Do you need a social media following to have a successful hair business?

“Social media is a modern-day portfolio of your work.”

“Social media has two uses for salons and hairdressers. Firstly, it is a modern-day portfolio of work and secondly, it’s the way clients are comfortable communicating with us. Some clients feel self-conscious walking into a new salon, but using social media can almost make them feel like they have already been to your salon because they have seen everything within it.

I used to work above a store and social media was my window for showing off my work alongside word-of-mouth. I was fully booked even though I had no shop window and very little walk-ins. Now, five years later, we use social media to advertise our work. It’s attracted footballers and influencers to get their hair cut with me and the reactions it gets helps me to attract these types of clients. We use social media to advertise availability, last minute cancellations, promote new products and appeal to those looking for something new.

I set up a Facebook group called Hair Socials for like-minded people who want to share their knowledge. We have over 14,000 members who come to support, learn and share their different skillsets. It’s a great way for those who work solo to feel connected and part of a community.

If you’re new to social media, I’d recommend knowing your brand and what it is you love to do. What do you love to create? This will attract the right type of client. Use the location options to tag your town or business. This will help locals see your posts on the discovery or recommendation pages. You can also use the grid as a diary of your work during your consultations.

In my experience clients feel their hair is special if you post it on social media! It might take time but the effects on your business and your profile are tenfold.”


“We must remember that not all clients use social media.”

“My salon is 20 years old and has a broad mix of female and male clients with a range of ages from infants to senior citizens. We’re based in the busy town of Bothwell in Glasgow and I’d say 75% of our guests have a colour service alongside a cut. We regularly review our client database and our current client base is approximately 5,000.

Communicating with clients is always a priority – lockdown taught us how important it is to be in touch with them. We use emails and texts to communicate marketing initiatives via Phorest software and it’s really successful. We have quite a good following on social media with 1,500 on Facebook and 500 followers on Instagram – but we don’t use it a lot.

I wouldn’t say we consciously decided not to jump aboard the social media train, but social media is a relatively new way of building a clientele. Over the past five to 10 years it has exploded, but we must remember not all clients use social media. After 20 years of building a regular clientele based on reputation, we’ve probably been less assertive in this area than we should be. Some of that is because of lack of expertise and knowledge, but to make your content relevant and professional requires a great deal of time. I’d much rather my team spend their time effectively communicating with our seated guests. However, it hasn’t affected our business and we are attracting new clients. I’m a great believer that word-of-mouth is still as strong today as any social media platform.

Ultimately your guest’s in-salon experience is more important than a few hundred likes on an edited photograph. You can’t edit their experience and that is what matters when trying to build a successful business.”