level of expertise and people will start looking at you as an expert. Sometimes, people want to take the easy way out but there’s no easy way out for a good social media account. You have to put the work in.” — Sonia Yarkhani, co-owner of Evolve Hair Studio, Toronto
PRO TIP: Interacting with clients on social media can also have benefits for your business’ bottom line—for example, promoting your retail products and services, which in turn can help you increase your clientele.