It’s safe to say we all get frustrated with Instagram, the algorithms, the number of likes and views. It’s very easy to look at those influences getting 100s and 1000s of views and to feel like you are failing, which leads to us feeling unmotivated and deflated.
What we need to look at is, what we are actually using our Instagram for, what is it you are wanting to achieve? Generally as a small business or individual offering an in person service our main goal is to attract clients….Right ?
Looking closer you may find, in actual fact your Instagram is doing exactly what it needs to do for you or maybe with a few tweaks it could be!
I’ve been using Instagram successfully as a business tool for many years now and I’d like to share some tips with you on how to utilise yours.
Let’s look at how we can optimise Instagram to work for you and your small business.
As a Nail technician/beauty therapist we are primarily looking to attract new clients and generally these clients will come from our local area, so it’s important to target these people. This can be achieved by using hash tag groups. Hash tags are the tool you use to help people find your post. By using hash tags relative to your local area and those relevant to the service you are offering, you will guide those looking for your service to you
For example as a Norwich based nail tech here are a few relevant localised hash tags I would use…
💡TIP: Think of the words that you would use, as a user looking for your service on Instagram and use those.
If you are looking to reach wider audiences and perhaps get your posts picked up from industry publications, also include some hash tags relevant to that as a nail tech, here are some that I’d recommend.
#showscratch #pbloves #nailtech #nailsofthe day #rednails #lecentecarnaby #picoftheday #nails #nailart
Also remember to tag the brand, colours and products that you use.
💡TIP: These hashtags are much more general and are used much more frequently therefore your chances of being found by them is less, but remember, you can include up to 30 hashtags, so use a mix of these and your localised ones.
Here is an example of a post with hash tags.
Interact with other Businesses local to you.
This is a great way to help other local people find you! If you are eating out or visiting somewhere local, pop it in your story and tag the business. You know yourself, you love when people share your business and you are also likely to share the tagged story to your story. Other businesses will do this too, which will mean they then share your account with your local audience. This will help build a relationship with other local people, who may well recommend you in the future too.
Take quality photographs to showcase your work at its best
✨Practice hand positions
✨Use good lighting
✨Crop & edit your pictures
✨Take videos that you can use or create reels
✨Show your target audience what you can do
Take multiple photos so that you will have more images to share. Finding content if you are not seeing many clients initially can be difficult, so make the most of what you do have. From just one client visit you can get all this content…
✨A before and after pic, that you can use in your stories.
✨A before and after video, that you can create a reel with.
✨Multiple images of your finished result, from a few different angles or hand positions.
This sounds a lot but actually takes minimal time during the appointment. You could also schedule in an extra 5 min if you feel you need this.
The Face Behind the Business
Whilst looking for content do not be afraid to show your face, personalise your account and let people get to know you.
✨Take a look through some reels, save trending sounds in a video ideas file and look for ones you think you feel confident to try, then just give it a go. Many now have a use template option, which is great for photos and videos of your work.
✨ Show a little day in your life at work video, do a salon tour, speak and get your voice on there too.
💡TIP: Showing quality work will get people’s attention, letting them familiarise themselves with you makes you more personable to them. Interact with your followers by…
✨Always replying to comments , words work better then emojis so go for 4/5 word comment when you can.
✨Spend a little time each day liking and commenting on others posts on grid and in stories, Instagram likes to see you being interactive.
✨Make your posts interactive ask questions, ask for shares and likes.
Use your stories
✨It’s a great place to let your followers get to know you.
✨Play a game. (Spot the emojis a good one but there are plenty of templates on Canva)
I hope these tips assist in optimising your Instagram so that it can be an asset to your business. Please remember it is not all about those numbers, it’s about the interaction. I don’t have a massive Instagram following, but I do have an Instagram that consistently brings me clients. I would say around 85% of my new clients come from Instagram, so it’s a valuable asset if you use it correctly.
💡Always remember to be you!!! If using pictures from stock to advertise make sure it is of work that you can confidently replicate.
💡 Tag other artists if you share their work
💡Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and don’t overthink it! Look at your Instagram as a portfolio and advertisement tool for your work, unless you are aiming to be a creator or influencer you don’t need thousands of followers and likes 👍 to be successful.
Hopefully this has been helpful to you, follow me on @clairehowardnaildesign and let me know how you are getting on.
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