Probably my most asked question is always in regards to Instagram–what are my biggest tips, how does one utilize hashtags efficiently, when is the best time to post, what type of content is most engaging? From large companies to small tech blogs, I’ve given my two cents all over the place, yet the questions still remain. So, rather than regurgitating my advice time and time again, I’ve decided to create this blog post. It now lives on my site so it can act as a reference, a place to turn to, a link you share and advice you take seriously. This will also make my life easier because the next time someone from such-and-such publication emails me to ask for tips on how jewelry stores and designers can use Instagram, all I have to do now is send them this hyperlink! 😉 So here are my top pieces of advice, in no particular order!
1. The point of Instagram is VISUAL–it is rooted in the concept of photo-sharing, so that idea must be the first and foremost important aspect of how YOU should utilize Instagram. Post photos that are visually appealing…be picky about it…and create your own idea of how you want your jewelry store, jewelry line or designs to be portrayed. Vibrant photos, edited photos, YES! Never post a blurry photo! Never add so many filters you can’t seem to remember what the photo originally looked like! (When I mention edited photos, please be aware that there is a healthy balance of editing–overly edited photos are not good either!) You most definitely should crop…you most definitely should remove those jewelry store tags…and you most definitely should ask someone for help if you don’t know how to do any of those things!
This photo above is a typical “Gem Gossip” photo I would post on Instagram–it is visually appealing, makes someone stop from scrolling to get a better look and features what I’m passionate about.
2. Posting consistently may be the biggest piece of advice I can give. I’ve done this since day one of signing up for Instagram and couldn’t stress enough how important it is. This not only keeps your followers engaged but keeps them wanting and coming back for more! If you are a jewelry designer or store, I would recommend at least once per day. If you choose once per day, a designated time which you continually post may be the key so followers know and expect something from you. I post at least four times per day, maybe a little less on the weekends, or more if something exciting is going on.
3. Use relevant hashtags! Figuring this out is easy–find other accounts that you would consider “successful” in the jewelry industry and take a look at what hashtags they are using. Also take a look at what you are posting and figure out the main keywords that describe it, then use those as hashtags–for example: are you posting a photo of an emerald ring? Then use hashtag emerald or hashtag emerald ring. So– #emerald #emeraldring
But beware! My pet peeve is overuse of hashtags. I would advise no more than ten hashtags per photo. Most people don’t agree with me, but I think too many hashtags looks sloppy.
The hashtag I created #showmeyourrings is very popular and should be used when posting a photo of lots of rings! I’ve noticed some people using it for every picture they post!! That’s so not right! With that said, use hashtags purposefully, not simply copy/paste a list of 20+ popular hashtags. I’ve seen selfies with the hashtag #showmeyourrings lol not cool.
Another typical “Gem Gossip” photo I would post on Instagram–in terms of hashtags, I would first and foremost use #showmeyourrings then maybe #antiquerings #ringsofinstagram and throw in #personalcollection so people know they are not for sale.
4. Interact and engage with your followers! Again, another reason and main purpose of this app: to connect with others that have the same passion as you. Before I signed up for Instagram, I had been writing my blog for several years and had a few friends who I connected with through email. We both shared a passion for antique jewelry and were in our 20s at the time…a very small group of people fit this description and I wished/hoped for more people out there to connect with. Once I established myself on Instagram, I found so many others who love antique jewelry just as much as myself. I got really excited. It became a place where we all could “gather” and share our interests openly and connect on many levels–we became our own little community.
With that said, interaction in the sincerest form is amazing and much needed on Instagram. Sure there are those out there who like to comment/like every post possible in order to gain followers, not friends…but those who truly ask questions, comment sincerely–those are the people whom you need to be engaging with!
If you are a jewelry store or designer and someone asks, “what stone is that?” or “is this piece still available?” make sure to answer in a timely manner! Sometimes I see jewelry store accounts where no one has responded and it has been several days, even weeks,with no response and that makes me sad. Such a missed opportunity for displaying customer service in a virtual atmosphere, which may be just as important as greeting someone who walks into your store. Don’t miss those opportunities!
A perfect example of how to make a sale through Instagram: I posted these three pendants each individually on my feed and received lots of likes/feedback but no one actually purchased them. A few months later, I posted THIS PHOTO ABOVE with the same items styled, shown worn, and they sold within hours.
5. If you want to include parts of your personal life into your feed it is a great way to connect even further with your followers. I like to include my two dogs into the mix of jewelry posts. I used to post LOTS of personal photos, but overtime realized that that’s not what my followers were following me for–they want to see the jewelry! With that said, sometimes too many personal photos, selfies, or party photos can steer your brand in the wrong direction. Have a good balance of this by making sure what you’re selling or focusing on always comes first.
Well, I hope these five tips help give you a general idea of the most important pieces of advice I could give. The Instagram app is pivotal for the jewelry industry because it is so visual. Find ways to make it your own and work for you!
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