Instagram lends itself well to the jewelry industry because of its platform’s focus on imagery. It’s easy to learn and easy to use, however for brands who wish to use Instagram for digital marketing, following these simple tips can help get the most out of it.
Choosing an Instagram Username
Choose a username that includes a reference to jewelry. Instead of “@MarcyLane” go for “@MarcyLaneJewelry” so that people will immediately know what your account is all about just by your name. This will also attract the attention of users who are interested in buying jewelry (your target audience). If you do not include a keyword in your name, it can make it more difficult for you to gain traction in the community, and it will take longer to build a following.
Taking Instagram Pictures
Instagram is meant to be seen on mobile devices, so your pictures will be pretty tiny. This is good if you are using a cellphone to snap shots, because you don’t have to worry about getting every detail perfect like you would if you were photographing something for a print advertisement or magazine feature. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore quality!
*PROTIP: Natural Light: Photograph outdoors during the daytime or near a window for lovely natural lighting. The brighter your light, the easier it will be for your cellphone to focus, and the crisper and cleaner your image will be (not to mention, gemstones and diamonds will sparkle more beautifully under natural light!).
DSLR or Point and Shoot Camera Pictures
Consumer or Pro cameras give you a lot more options for photographing. You can control the images more and get crisper, might higher quality images, using aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Whether you use a Macro lens or not will be a creative choice. Using a macro lens will cause a low depth of field. Low DOF = blurry background, so if you don’t want any blur in your photos, then use a regular lens.
Shutter speed: If you have a tripod, you can set a low shutter speed. No tripod, then use 60 or higher.
ISO: If you can keep your Shutter speed low (<60) then you can generally keep a lower ISO. A higher aperture will start to make your picture look grainy and pixellated, so avoid that as much as possible!
*PROTIP: Some cameras do better with graininess and pixellation than others. Full frame Canon cameras generally do okay up until about 800-1200. Increasing the light around your jewelry will allow you to keep a lower ISO.
I will be posting another article about DSLR jewelry photography advice soon, so stay tuned!
Here is my step by step formula for posting on instagram:
- Take picture. OPTIONAL: I usually edit pictures in Lightroom, whether I take them on my phone or on my pro camera, before sending them to instagram.
- Open in instagram. This process depends on your cellphone brand and which version of the app you have. You can generally open the image through the app, or you can open the app by choosing the image from your phone gallery.
- OPTIONAL: Refine the picture using instagram’s editing features. Generally, high contrast, colorful, bold, sharp pictures do well when seen on tiny cellphone screens. *PROTIP: Keep your look consistent in order to maintain and reinforce your jewelry brand.
- Click “post” which will bring you to a description screen.
- Add a description. Keep it short! People are on instagram to look at cool pics, not to read a novel! Include contact info if you are looking to sell the featured piece. Use words like “beautiful” “gorgeous” “brilliant” etc to hype up your piece.
- Add #Hashtags. Hashtags are your keywords. They allow people in your target audience to find your picture, so keep your hashtags focused! A hashtag such as #lindsayspicks is useless unless you are trying to make it “a thing” or using it as deliberate branding. Instead, use words and terms that are relevant to the picture.
- My favorite hashtags to use for jewelry are #jewelry, #jewellery, #jewelrygram, #fashion, #style, #beautiful
- Include the type of jewelry: #necklace, #bangle
- Describe the jewelry: #gold, #diamond, #ruby
- Use insta-keywords: #instajewelry, #instagood, #instacool
- Research the keywords that your competitors use, and use those.
- Post your picture!
- Monitor results. Keep checking back on your picture to see how many likes it gets, and how quickly those likes come in. This can help you decide what kind of pictures work and what kind do not. Give the people what they want! If one picture is more popular, then try taking more pictures like that one.
*PROTIP: Sometimes people may post pictures on their instagram account that don’t have anything to do with their jewelry. I simply recommend that whatever you post be consistent with your brand, and to keep unrelated stuff to a minimum (especially if you are targeting the high end market). People like consistency. If they “follow” you for your jewelry photos, and suddenly you post a picture of your cat, it might be off-putting. Or if you post a series of professional, high quality photos, and then suddenly post some blurry cellphone photos, dramatically decreasing your image quality, you will likely lose followers.
How often should you post on instagram?
Typically you should post twice a day. Once is fine. Three times is fine if there is an event, or if you are spacing out your posts by several hours. But you don’t want to A: post a ton of pictures and overwhelm your followers’ instagram feeds, or B: stop posting for months. It’s important to maintain your accounts in order to retain your hard-earned following and continue interacting with your audience. Your instagram feed can act as a digital storefront. Imagine that you are placing each piece of jewelry in front of 5, 10, 20, or thousands of people who are interested in your product. That’s a LOT of potential customers! You want to be sure that your following is thinking about your brand and your products each and every day.
*PROTIP: Netizens (internet citizens) are creatures of habit. When you post pictures daily, you may notice that the same people “like” your pictures each time or most of the time. To these people, your brand is a part of their daily routine, which is an amazing thing! These type of followers will likely “like” a picture no matter the quality, simply because they are fans of your brand. They love you and identify with you! This is a special connection that is easily lost if you suddenly stop posting for an extended period of time.
How do you get more likes / followers on instagram?
You can do this the “white hat” or good, organic way, OR you can do this the “black hat” bad practice way.
A: Post consistently and follow a formula for user interaction and searchability to get the most out of each post (recommended).
B: Buy likes / followers on a website such as fiverr (NOT recommended).
Organic is always best. If you buy likes and followers, it’s possible that the usernames you buy are fake accounts, or accounts that will not interact with any of your future posts. It will look pretty funny if you have 30,000 followers, but only 2-3 likes on each picture.
Here’s my PROTIP for getting more followers: After posting your picture, go into every hashtag you have included in your description, and like other people’s posts within that hashtag. Try to “like” posts by ordinary people, who may become potential customers. Sometimes when users see that a stranger has “liked” their post, they will check out that person’s instagram page. If they like what they see, they will click that “follow” button for more!
- Having a username with “jewelry” or other related keyword comes in handy here. Users who are looking to “follow” more jewelry pictures on instagram will be more likely to check out your posts.
This process may take some time and energy, but it’s effective.
Final instagram Tips
Don’t give up!
It might feel discouraging to post a beautiful picture and only get one or two likes, but continue applying the above tips every day, and you will see your follower and like count increase. It won’t happen overnight, though. Progress will take months of careful dedication, but as the entire economic market shifts to digital, the payoff of achieving a popular and brand solidifying social media presence is priceless!
After you first set up your account, post 5-10 images to your instagram page so that users who check you out later on will get a better sense of your brand and are more likely to “follow” you. If you only have one or two pictures up, people won’t really get a sense of who you are, so they are less likely to “follow.”
After you achieve about 600 followers, more and more people will follow your page. It’s true that crowds will follow popular trends, so if it looks like your page is trendy, then your follower rate will increase. However, I still do not recommend buying followers for this purpose.
Connecting to facebook or twitter: If you are not likely to update other platforms, then connect them. However, you will be losing opportunities to cater posts directly to the platform and get the most out of each post. I’ll be writing more about this in the future.
Keep your follower count LOW. It might be tempting to “follow4follow” to increase your numbers, but not only will following hundreds of people while only having a handful of followers will look desperate, but it won’t get you the audience you want. Your followers should be people who are interested in your product, and following you because of your brand and work… not because they want you to follow them back in some digital popularity contest.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at email@example.com!