Social media is where many consumers first meet a brand.
Social media is where many consumers first meet a brand.
That first impression can be the difference between a business making a customer for life and being simply lost in the deluge of content. Rather than there being just a few big media outlets influencing consumers’ style decisions, there are thousands of influencers vying for attention on social media, each with their own micro-niches. Likewise, local retail businesses aren’t just competing with each other for local business; they are competing with online-only brands that thrive on social media. Some of these social media influencers are bloggers or amateurs who have garnered a following as a link between consumers and professionals, while others are small jewelry designers with a strong aesthetic sensibility and connection to their consumer base.
Jewelry is a natural fit for Instagram’s format. Gemstones look great in close-up photography, and a picture of a ring on a finger or a bracelet on a wrist can be shown at or near actual size. And since the viewer is most likely scrolling through Instagram on a phone, that photo of a hand or wrist is already close to their own hand or wrist, making it easy to imagine wearing the piece. It makes sense why so many jewelry designers and influencers are finding success on Instagram. Following the example of some of the more successful ones can help your business stand out on social media and tap into new markets.
Tracy Ellison, The Diamonds Girl, originally made her name as a jewelry blogger, and over the years she has formed relationships with some of the biggest names in the industry. She’s gained the trust of industry professionals and jewelry buyers alike, and Instagram her account is closing in on a million followers.
Instagram is a visual medium, but it’s important not to overlook the text portion of a post. This is where Tracy gets to connect with her audience, drawing on her experience as a blogger, writing about each piece in an enthusiastic and authentic voice that encourages followers to post replies.
Her account also takes full advantage of all of Instagram’s features, sharing content not only as posts but also as videos, reels, and guides. Guides first appeared on the platform in May 2020, but many users still ignore this feature. Tracy’s guides include holiday gift guides and jewelry gift guides at different price points.
This account is run by “two history nerds curating gorgeous, rare antique jewelry from the 17th-20th centuries. The weirder the backstory, the more we love it.” The two nerds in question are Erica Weiner and Lindsay Salmon, whose friendship and history together is detailed on their website. What makes this account so compelling to its 145,000 followers is not only the beautiful photography of rare, antique jewelry. Its appeal also lies, as the bio suggests, in the stories attached to these pieces. Each photo is captioned with a brief story about the piece that both educates and explains the piece’s appeal.
These may be museum pieces, but the tone isn’t all serious and reverent. Being Millennials themselves, Lindsay and Erica know how to connect with Millennial and Gen Z jewelry aficionados. One reel makes use of the popular “please don’t be ugly” audio clip, which originated from a video of a girl playing the popular Nintendo Switch video game Animal Crossing. In the game, players collect random animal villagers who might have, let’s say, varying degrees of cuteness. The girl in the original video is desperate for a cute villager, and she screams in delight when she gets one. The audio quickly became a meme on TikTok, used in a variety of situations, and it fits perfectly into this particular Instagram reel, in which a ring box is slowly opened to reveal a beautiful piece of antique jewelry.
You don’t have to be a curator of Victorian jewelry to tell a story. Great photography is just the beginning; being able to attach a story to each piece that you’re selling will forge a stronger connection between your jewelry and the person on the other side of the screen.
The Clear Cut, an online-only retailer that specializes in engagement rings, does two things particularly well for their 158,000 followers: customer-submitted photos and engaging content. Every third post or so features a pair of engagement photos submitted by one of their customers. The first captures the moment of the proposal itself, while the second focuses on the ring. The caption asks followers to “DOUBLE TAP ❤️ to congratulate this #ClearCutCouple on their engagement 💍” and swipe to look at the ring itself. The Clear Cut also posts videos titled “This or That!” in which founder and gemologist Olivia Landau presents two stones, describes their features, and asks viewers, “Which one would you choose?” These posts typically generate far more engagement than the account’s other posts, as there is a clear call to action.
Simply soliciting opinions from followers can go a long way to creating a sense of community around an account. By creating community, your social media presence can become more than just another sales channel or a platform for advertisement. It becomes something that creates value for potential customers, providing entertainment, education, and a chance to connect with like-minded people. It’s this sort of authentic connection that will help you find customers on social media.
These three Instagram accounts are associated with three different types of jewelry businesses, but they all share something in common: they know who their audience is, and they seek to create an authentic connection with them. Anyone can sell something online; the question is, what else can you give a consumer? Can you take them to places they might not normally be able to go? Can you tell a story, educate your followers, and speak the language of younger consumers? Can you connect with consumers and build community? What do you have that’s unique and authentic that will help you stand out on social media?