Mastering Instagram Engagement Without Headaches and Hassles: 6 Tips (+Formula) For Hair and Beauty Businesses
With their shared focus on great aesthetics and the latest trends, it’s no secret that Instagram and the hair and beauty industry are one dynamic duo. When Instagram first launched in 2010, it quickly became the platform of choice for consumers wanting to get their fix of aspirational beauty and wellness content.
And with Millenial and Gen Z consumers increasingly turned off by traditional promotional content, Instagram has opened up valuable space for hair and beauty businesses to market to their target audience via a more community-driven approach.
However, this is easier said than done with increased competition and decreasing organic reach on the platform. In today’s landscape, knowing how to increase engagement on your Instagram for business account is vital to building and nurturing successful client relationships.
But with a few simple tips, your business will be well on its way to boosting its engagement on Instagram.
In this post, you’ll learn:
- What is Instagram engagement?
- Why does Instagram engagement matter?
- How do you measure Instagram engagement?
- What is a “good” Instagram engagement rate?
- How to increase engagement on Instagram
What is Instagram engagement?
Instagram engagement is a measure of how many people are interacting with your posts on the platform. This includes actions such as:
- Branded hashtags
When your engagement is high, this demonstrates that your content is resonating with your audience and helping to foster brand awareness. Conversely, if your engagement wavers, it could be a sign that your content isn’t quite hitting the mark and that you need to reevaluate your approach.
Why does Instagram engagement matter?
Engagement is a key metric that salons and spas should be paying attention to when measuring the effectiveness of their Instagram marketing, not least because it’s a key component of the platform’s algorithm.
Put simply, Instagram’s algorithm plays a big role in how visible your content is to people on the platform. When your engagement is consistently high, the algorithm is more likely to boost your content so it appears more often in people’s feeds, thus securing more eyes on your business.
Furthermore, engagement gives you real-time insights into how interested people are in your content — and by extension your services.
Needless to say, if you want to attract more clients, engaging content is a must.
How do you measure Instagram engagement?
Before we talk about how to increase Instagram engagement, it’s important to know how to measure it.
The easiest way of measuring engagement on Instagram is by working out your average engagement rate per post. Your engagement rate is the sum of all interactions taken on a post, divided by your total follower count x 100.
Some engagement rate formulas only include likes and comments as interactions. However, this doesn’t give you a complete picture of all the activities your post has prompted. For accuracy, you should use the sum of ALL available interactions.
For example, let’s say that your establishment’s Instagram account has 900 followers, and your most recent post attracted 25 likes, 3 comments, and 2 shares.
You would calculate the engagement rate of that post using this formula:
25 + 3 + 2 = 30
30 / 900 x 100 = 3.33
Your engagement rate for that post is 3.3%
What is a “good” Instagram engagement rate?
So, what exactly is a “good” Instagram engagement rate to aim for?
Instagram tends to be pretty cagey on this point, but engagement tends to be higher on average than Facebook or Twitter, sitting at around 1.22%.
Engagement also varies according to industry, with Health and Beauty sitting slightly lower at 0.68%, according to the 2020 Social Media Benchmarks Report. This is lower than 2019, when average engagement was 0.86%, matching Instagram’s steady decline in platform-wide engagement.
The general rule of thumb for digital marketers is that an engagement rate between 1% and 3% is considered good, while 3%-6% is very strong. Depending on your current engagement rate, this should help you to determine a realistic benchmark to aim for.
How to Increase Engagement on Instagram: 6 Top Tips
Now that you know the basics of Instagram engagement, let’s discuss the ways that you can improve it.
1. Show the value of your services
With such a plethora of hair salons, spas and barbershops for consumers to choose from, it’s important to integrate your unique selling points into your Instagram content strategy.
As a service provider, the success of your Instagram marketing hinges on how well you’re able to communicate your authority and value proposition. When clients are browsing possible providers, one of the first things they’re looking for on your feed is evidence of your knowledge and professionalism. By catering to this search for information, you’re much more likely to see higher Instagram engagement rates.
So, while your feed should feature a mixture of more light-hearted and personable content for variety, you shouldn’t stray too far away from communicating your core message: why clients should choose your service offerings over your competitors.
The hair and beauty salon Trachouse has dedicated Reels and IGTV on its Instagram account that publicizes the services they offer, giving current and potential clients easy access to behind-the-scenes photos and Stories of the staff at work. This helps to give people confidence in the treatments they are interested in, in turn making them more likely to book.
2. Post content that invites audience interactions
One of the key reasons that businesses struggle to increase their Instagram engagement rates is because their posting efforts are directed more towards pushing their brand, rather than forging a connection with their followers.
It might seem obvious, but if you want your followers to engage with your salon, spa or barbershop, you need to give them a reason to do so.This means posting content that invites people to interact and contribute their own thoughts and ideas.
Hair salons, beauty establishments and barbershops actually have quite a big advantage in this area; almost all of us understand the thrill of a new haircut or shave, or the sense of relaxation that comes from a facial or massage. All of this provides a great jumping off point for engaging content.
