Instagram made headlines on March 15, 2016 when it announced that they would change the way their feed works. Since its inception, Instagram was a simple social network that allowed all users to scroll through the most recent photos posted by their friends. Keep scrolling to see the most recent photos. On March 15th, they announced that they will reorganize the feed for what you might care about the most, which is exactly how the Facebook feed works.
Over the last few years, many jewelry designers have successfully built a following on Instagram while many retail jewelers didn't see a clear reason to get involved with it. Now with the reorganized feed, what was once a free marketing social network has turned into yet another pay-to-play network.
Some people innately understand social networking while others struggle to use it, and will welcome the chance to pay for placement. Instagram was a leader in photography filters that turned the most mundane photos into works of art. It also helped us view the world a little differently, which can be helpful for a business owner because you want your customers to view the world the way you view it.
Why You Should Use Instagram
Since it's a visual network, Instagram is especially easy to use by all businesses that have a product to sell. Simply show your products in action, how they'd be used, or the end result in their usage. For service companies, it's not as obvious what types of photos you should be posting. Service companies have to show the result of their work, or how they've helped their customers. Service companies often show photos of their community involvement too.
Creating An Intriguing Instagram
Jewelry designers can easily show their work from start to finish; that is, every step from the initial sketch to the final item over a series of days or weeks while a new item is being designed.
Retail jewelers can easily use Instagram to spotlight new designer lines they spot at a trade show and then the announcement when they are available in the store. There's also plenty of opportunity for retail jewelers to use Instagram as a style and accessory guide.
Because Instagram is only usable on a smartphone, the photography can take on a different point of view because you can place a smartphone anywhere to capture that unusual perspective. Popular shots on Instagram include top down photos from overhead, straight down photos at items arranged on a desk or the floor, angled upward photos from the ground, and any other unusual place that we, as humans, wouldn't normally see.
This first example is from the Nextiva phone company account. A phone company might seem a little dull, and no one wants to look at Instagram photos of the latest VoIP phone. Boring. Instead, Nextiva uses their Instagram account to document their community involvement. Here's a screen grab of their account showing their recent volunteer work at their local children's hospital:
This next example shows Jennifer Dawes Design Jewelry, a designer line that's available in several stores as well as through their website. As you can see here, they use their Instagram account to show off their own work and what's trending:
Today's Golden Nugget
Even though Instagram is heading towards the pay-to-play model, it will remain a valuable visual social network. Try using different hashtags and photo filters to attract attention and build a following.