A picture was once worth a 1,000 words, but today it’s worth 1,000 likes. For fine jewelry brands and retailers, a single picture could be worth hundreds – or thousands – of dollars in revenue. A recent L2 Think Tank study showed Instagram remains the number one channel for retailers to engage consumers. The research showed that Instagram follower interactions are 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.

The study also showed that one third of all Instagram users made purchases on their phone, thus making them 70 percent more likely to do so than other platform users. As the most used photo app in the market, Instagram has created a new wave of influence and revenue opportunities for brands and retailers alike – especially in the fine jewelry category. To ride this wave now and into the future, we have three tips to achieve success:

  1. Be Inspirational 

ja-instagram-2Instagram is a platform to build emotional bonds – an opportunity for brands to show their ‘ethos’” – meaning their values, personalities, and passions. For jewelers, Instagram is the perfect platform for your brand to show (not tell) who you are and inspire your could-be customers. Why is inspiration important? Because people respond to positive emotions. It’s what makes us shop. A great example of a jeweler being inspirational is Gumuchianwho focuses on female customers over the age of 30.

2. Be Human 

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Customers want to know more about your brand – beyond the latest product launch. It is about the connection, which is directly related to the inspiration we discuss above. On Instagram, you will find that customers are curious about the people behind the designs and want to learn more about your company. To do this, give them an inside look. You can upload a picture of your sketches strategically angled to show a part of your process. If your brand was born out of an artful aesthetic, show it in your images.

Giving your customers visual context allows them to connect to your brand on a much deeper level. Humanizing your brand also helps engage your audience. Your images must evoke a feeling that incites action. A great example of Jacquie Aiche. The products are the focal point of all their images, but the photos aren’t product based; they provide context in real life situations. The photos are about a person, instead of just about a thing.

3. Be Shoppable 

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Did you know that Instagram is predicted to bring in $2.81 billion in mobile ad revenue worldwide by 2017? Jewelers should be asking how they can possibly monetize their social feeds. If you have an e-commerce site, then it’s fairly easy to integrate shopping into Instagram either directly via Instagram’s shopping video or photo ads or through tools like Like2Buy, Olapic, or Soldsie. A great example of this is Tiffany & Co (featured below). What’s exciting about Tiffany’s feed is not that it’s commerce connected, but that it plays directly to our first two points above. What’s more interesting and bold is the fact that the luxury brand has allowed multiple points of view to come through. This is not something typically found in a high-end brand, but Tiffany’s is clearly catering to multi-generational audiences.

If your brand doesn’t have an e-commerce site, Instagram recently released new business features that allow you to add a “contact” button to your profile. The contact button shows followers how to get in touch with you. By enabling a phone number, you can easily have customers call and request items they see in your feed. Just make sure that your descriptions and photos come with clear pricing to initiate that sort of action.

Establish Platform Goals and Metrics

Instagram now has 400 million users and still holds the highest engagement rates in the U.S. How are you going to use it to share your brand’s stories in pictures and video? We hope the above steps help you put Instagram to work for you.

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All photos sourced from Instagram and comply with Instagram’s terms of service.