So, think about your Instagram content as starting a conversation with a trusted friend. By making an effort to directly engage with the people who interact with your posts, you can promote further positive engagement behaviors.
Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas has cleverly leveraged its location and premium services to start a conversation about its followers’ upcoming travel plans. It’s both a great strategy to spark engagement in the post, as well as promoting its own establishment as the ultimate getaway destination.
Notice the caption below, where Vdara asks a direct question to its audience, thus encouraging them to engage with the content.
3. Boost awareness through Insta ads
With organic reach rapidly declining across social media platforms, the best way of ensuring more eyes on your content is to pay for a little extra help in the form of Instagram Ads. These allow you to put your best foot forward by promoting the value of your establishment, and hopefully pick up some extra followers along the way.
To run Instagram ads, you need to have a Facebook page and a Facebook ad account (since both platforms run off the same system). Because these ads will not appear in your actual Instagram feed, you don’t need to worry about whether it blends in with your existing content. Instead, focus on drafting a powerful CTA that drives people to your feed.
Thrive Causemetics has created a very enticing ad by using the simple but compelling “before” and “after” format to promote the value of its product:
4. Use the Instagram book now button
If you are a service-based business, it’s important to add a powerful CTA to your Instagram account that encourages your followers to take action in response to your content. Otherwise, potential clients may be unsure what the next step is, and your efforts to nurture sales leads will quickly go cold.
Fortunately for salons and spas, Instagram allows you to add a “book now” button to your Instagram business account when using approved scheduling software, such as Genbook. This gives you the added advantage of being able to direct your followers to this CTA within your posts, showing that you are open for business and ready to meet their needs.
In case you needed more persuading, CopyBlogger found that using CTAs in the form of buttons saw conversion rates increase by 45%.
Want to see this tactic in action? Check out the page of Classic Barber & Beard Co. The company’s Instagram profile has a “Book Now” button, which takes clients to the shop’s booking portal where they can schedule an appointment. One of the best things about the feature is that people don’t have to leave Instagram to set up their booking. Everything takes place right on the app, so clients get a seamless experience.
5. Show your authentic side
As a business, it’s essential to come across as genuine and relatable in your marketing efforts.
This is especially important on Instagram, where users on the platform are constantly bombarded with glossy, branded content that can feel quite impersonal. By making the effort to go deeper than perfectly airbrushed imagery, you’re far more likely to strike a chord with potential clients.
There are many ways that your establishment can add a more approachable vibe to your feed, such as:
- Fun images of your staff at work
- Stories/Highlights of work social events e.g. birthdays, seasonal celebrations
- Humorous quotes / memes
- The “behind the scenes” of making an establishment run smoothly
Sometimes, even non-business moments can provide fuel for the most authentic content. This post by Salon 215 Elite serves as a great example. While the company regularly posts pictures of clients and its staff in action, Salon 215 Elite also likes to mix up its Instagram content.
In this case, the team posted a photo of their vision board party, showing a different side of the business. In a way, the post makes Salon 215 Elite feel more relatable.
6. Boost engagement through giveaways and contests
If you really want to up your Instagram engagement, there’s no better way than to launch a contest or giveaway for your followers. According to Tailwind, contests receive an average of 3.5 times as many likes and 64 times more comments than regular posts.
Not only that, contests also help to grow your followers by getting your business in front of new audiences who might not have come across you before. This makes them a fantastic way to introduce yourself to potential new clients.
So, what is the secret to hosting a successful giveaway or contest on Instagram?
Make it easy to enter. If it’s too complex to get involved, people are just going to scroll on right by. Instead, keep the barrier to entry low through approaches such as “double tap to enter” or “tag a friend to enter”.
Choose a great reward. Spas and salons have a myriad of options for this depending on your budget and goals for the campaign. For example, you could boost an under-performing service by using it as the prize, or use the contest to publicize a new treatment or product.
State the terms and conditions. It’s important to state the rules for taking part to make sure that your business doesn’t unintentionally run into legal troubles. This includes contest dates, eligibility for entering, and guidelines for entry.
Here is a great example from Hana Space, which is giving away five sauna experiences, each for a pair of friends. This is a clever strategy because in addition to increasing engagement, it also introduces the brand to a bunch of new clients who are likely new to their feed — thus increasing the company’s reach.
Bringing it all together
In this post, we’ve defined Instagram engagement, how to measure it, and how to increase your engagement on Instagram using six actionable strategies to create content that resonates with your followers.
It’s challenging for any business to stand out from the crowd on a platform that experiences almost 1,000 photo uploads per second. But so long as you make an effort to talk about your business in a way that invites dialogue and communicates value, your spa or salon will be well on its way to improving your Instagram engagement rate.
Did you know that Genbook has built-in tools to help you increase your engagement on Instagram and other social media platforms? The BookNow site integrates everywhere including your Instagram or Facebook business page so you convert every time. Try Genbook for free today!
And if you need help with mastering Instagram to book more appointments don’t miss out on Instagram Growth Pack— a valuable resource created by our team that will help you double your bookings and boost your engagement rate!