If you want to rise above the clutter and generate followers for your business, you need to tell the story that sits behind your brand. After all, your business is not just about products, it’s about the story that sits behind them. If you tell that story well enough, your customers will be interested in you.
Jetcharm Barber Shop and Gentlemen’s Quarters is a great example of a business that has mastered their story, and is using Instagram to spread the word. The word ‘barber’ has connotations of ‘old New Zealand’, and that’s exactly what you get with a contemporary twist when you walk through the door. Framed images of the Queen sit alongside Elvis Presley prints, and a life-size Victorian sporting a hipster beard is painted onto the ebony black walls. Clients sit in retro 1950s chairs on one side of the salon, and on the other, coffee is served. The attention to detail is noteworthy, and from just a quick glance at their Google and Facebook reviews from customers, it is clear that they appreciate what one customer refers to as “an experience”. Coupled with great cuts, it’s a winning combo for boosting business and getting people through the door.
Instagram is one of their main vehicles for publicizing their business. Their website is essentially a landing page, a single page that directs customers to their Facebook or Instagram accounts (in much the same way that your About Us page does). On this page, their logo is accompanied by information on the opening hours and making appointments, set against a brick background to convey something of the atmosphere in the store. It’s on their Instagram account that their business story really comes alive. The store is at once contemporary and old school; something that they show in their Instagram through cuts for the classic gentleman and the intricate patterns on shaved heads more associated with hip hop culture.
Promote your business through Instagram
1. Think about creating an identifiable aesthetic. Instagram is the perfect place for collecting images that represent the style of your brand. In this case, Jetcharm Barber Shop and Gentlemen’s Quarters have taken the 195os with a modern twist. In curating the best images, you demonstrate that you know your market well – something that translates to consumer trust in the long term. Don’t be afraid to collate images from elsewhere, and include images that are chic and nostalgic – on Instagram, the curator is king. Experiment to find what works well in terms of angles and lighting – experienced Instagram users rarely post at light, and often in the morning when it is the best light.
2. Use hashtags. Jetcharm Barber Shop and Gentlemen’s Quarters use hashtags well. Unlike Facebook, where people tend to use less, on Instagram, hashtags are de rigeur. Instagram allows you to use up to 40 different hashtags, but the optimal number is probably about 8 – 10. Hashtags allow people to search Instagram, meaning that it’s another way to get your posts found. Jetcharm Barber Shop and Gentlemen’s Quarters use hashtags like #barber to represent their business, and then local ones like #NewPlymouth to ensure that anyone in the area can find them. It’s a good idea to keep track of what is trending as well – this can allow you to capitalize on what is currently popular.
3. Interact with your followers. The fastest way to grow your base on Instagram is to like other people’s posts and follow them. Sharing cheery camaraderie and appreciation for good photos is a great way to let people know that you’re not simply on Instagram for one-way marketing, you are there for your customers. In the world of Instagram, sharing is caring, and it translates to increased reach and consumer trust. One way that people build their followers quickly is through the use of the hashtag #like4like, which basically means if someone likes your photo, you like theirs. It’s a great way to build followers if you are new to the platform.
4. Show your business culture. Jetcharm Barber Shop and Gentlemen’s Quarters does a great job of behind the scenes shots – from what they got up to on the weekend, to new employees’ first cuts. In doing so, they recognize that a core part of business growth for hair dressing and also for cafes is developing an ongoing relationship with their customers. Posting on Instagram means that this relationship is cemented a lot faster without having to wait between appointments.
5. Make it interesting and keep it light. Instagram is all about photo appreciation, and for those users who are on it (roughly one fifth of 16-64 year olds), it can become quite addictive as you search for the best shots. It’s an app that allows people to get a little joy in their days through a few minutes searching the mind-blowing things this world can be. Contribute to this using hashtags like #picoftheday #photooftheday and #instagood.