September 16, 2015

We got to sit in on a seminar for Etsy sellers presented by designer and social media maven Molly Clarke, of The Ring Liaison and Rock That Gem, and learned some secret -- and simple -- tricks of Instagram to set your brand apart. As Molly pointed out, Instagram is a positive community focused on creating and sharing with others, so don't be shy get started building your brand presence. Here are 7 tips for succeeding with Instagram:

1. Photography is #1, obviously.

Molly suggests using natural light wherever possible, and emphasized the importance of quality and focus (see a great example from her Instagram feed below). When using filters, stick to one or two to give your photos a consistent brand look. Think of ways to give your photos a unique or consistent look with interesting backgrounds and settings. It's as easy as jewelry on wrapping paper with pops of colors; use interesting arrangements of product (rings placed in a circle, a rainbow of gemstone bracelets); don't be afraid of negative space and place your product off-center. Check out @violettinder for a look at a very consistent and unique brand photo style.  

2. Don't Forget to Hashtag

Hashtags (#) allow you to "tag" your photos within certain categories and searched terms. Use descriptive words similar to your product name when hashtagging products. Molly suggests creating a hashtag unique to your store or brand to help fans follow you. A useful tip is to include only a few hashtags in the main photo caption, and then create a comment where you include other searchable hashtags to increase viewers of your photos. As other people comment, that comment will be hidden and won't clutter your photo caption. We've included @wanderluxejewelry below as an example of this smart hashtag trick!

3. Post Daily (or Close to It)

Frequency is key with Instagram. Daily posts are ideal, but if that's not possible, post at least a couple of times a week. Pay attention to when your photos are getting the most likes and tailor the timing of your posts to hit when you'll get the most views.

4. Be Creative, but Be Relevant

Posts don't need to be all business, but they do need to be relevant to your and your followers interests. Some relevant topics to jewelers: posts that celebrate your company or staff's accomplishments and milestones, any jewelry or fashion-related events you attend, buying trips, photos of your design process, custom work in progress, and -- of course -- your jewelry products. See how Molly celebrated a special milestone for The Ring Liason below -- it's eye-catching, gets attention and connects with her fan base.

5. Make the Most of Helpful Apps

Molly offered a hit list of apps that help make your Instagram photos and videos stand apart:

6. Regram

Instagram is a community, make sure to contribute to it. When customers and followers post photos wearing your product, repost them on your account ("regram" them in Instagram speak). It shows that you are paying attention, and let's others see the jewelry on real people not displays or models, which garners interest from future clients.

To succeed on Instagram all you need is phone camera, a passion for your product, a little creativity and very steady hands. Get started today and tag your posts with #rockthatinstagram to show Molly and others how you're incorporating these tips! For inspiration, check out Molly Clarke on Instagram @ringliaison and @rockthatgem.

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