North Little Rock, AR—Laura Stanley of Stanley Jewelers Gemologists decided to up her Instagram game. Stanley has been doing social media since 2010, beginning on Facebook. While she felt Stanley’s was receiving a solid amount of engagement from their customers, a number of recent events convinced her to expand her social media reach.
“The recipe I’ve used for the last few years was to post our blog entry each morning and in mid-afternoon to do a pretty picture with text,” said Stanley. “I thought that was working pretty well.” For her daily routine, Stanley uses The Jeweler Blog service that provides her with daily content, which she posts to Facebook each morning. Her afternoon posts had a carefully written paragraph (that she wrote) along with a photo. The store’s Facebook account also posted directly to Twitter via an automatic feed. Stanley spent about 10 minutes a day on Facebook posting.
The catalyst. Stanley operates a customer-oriented book club, called Glitterature, through Stanley Jewelers Gemologists. Its members communicate on Facebook in a private group. In a one-week period, three members told Stanley they were not on Facebook, but on Instagram. Stanley’s first reaction was, “Ugh, now I have to post in both places to reach my entire group.”
Then she went to the American Gem Society Conclave (AGS) and heard a number of various speakers talk about social media. In particular, she heard Jennifer Shaheen of Technology Therapy (see more Centurion articles by Shaheen here, here, and here) and something clicked after that session and talking with her fellow AGS members. “After Conclave, I left all fired up to do something to improve our Instagram presence.”
The instagram post, Stanley was an Instagram user already, so she investigated it for businesses. “I found out that I could post to Instagram and it would let me link to Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler at the same time, then I could hit four at once. So suddenly it wasn’t a big deal to post to Instagram.” Stanley’s posts were already hitting Twitter, but now she would have greater reach.
“What Instagram made me do was to think ‘pretty picture’ and hashtags. You can edit your photos with filters directly on your phone, so that was easy. And I have been getting creative with hashtags. I think people really like to scan hashtags on Instagram.” She also streamlined her photo taking process by using a standard flat pink surface so that her jewelry photos have some consistency. (More good jewelry photography tips are here and here.) Having that in place speeds up her process so that she actually posts more often on Instagram since it’s so quick to do.
Hashtags can be fun and memorable. A recent one has a recurring role, since it was well-received. #bigfatdiamondring now can be seen often on all of Stanley’s social media platforms.
And that carefully constructed paragraph that was the longest part of the process to write? “Gone,” said Stanley. “A good picture gets more attention than good writing.”
Stanley doesn’t just post jewelry on Instagram, she also makes good use of videos. You can tune in and see her showing how she strings pearls or makes a bow on Stanley’s bow machine (top of page).
And how long does this new process take? “About two minutes a day,” says Stanley.
The results. The results are found in both outreach and actual sales, says Stanley. “Our Instagram feed links to my personal Facebook page as well as the store’s page. Since I started up on Instagram, I’ve had a lot more jewelry conversations online with friends, many whom I haven’t seen in years. I believe those will translate to better sales and keep me top of mind.”
Adding a flat pink surface background helps keeps images consistent.
In the past months, Stanley had a high-school friend come by for watch repairs; someone she hadn’t seen in many years. He mentioned her Instagram postings. She also had customers who saw a post about an alexandrite and stopped in to see it. While they didn’t want to foot the $90,000 price tag for that stone, they did spend $1,500 on something else. And Stanley posted a picture of the store’s e-mail newsletter on Instagram, had a new customer see it, open a Wells Fargo credit account, and spend $1,000 on a treat for herself.
Stanley summarizes her Instagram experience by crediting Facebook. “Most of our Instagram followers are industry people,” she says. “The reposting on the store’s Facebook page and my personal page are where people are seeing it.” Instagram offers her better exposure in a much faster experience. Stanley gets an occasional repost from AGS to their consumer group, also giving her additional exposure. She understands the power of having a random person see and share her posts.
With 388 followers on Instagram and only 130 posts, her results are pretty solid for a short period of time.
“Every time you get a share, someone new sees your jewelry,” says Stanley, explaining why she’s continually tweaking her social media presence. It’s working well for Stanley Jewelers!