We have hit the social media jackpot, folks. If you don’t know Benjamin Guttery—and you probably do—then you at least know his wildly popular @thirdcoastgems, a self-described Instablog, a name that is perfectly apt for what it is. You could say that Guttery is the industry’s best friend, and that would be true: His inclination for boasting about jewelry brands on their behalf has stolen the heart of your truly (and we haven’t even met in person, which is, in a word, ridiculous), and his nearly 70,000 Instagram followers likely agree.
From my perspective, @thirdcoastgems came out of thin air. I don’t even remember how I found the account; all I know is that I was hooked for life from the moment I saw it. From Benjamin’s perspective—well, I’m sure there’s a lot more to it than that. I’m certain that even the tiniest glimpse into the mind of one of the industry’s current greatest brand advocates will impart a lesson or two unto anyone using social media—in the industry or not.
Your passion for independent jewelers is infectious—what drives you?
Benjamin Guttery: I’ve been working in the jewelry industry for almost 11 years now, many of those for independents. So, focusing on them and all of the artists they carry was natural for me. My tagline has been “When you have a true passion for something, it’s contagious.” I truly want to bring excitement back to the consumer.
How do you find new and up-and-coming jewelers to share with all of us?
Guttery: Scrolling on social media feeds all day long! But honestly, at this point, I’m contacted often by brands, PR agencies, or even fellow jewelry lovers. I often discover some of the best new talent on my “city tours” while traveling the country.
Your favorite jewelry trend right now?
Guttery: I have an obsession: an #OmbreObsession. Anything with gradient colors I’m all over.
Do you keep separate social media accounts for personal versus business use?
Guttery: I do, though I don’t post often on my personal. I want to share certain aspects of my life with everyone. I’m definitely not a “jewelry robot.”
What is your favorite social media platform for business? For personal use?
Guttery: 1,000% Instagram for business. The same goes for Facebook being for personal.
First social media site you check in the morning?
Guttery: Instagram. Gotta check the ‘gram.
Your feelings on Pinterest: Do you use it? If yes, in what capacity?
Guttery: I never use Pinterest. I claimed my account, but it’s pretty barren.
Tell us a social media success story.
Guttery: I’d like to think of “social media success” being measured in actually making a difference. So I go back to discovering artists like @freestonepeach, @marlaaaron, and @danabronfman, then watching their successes and development over the years. It’s been more rewarding than any amount of likes.
What do you think is the new thing in social media—or, do you have any predictions on where we’re headed next?
Guttery: I love Stories on Instagram. As soon as they tied that in, my Snapchat turned into a personal page. It’s been very active for me, and I show a different side of me.
Guttery with @diamondoodles’ Hannah Becker
Five favorite jewelry-related accounts to follow on Instagram. GO.
Guttery: @diamondoodles: She makes me laugh, learn, and her creativity inspires me. @liz_kantner: She shares some very cool fine, fashion, and handmade artisans. @erikakwinters: I mean, have you seen her jewels? Have you seen her photography? @topnotchfaceting: Unique gems from lesser known sources. Plus, his cutting is next to none. And @ericacourtneyjewels: She’s “Indiana Jones in six-inch heels.” Enough said.
OK, 5 favorite nonjewelry-related accounts to follow.
Guttery: @mytherapistsays for hilarious memes. @anotherseattleartist: amazing pottery artist with limited edition series. @textsfromyourex—nothing more to say there. @neighborsfromhell because we’ve all had one, and @stormsjack, a groundbreaking glass artist and sculptor.
A recent shot from Guttery’s time in Key West
Social media pet peeve?
Guttery: Having my original photos used by designers, stores, and industry organizations, without being credited. It happens more often than you think, especially since now 90% of my page is my original photography.
If you could offer one piece of advice to anyone just getting into the social media arena, what would it be?
Guttery: Be consistent and tell YOUR story.
We’ve been talking a lot about memes and how brands can capitalize on them as of late. Give us your favorite example of a brand that cashed in on a current meme’s popularity.
Guttery: As of late, the airlines are all over it. Southwest Airlines killed it with their response to the United Airlines scandal.
And finally, what’s your favorite meme?
Guttery: My husband told me not to be “too blingy” at the airport or on our vacation recently. This was my response: