Mainstream and commercial brands were the first to do “the soil probing.” However, from 2013 onwards, they were followed by a number of elite and exclusive jewellers, whose pieces could only be seen by appointment in a showroom, at a prestigious exhibition or catalogues of auction houses. What do they find most appealing about Instagram and what do they expect to gain from the application? To get the answers, read on…
“Instagram is a visual place for visual people to learn, experience and share ideas, passions, and beauty. My world is quite small as my business is very exclusive. So, to be a part of a much larger community, even if only digitally, is quite fascinating and inspiring. I approach Instagram as I approach my jewellery: I focus on creating and sharing; the rest is for the public to decide,” says Anna Hu, Taiwan-born private jeweller, whose creations regularly adorn celebrities on the Red Carpet, including the likes of actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Suzanne Syz, Swiss-based exclusive designer, who is famed for her unconventional and even humorous approach to jewellery, showcases her pieces at prestigious jewellery fairs like Masterpiece London. One can also make an appointment at her showroom in Geneva. Since June 2013, Suzanne began sharing her creations on Instagram; this allowed her followers a glimpse of her creative world.
“I believe Instagram is both a business tool and something fun. In the beginning, I used it for pleasure, but it turned out to be a business tool as well and we got some new clients through the platform. The strength of Instagram is that a picture is so easy to analyse, you can pass a message or get the information about people or brands whom you follow in a second,” says Suzanne.
Indeed, Instagram is the favourite application of more than 400 million users, who are based in various parts of the world and belong to different social classes. The proportion of wealthy people on Instagram, who can afford to buy even the most exquisite piece of jewellery, as opposed to other social networks, is quite high. The reason probably is that Instagram meets their requirements of being straightforward in operation, while ensuring fast delivery of information that is of interest to them and, most importantly, privacy (to create a profile a minimum data is required and an account can be made private so that no one else can see your images apart from those who you authorise).
Prestigious German jeweller Hemmerle began using Instagram, its only social media account, in June 2014. According to Christian Hemmerle, Instagram has become a global platform to engage with new audiences, including curators and collectors, art and jewellery lovers as well as connoisseurs.
“Through our curated posts, one is able to discover and learn more about our four generations of craftsmanship, dedication to exceptional quality and use of innovative material combinations; some of the various aspects that describe our unostentatious, unique creations. Each post for us is the beginning of a story, which we invite people to absorb, enjoy and interact with. For Hemmerle, the biggest asset on Instagram is the strength of the image; it is the most significant element for user interaction,” adds Christian.
Even now, after using Instagram for many years, many brands perceive this platform to be a mere ‘shop window’ or brand catalogue and only upload professional pack-shot jewellery images. However, according to Avanti Goenka, daughter of Mumbai-based elite jewellery designer, Bina Goenka, it is not enough to increase the number of followers.
“You have to be very clever about what you put on Instagram and play around to understand what works best for you. For us, mixing the content, showcasing jewellery, sketches or my mother’s photos is the best way to gain a higher amount of engagement. A brand should keep surprising its followers, which means investing time and effort in having a beautiful and engaging account. It pays off though. In fact, in December, we sold 11 significant pieces in one order via our Instagram account,” says Avanti.