Those in the market for a diamond engagement ring in Denver may want to consider a visit to The Diamond Reserve, especially if it’s a custom piece they have in mind. Shoppers should prepare themselves for an immersive experience, where they won’t just come away with a diamond—an education is a part of the package, too.
For Kaeleigh Testwuide, president of The Diamond Reserve, ensuring that clients understand what they’re buying—a thorough explanation of the Four Cs and beyond—is a major priority and one of the main goals of the private jeweler’s 2015 rebranding.
While Testwuide works to make her clients’ diamond dreams come true, she also stays busy preparing content for The Diamond Reserve’s social channels, taking beyond-gorgeous photos of its products to curate an eye-pleasing, super double-tap-able feed. All this and more makes her an ideal candidate talk to about the approach to finding your business’s best social side. Without further ado.
JCK: First, give us a little background on The Diamond Reserve and how it came to be.
Kaeleigh Testwuide: The Diamond Reserve was founded in 2009. For a long time it was just a marketing company, generating leads that were then handed off to a jeweler. After working for the brand for about 6 months, I saw what potential it had. In 2015 my husband and I became the owners, and I rebranded the company with the mission to educate the consumer on this very important purchase. When I originally rebranded, I knew who I wanted us to be, but that took time to develop. We just recently debuted a new website—we’re very excited about it and feel that it represents us authentically.
The concept of diamond education is a hallmark of your business. What is the engagement ring purchasing process like with The Diamond Reserve?
The purchasing process at The Diamond Reserve is much different than a retail store. We are by appointment only, ensuring that each and every client has our undivided attention and privacy. Every single one of our clients receives diamond education that goes far beyond the Four Cs—we are extremely transparent when it comes to education! We believe our clients deserve 100 percent honesty through the entire process. Once our clients have selected the diamond that speaks to them, we guide them in designing the engagement ring of their dreams. Every single ring is custom-made to fit their diamond perfectly—no stock settings. We are not pushy: We believe we are here to guide our client in making an educated decision, and want them to feel confident and excited about their purchase!
So you not only run a growing business, but you attend to its social media as well (@thediamondreserve has 14,000 followers at press time). For retailers wanting to up their social presence in 2019, what advice would you give them about prioritizing their efforts?
Social media presence is so important today. It is important to consistently post, keep your page well-curated with quality images, and stay engaged with your followers and potential followers. Staying engaged does not solely mean responding to comments on your posts: Comment thoughtfully on your follower’s posts as well and seek followers that make sense for your business. Coming up with a plan that fits your brand is key! Social media should fun but is often stressful—carve out a certain hour of your day to make it happen.
Your feed is exquisite—and I have heard that you take the photos of those diamonds yourself! Do you have any advice on the best way for retailers to photograph the products in their store? Does it seem like one type of photo is more well received than others?
Thank you very much! I work very hard at it. Some days I don’t get to posting, but I always get back up and running as soon as possible! There are a few tricks to taking pictures yourself. One is to invest in a high-quality camera with a macro lens. You also need a light box. There are really expensive ones for photographing jewelry—you don’t need that! There are great affordable ones and lighting available for purchase online. Once you have a good setup for taking images, pick an aesthetic and stick to it, make it speak for your brand. Have fun with it—taking the images should take time and practice. Once you have the image you love, edit it! I find on our Instagram account people love seeing close-up images of rings, but I try to mix it up and include images from photo shoots we participate in as well.
I love Instagram Stories! Do you use the feature often, and if so, what for?
We love Instagram Stories and use it all the time! We share several different things on our Stories, and it is a great place to post not-as-high–quality images and behind-the-scenes shots. One of our favorite things to share in Stories is our client’s proposals. We find that people love being connected to the real love stories, and our clients love being featured. When clients send us images we are always sure to get their permission before sharing. We also like to share behind-the-scenes at photo shoots we attend. Sharing videos of our stunning rings when they are finished is a must, but we are very careful with this. If we know a client’s significant other follows us, we always wait until after the proposal to share, as we don’t want to spoil anyone’s surprise!
Everyone has a different definition of success when it comes to social media. What is yours?
We don’t measure our success by followers or how many likes we get—it can take away from the fun of it all. We believe we must stay authentic to our brand and always put our clients first. Social media success is instead measured by how dedicated we remain day-to-day—if we miss a day, it is not the end of the world. If we miss a week, on the other hand, we know we need to kick it into gear and get motivated. We also measure our success by how many people are talking about us via social media: Being tagged every day is amazing, but three times a week is awesome, too!
I’ve asked a lot of questions about Instagram, but do you find other social media platforms to be vital to your business?
Instagram seems to be the mecca of social media right now, but we do find there are others that are important, too. Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to stay connected to our clients and also to generate leads. We post daily to our Google Business page, too—it’s so important to stay active on Google.
What do you think the next big thing is in social media?
I think the Stories feature will continue to grow and become more and more powerful, with new features and more ways to use it. Social media has come so far in such a short time, I am sure the growth will only continue, and I am excited myself to grow with it!
What are your five favorite Instagram accounts to follow (these can be jewelry or other)?
My ultimate favorite Instagram account I follow is @rachparcell—she is such a social media icon, timeless and chic. She is so family oriented and has always stayed authentic in building her brand.
@fitfatandallthat is another favorite and a local Denver influencer. This girl’s Stories always have me laughing, and I really appreciate her self-love: She is who she is, she is shameless, and social media needs more of that.
Another Denver influencer, @emmawlker, always has great fashion, her Stories are well done, and she just started a vlog. I started following Emma way back when and I knew then just as I know now, she is something special!
My all-time favorite in the jewelry world is the one and only @stephaniegottlieb. She has built such an amazing brand that people seek. I admire her work and all the amazing, big diamonds she is always posting.
My favorite wedding account to follow is @rockymtnbride. I think it is really important to stay in the know of bridal trends beyond jewelry. The Rocky Mountain Bride account is fun for me to follow because I always see wedding vendors that I know whose work is being shared there—it’s a good community, and I love being involved with it. Plus, who doesn’t love a little mountain wedding magic?
Social media pet peeve?
This past year I attended several wedding industry conferences, and one of the hot topics was social media. Speakers that talked about social media were not transparent on what it takes to grow. So many companies buy followers and use other paid services to grow their social accounts and that is okay—what isn’t okay is not being transparent about it, when talking to a group of people who paid for tickets to learn and get real talk. So I would say my biggest pet peeve is lack of transparency when it comes to talk on how to grow social media and become a major player. Like anything else, it often involves money.
A social media mantra to leave us with?
Tell your story.
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