A HAIRDRESSER’S GUIDE TO INSTAGRAM REELS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
In August 2020 Instagram launched Reels, a new way to record 15 to 30-second clips set to music. Similar to TikTok, Instagram users can record and edit 15 to 30-second video clips set to music and share them to their Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on a user’s profile. If TikTok’s rise to popularity is anything to go by, this new feature is worth getting in on the action, and quickly! The feature is being favoured by the Instagram algorithm, which means the platform will let more people see your Reels video compared to an image or news feed video post. Reels are being heavily featured in the ‘Explore’ tab which means your Reel can be shown to new accounts who aren’t following you already. The hairdressing industry is a perfect fit for Reels. Hair cutting, colouring and styling content is very visual, and video content is proving to be more ‘thumb-stopping’ and effective at demonstrating sales results. So how can you use them in your salon marketing strategy?
1. Film Like a Pro
First things first, we want to make high quality, beautiful video content that highlights your day-to-day salon activity and your stylists’ abilities. There are many tips that will help set you up for success and ensure the footage you film is going to be engaging. Here’s our video content creation checklist:
Wipe your camera lens of any finger marks or dirt before hitting record.
Natural light is a must! Avoid grainy or hazy footage by filming with your face facing a window. Always test out your light and move to another location if the footage does not look crisp.
Stabilise your footage. Film with a steady hand or using a tripod.
Film on an iPhone 7 at a minimum (anything higher is a bonus). Make sure your IOS Apple software is up to date.
Ensure you capture on camera the before, during and after hair.
At each of these stages (before, during, after) also film a consistent “transition”. A transition could be putting your hand up to the camera, jumping in the air, clicking your hands, zooming into the hair, covering the camera with a cape… keep an eye out for trending ones!
Once you’ve got your footage, we recommend editing it in an app called InShot. When editing footage, make sure you cut out any repetitive sections and speed up the footage if needed.
When uploading your video, ensure you choose a cover image that’s attention-grabbing. Don’t let it default to the start of the video. Add a trending song and make sure the caption is punchy.
2. Make It Relatable
Make people laugh and see themselves in your content by focusing on topics, hair problems and everyday hair styling that is relatable to everyone. This offers a great opportunity for your business to show a more human, less picture-perfect side — which can be great for building genuine relationships and strengthening your own client and salon community.
3. Make it Easy to Recreate: diy hair tips from salon experts
Think about virality. What is easy for others to recreate (both hairdressers and clients) and put their own spin on? The more accessible your Instagram Reels are, the more likely they are to turn into trends. Posting educational and ‘how-to’ hair and beauty content is a great place to start. For example, use professional hairdressing techniques such as colouring, balayage, intricate hair curling or hair cutting and convert these salon skills into how your audience can do this at home, or how they can achieve the look at your salon.
Create a consistent format and theme that people can easily recognise as yours and your salon, hair styling team. This means shooting your content in the same space, with similar edits and common content threads. These social branding elements subconsciously remind your followers to stop scrolling and tune into another episode.
This doesn’t mean you have to learn dance choreography (but it doesn’t hurt to try!). Trying out a trending video style and putting your own spin on it has huge opportunity for virality. There’s trending content specific to the hair industry like the “Toast Test” where you can demonstrate the power of heat protection in hair products. Spend time looking at Reels on the platform from across the globe as well as industry peers and gather inspiration and ideas from what is working on the platform.
Next time your client is in the chair mention how Christmas shopping can be done through your salon!
With a variety of brands to choose from, there are gifts for their secret santa, friends, family or even something to treat themselves.
A hair visionary, celebrity stylist and editorial expert, Shannon JJ Williams has over 10 years of experience in hair styling and is responsible for the trending hashtag #Hairgod. Shannon JJ Williams has worked with leading celebrities including Margot Robbie, Elsa Pataky and Nicole Trunifo and has been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Grazia.