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Instagram to Instaglam: get more jewellery lovers for your business

Instagram is an ideal social media platform for jewellers but it seems not all businesses are using it correctly. In the first of a two-part series, DEBRA TEMPLAR reports on how retailers should improve their practices.

Did you know that, according to Social Media Examiner, Instagram boasts 15 times more engagement than Facebook, Twitter and Google+? It’s also the fastest growing social media platform in Australia.

The photo-centric app is perfect for retailers, particularly when compared with Facebook, where posts are currently only seen by 3 per cent of followers (and that’s a different 3 per cent for each post!). 

The good news is that more retail businesses are beginning to use Instagram; however, the not so good news is that many aren’t realising the network’s full potential – or, in some cases, are making huge mistakes.

Let’s take this opportunity to go over some Instagram best-practice strategies.

Image expectations

First things first: Instagram is definitely a photo platform. Cameras on the latest smartphone models are 100 times better than what they once were, which means audiences expect crystal-clear photos – not blurry and not hidden behind filters. Forget filters – people want to see high-resolution, genuine quality images. If you’re still using an old phone, go to your dealer and upgrade immediately.

Remember also that Instagram was established as a mobile platform, so attempting to take photos with a camera and then transferring it to a computer is too hard and not worth the bother. Plus, those who are only using computers are probably doing it first thing in the morning or after work because that’s when they have time. This doesn’t allow for flexibility in scheduling the timing of posts to ensure the greatest number of people are seeing them.

Picture perfect

This next point is still on photos because, after all, the beauty of Instagram lies in images. Please note that what I’m about to say, I say with love and because I care: jewellers are awful at using photos for Instagram. Why do so many insist on continuing to post product images provided by suppliers? If retailers think that posting the same images that everyone else puts up – product on a plain white background – is going to do the trick, it’s not. Take your own photos! Seriously, take your own photos.

Filter or no filter?

There are all sorts of beliefs about filtering. Some say the ‘mayfair’ filter is the way to go, while others believe no filter is best. I’m very much into the no filter look at the moment, especially for jewellers. Filters often distort images, and honestly, I think businesses sometimes believe they are making a piece of art rather than providing a clear representation of what they have in-store. Remember, the aim of using Instagram for businesses is to increase interest in products and services so it’s important to ensure images reflect that.

I’ve also seen a couple of jewellers add a business watermark to images. I advise against this because there is a high risk that customers will think the post is the same each time. You know it’s a different ring or a different bracelet or a different diamond but the customer is going, “Boring. I’ve seen this for the last six months. It’s the same thing.”

Bios matter

Pay particular attention to Instagram bios and please include the business’ website address so people know how to find you. Bios allow for about three lines so, in addition to a website address, it would be really smart to include the business’ operating hours. A brief description is also a good idea. Be sure to use wording that accurately ‘sounds’ like the business – don’t employ highly sanitised phrases if that’s not how the business ‘talks’.

Website integration

The above point on listing website addresses is obviously only applicable if a business has a website. This is slightly off topic but important: if retailers don’t have a website in this day and age, then they need to get one ASAP.

The centre of any online presence should be a website, which is then supported by social media. Consider the website as the space you ‘own’ and the social media platforms as the space you ‘rent’. The fact that the business is on Instagram can then be promoted by adding the Instagram logo to the website.

Start today

While jewellers should have started using Instagram two to three years ago, it’s never too late. Don’t not start. Don’t wait until you’re perfect and don’t wait until you know everything. Download the app and begin today – otherwise it will be next year and we will be having the same conversation.

Stay tuned for the second part of this Instagram series, which will reveal, among other tips, how the platform can help retailers increase foot traffic.  

Click here for Instagram to Instaglam: Part 2 »

Debra Templar

Contributor • The Templar Group

Debra Templar is founder of The Templar Group, which offers retail consulting, training and keynote speaking. Visit:

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