Getting digi with it

The pressure to perfect your social media feed can sometimes seem overwhelming. Let these top tips from Creative HEAD’s digital editor, Alison Rowley, take you to the next level…

Time it right

  • Think about when your audience is likely to be browsing in order to maximise each post’s reach. Typical peak times are first thing in the morning and early evening, as well as 7pm to 10pm.
  • Make use of scheduling (via Facebook’s own interface or free management tools) so you can prepare posts to go live during these windows.

Choose your voice carefully

  • Entrust posting to someone you are confident can convey your business ethos, while still having the time to keep up-to-speed with the changing social media landscape.
  • Draw up a set of brand guidelines – featuring tone for captions, guidance on colour schemes and any image editing to help with consistency.
  • Include a short planning and social media catch-up segment in your staff meeting where people can share ideas, and create a content calendar for everyone to keep track of types of content that are to be shared each week.

Master the hashtag

  • Hashtags are perfect for engaging users who may not already follow you, but have an interest in what you do.
  • Use no more than 10 hashtags on an Instagram feed post, and even fewer on Stories.
  • Really think about using a mix of frequently browsed, relevant terms as well as those that are more specific. The name of your local town or nearest city alongside a location tag is more likely to get you seen by potential clients.
  • Find relevant phrases using Instagram’s search bar on the ‘Tags’ tab to find hashtags featuring a key word (such a ‘blonde’ or ‘rope braid’).

Don’t let the algorithms get you down

  • Variety is the key to staying visible. Utilise as many features of Instagram as possible – while still producing relevant content – to put you in good standing and help maintain visibility across your followers’ feeds
  • Produce both videos and still imagery, dabble with Instagram Live (possibly at in-salon events) and IGTV (great for longer tutorial videos), update your Stories regularly and maintain a consistent main feed posting schedule.
  • Keep an eye on what goes down well with your followers and what doesn’t and then adapt your posting output accordingly.

“Social media has been an instrumental tool in building my brand and growing my client base when opening my first salon. It’s like an accelerated word of mouth. I remember when I would have a new client sit in my chair that had been recommended by her friend – that hasn’t changed but the way she was recommended has.

“In case it isn’t blindingly obvious from my profile (@samanthacusicklondon), I LOVE balayage and by using Instagram to showcase my work, I have been able to create a destination salon that is renowned for incredible colour work.

“When clients come to the salon, they have already looked at their chosen stylist’s Instagram page, read the comments and watched their Stories. This can make clients feel so much more at ease in the chair as they know they are in good hands. You won’t believe what a difference that makes.”

Hot right now

Insta posts can mean prizes, especially when they feature gorgeous hair garnering all the likes! Meet Laurie Williams Hair, winner of the #Extremeplaysafe competition

Things got hot on Instagram this summer. To celebrate the launch of Redken’s new heat styling product Extreme Play Safe, the Tribe was set a challenge. They had to create a stunning Instaworthy finish, using Play Safe and some on-trend slogan hair slides, and post away.

The judges – Larry King, Redken UK ambassador; Sheri Doss, global education director for Redken; and Amanda Nottage, editor of Creative HEAD magazine – would then select their favourites. The prize? A feature in Outliers! And which was the hardworking salon whose image came out on top of the hundreds of images that flooded in every day? Step forward Laurie Williams Hair from South Wales.

Laurie and colleague Leah were serving all the shimmery cool blonde goodness with their smooth and sleek finish – Glam Girl indeed!

"We entered the competition with one of our favourite and most-requested rooty blondes, formulated using Shades EQ 9V, 9P and 9NB, finished off with, of course, Extreme Play Safe and styled with soft waves," says Laurie. "In our salon, Redken is gold. We love it and our clients love it. Our favourite Redken product has to be Shades EQ – it saves the day every time!"
As the salon founder, Laurie is behind the salon's social media, admitting that since she was young she's always thought about visuals and great presentation. "I can create the perfect story book that reflects our salon surroundings," she says. "I actually often sit in the bath, in peace with a G&T and do my posts! When I feel the most relaxed I have awesome lightbulb moments."
Right now, it's the salon's colour work that's getting the most likes and comments, especially when they tag the products used. "We put out images that target potential new clients and give a true reflection of what we like to do in our salon," Laurie explains.
"There is so much talent in the Redken Tribe. It is amazing to see how the power of artists can create a new trend and communicate a shared message when we all work together towards a common creative goal."Melissa Fernandez, general manager, Redken UK and Ireland