If you caught Social Media 101, a webinar organized by JCK Events on Dec. 2, thank you for dialing in! I served as one of the panelists for the educational event, along with Communiqué PR’s cofounder Rebecca Moskal and JCK Events’ group marketing director Lauren Laramore, with JCK Event’s marketing associate Bryanne Baye in the moderator seat. We had 130 folks on the line for our 40-minute chat, followed by questions taken from the audience.
Immediately after the webinar, I noticed that four jewelry stores—including one in the U.K. and one in Canada—started following me on Instagram (the most significant social media site we discussed), so I hope that more will follow, heeding our tips to utilize the free platforms to market themselves and ultimately generate sales.
If you wanted to call in but couldn’t, here’s a link to the entire audio presentation.
But if you don’t have time for that, here are my takeaways from the Instagram portion of the webinar, which also covered blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Instagram is all about photos. “The pictures can be product focused or offer more lifestyle content,” maintained Moskal. “But they should have a signature look and feel and be brand appropriate.”
Use Instagram to give first looks at collections or survey followers on preferences, but always be sure to engage. I encourage users to comment on others’ posts and “like” images. This seems to be an organic means of increasing followers.
Be open to selling pieces posted on Instagram. Marla Aaron is a poster child for building sales using Instagram, and Moskal advises placing “links in bios with more information, including where to buy and contact info.”
Credit your photos and use hash tags. Many ’Grammers simply borrow the professional images of designers and use those in their feeds, but that can lead to copyright issues. Use your own original photos, or, regram—using the Repost app—the pictures of others. Regramming apps like Repost clearly state that you have reposted pictures from the feeds of others. Hash tags, meanwhile (#jewelry, #luxury, etc.) help non-followers find you and your content by searching for terms of interest. This is how actress Debra Messing of @therealdebramessing found me on Instagram a couple of years ago, by searching #gorgeousjewels, which I used in a post of rings from a photo shoot.
Post upwards of seven times a week. Moskal suggests using programs such as Buffergram or Schedugram to plan activity. And according to research I found on Latergram.me, another service that allows you to schedule your posts in advance, 5 p.m. EST is—in general—the best time of day to post to get the most engagement.
In closing, Laramore encouraged us not to get overwhelmed by all of the platforms available and to choose the ones that make the most sense for you and your business. (I encourage you to make Instagram your top priority!) Laramore also reminded the audience of the importance of engaging with followers by leaving feedback and comments—not just liking and following posts—and never buy followers, as some may consider receiving untargeted inquiries as spam. (I wholeheartedly agree with that tip!) And if you don’t have anything to say, don’t stress about it. “Don’t say anything at all,” Laramore urged.
Grumpy Cat has a handle on Instagram and 1 million followers. If a cat has a handle, so should your store.
The Style 360 blog is your editorial source for the newest jewelry, trends, market, analysis, trade show insights, designer profiles, and more.