The 6 biggest mistakes that salons make in their Facebook ads

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Online advertising is one of the “big things” that I believe every salon should work on to build their business.

Once you’ve developed your visual brand, built a simple but magnetic website, gotten into the rhythm of Instagram, and worked on email and social reviews… it’s time to get to work on ads for your salon.

The easiest and most profitable way to advertise online is Facebook, hands-down. Facebook ads are as simple as putting together a magnetic offer, writing engaging text, adding in a video/photo, and testing and measuring your campaign results.

I say simple, but I know that there is so little instruction out there about what makes for a truly successful Facebook ad campaign. So I see salon owners making the same mistakes over and over again in their ads.

This blog post goes through 6 of the most common Facebook ads “no-nos” to avoid for your beauty business, and gives you tips for what to do instead to attract a flock of new clients. Enjoy!

Mistake #1: Your ad is impersonal

Don’t forget that Facebook is a SOCIAL network. People go on there to be entertained, inspired, wowwed, or just get updates on from the people they care about.

The last thing that we want to see is some boring, corporate post that screams “advertisement!” Instead, we like to interact with posts that are friendly and personal, even if they are ads in disguise. So try to make your salon’s ads as personal and friendly as possible, as if they were coming from a real person instead of a business.


Instead of this impersonal ad:

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Try making your ad friendly and inviting:

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Introduce yourself in the text of the ad. Say hi and invite people in. Tell them what you love about your business and your story. And don’t be afraid to use some emojis!

Write as if it were a personal post going out to your friends, and you will see such a better result!

Mistake #2 You’re using stock photos or low-quality photos

This point is related to the last one about being personal. If you use stock photos for your ads, it will raise some eyebrows. If your services are so great, why can’t you use your own photos? Are you even a real business?

Instead, if you use photos you took yourself, especially ones that include yourself and your clients, people will relate to your ad at a much deeper level.

Instead of this boring stock photo:

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Try making an ad with several of your own photos:

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Or even better, use video ads. Video ads tend to get better engagement, reach, and results.

If you want some ideas for video ads and want to see some amazing examples of video marketing for salons, check out my blog post here.

And if you want to see some examples of videos and photos that work VERY well in ads, download my FREE eBook below: “Facebook Ads Success For Salons”. It’s a 17-page guide that walks you through step-by-step how to set up your ads:

Mistake #3: Your targeting is too specific and narrow

I’ve seen many salons make the mistake of creating a target audience that’s too specific. While it’s great that you’re experimenting with targeting options (the options are almost unlimited!), I actually recommend that you keep your audience targeting simple.

Instead of filtering down your local audience with interests like balayage, nail salons, lash extensions, microblading, etc… Start with a basic audience that includes women (or men) or a certain age range within a few miles of your location.

Instead of adding in a bunch of “interests” that make your audience too small:

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Keep your target audience broad:

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The bigger the audience, the better. Facebook will take a day or two to see what kind of person in that group is most likely to interact with your ad, and they’ll optimize your targeting to most likely show it to that kind of person.

So no need to try and narrow down your audience more. The larger audience the better.

Besides, even though your target may look big (300,000 is a lot of people!) only a fraction of those people will see your ad anyway!

Mistake #4: You don’t clearly explain how to book an appointment

Don’t assume that everyone knows how to book an appointment with you!

Don’t assume that your ad is straight forward.

People are in a rush on Facebook and scrolling really quickly! Always tell people at least twice how they can claim your offer and book an appointment. Be extremely clear, even if it seems like overkill.

Instead of writing a vague ad with no directions:

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Explain clearly how to claim your offer:

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With Facebook ads, it’s always better to assume that people are quickly scrolling past and don’t have a lot of time to read. So it’s best to explain more than once how to claim your offer. You need to be painfully obvious.

Mistake #5: You don’t track your results

I know that Facebook makes it really easy to spend money on ads through “boosted posts”, but if you’re doing this, you’re only getting half the power of Facebook Ads.

The Facebook ads manager is a powerful tool that lets you track the success of your ads so much better than boosted posts!

Instead of boosting posts from your page:

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Use the Ads Manager to measure your results:

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As you can see, the Ads Manager makes it simple to run different versions of my ad (with different images, videos, text etc) which is extremely important and we’ll go through in the next point.

They also make it easy to see:

  • How one ad compares to the other in terms of cost and results

  • How many times the average person has seen your ad (the reach - it’s important this doesn’t go too high!)

  • Your relevance score - how relevant the ad is to who’s seeing it

  • Your cost per result - cost per click, cost per comment, cost per video view and more

  • How long most people watched your video for

  • And so much more

The Ads Manager doesn’t need to be complicated. And it WILL improve your ad results, I promise!

Mistake #6: You don’t test multiple versions of your ad

Don’t just make one version of your ad! When you have a promotion in mind for an ad campaign, you don’t know exactly what to put for the text, photo or video for the ad. You need to create multiple versions of your ad and test which one brings in more clients.

If you create different versions of it, Facebook will optimize your ad campaign and it will start showing the most popular ad to people, which is another great way of getting good results.

In the Facebook ads manager, it’s easy to make different versions of your ad, just by uploading different photos:

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In conclusion

Facebook ads are such a genius salon marketing idea to bring in new clients without spending a ton of money.

The best way to make them work for you is to avoid some of these common mistakes. Remember that the best Facebook ad campaigns:

  • Are personal and friendly

  • Use high-quality photos that are taken by you (not stock photos)

  • Keep a broad target audience (larger is better!)

  • Have clear instructions for booking an appointment

  • Track results in the Ads Manager

  • Test different versions of the ad

If you follow these tips, you are well on your way to making a fabulous ad campaign for your hair salon, nail salon, spray tan studio, or esthetics studio.

One last thing! Want to see some examples of really great ads and see step-by-step how to set up a successful campaign? Download my “Facebook Ads Success For Salons” eBook below!