From the start I’m going to have to disappoint you – there is no magical formula for achieving success on Instagram, despite the fact that since its acquisition by Facebook the algorithm for the explore section shows you posts of interest to you as opposed to accounts with many millions of followers. Over the course of a few months Jackie managed to increase the number of followers of @officialfaberge by tens of thousands people thanks to carefully planning each post and analysing the result. She, like me, publishes varied, quality and strictly curated content and devotes a lot of time to preparing the material.
To cut to the chase, here are some techniques that will increase the chances of your Instagram getting noticed.
Content is the key. An Instagram account populated with interesting, high quality, and diverse images is precisely what is going to make people want to hit the follow button. Brands should avoid thinking of this social network as a jewellery catalogue which they can fill with a ream of professional photos of items on a white background. Instead:
– demonstrate your imagination when creating content on your Instagram – it’s a story in pictures. You can publish photos of jewellery on someone or on their own, sketches and individual jewellery parts, you can focus on precious stones of on particular jewellery techniques etc.
– Invest in a semi-/professional camera instead of an IPhone. Just one low quality photo is enough to leave people with a negative impression of your Instagram;
– from time to time try publishing “real” instead of staged photographs, take your followers “behind the scenes” of the brand and repost the best photos of followers in your jewellery.
“A large reason for our consistent and strong organic growth on Instagram is the usage of well-photographed images. It has consistently been seen on our Instagram posts that the images which are clear and defined receive the most amount of likes and engagement. Furthermore, we have also found that when we post zoomed in images, ones which carefully show the facets of the stone or intricate details of the design, they always receive a higher amount of engagement,” says Jackie.
Instagram’s search engine detects what’s in your photo with the help of hashtags.
– Write under each photograph 7 to 10 words, which relate to it, and your snap will go into the top nine in the search until it is supplanted by a new shot with the same hashtag.
– To get the photo back into the top nine, you can republish a series of hashtags under the photo or use any of them in responses to comments.
-create a brand hashtag in order to create your own category of photographs. For example, a few years ago Danielle Miele from GemGossip created the tag #showmeyourrings which at the present time has registered over 150,000 posts.
Advice from Jackie: «Jewellery communities utilise hashtags as a way to find new sources of inspiration for jewellery and therefore, it is imperative that businesses use already existing and popular hashtags. In this aspect, Instagram is extremely useful as it shows the size of each hashtag group i.e. by displaying how many images have been posted using that particular hashtag. Furthermore, consistency is also crucial when utilising hashtags so that one’s brand continually appears in the same hashtag search».
Tagging at a jewellery exhibition or at any boutique, you will automatically add your photograph to those already taken at the same place by other people, helping you to increase the chances that your account will be seen by new followers. For example, during the Baselworld exhibition people would be able to find your photographs not just by hashtag but also by geotagging.
Working with an influencer
The goal of the owner of a business account is to present their Instagram to as wider audience as possible, this is best achieved with the help of a celebrity with hundreds of thousands if not millions of fans or an influencer in the desired sphere. The most important thing is to find a person (and not a general account), who has taste and style which matches your own, as an impressive number of Instagram followers does not necessarily guarantee success. I say this from my own experience when, before the seminar, I decided to promote my Instagram through an account with over a million followers dedicated to luxury. I did get a significant amount of likes o my picture but I could count the number of new followers on my fingers – this led me to question the authenticity of this widely followed account.
Joint projects and Instagram take-over
The “take-over” of someone’s Instagram occurs when the owner of a partner account allows you to publish your own photos over the course of one or two days. In this way, you will get a whole load of new followers over a very short course of time and even if your take-over partner has less than 100,000 fans your photos will be seen by thousands of people. A year ago, Danielle Miele from GemGossip published photos of antique jewellery on my account over the course of a day, whilst I published high jewellery pictures on her account. Danielle’s pictures were seen by my followers from different parts of the world – from China in the morning, from Europe in the day and from America in the evening. As a result we both gained several hundred followers over the course of just a day. By the way, our exchange of followers worked well because Danielle and I publish photos that showed different styles of jewellery – this indicates how important it is to pick the right take-over partner.
“All brands, small or large, are striving to increase their digital footprint and therefore, we suggest collaborating with other complimentary brands in order to increase each other’s social media following by tagging each other. For instance, Fabergé has begun monthly Instagram photo shoots with various prominent London restaurants. Both brands benefit as the images are shared and each brand is exposed to a potentially new social media audience,” comments Jackie.
Unfortunately it’s impossible to describe all the ways to popularise your account in a single article, therefore I suggest you try starting out with key methods described above and observe the results. Most important of all, as I said at the beginning, is to offer potential followers interesting content, which will cause them to hit the “follow” button when they come across your account.