Putting as much effort as you have time for into your Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other online profiles is never a bad thing. Creative, fun content enhances the image of your business and makes an impactful impression on your followers. You should do as much as you can to optimize your online presence for free, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that it alleviates the need for paid advertising or that it will bring you a lot of new customers.
Think of maintaining an attractive social media presence as more similar to making sure your Google listing, website and reviews look good. It’s a necessity, and people will decide whether to visit you based on the vibe they get when they find it, but a single post in itself isn’t likely to bring many people through your door. The audience just isn’t large enough, and most of the people you do reach have probably been to your salon before. Besides contests and giveaways that incentivize interaction and sharing, paying for advertising is the only way to reach a substantial number of potential new customers online.