TOP FIVE: Companies to follow on Instagram for business inspiration

Many in the jewellery industry will keep a close eye on their competitor’s social media channels, but a small proportion will look for inspiration outside of the trade. With so many companies nailing Instagram and boosting business through this picture-led app, communications consultant, Becky Güth, has selected five key accounts brands and retailers should start following…

According to Instagram, 2017 saw the photo sharing social media platform boast over 800 million active monthly users worldwide, with over 500 million checking the site each day — a figure that has likely risen considerably since then.

To give you an idea, that is the same as if every single person in the UK and the USA had Instagram – then multiply that by two – then add some more. Yes, it’s a pretty big deal. When holding that figure in mind, you can see why the likes of the Kardashian family can command over $100,000 per post — and why brands are more than willing to pay that. Without a shadow of a doubt, Instagram has become one of the most influential selling tools of the modern day, allowing a potential shopper to feel like a brand lives the same life as them, whatever that may be.

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What does this all have to do with the UK jewellery industry, one that is often believed to run solely on face to face interactions? Well, I recently went to an exhibition at the V&A which showcased one of the first ethical clothing brands introduced into Harrods in 1989. When looking at that now, it seems a little late in the day, no? That is exactly how people are starting to feel when they search for a brand on Instagram and it isn’t there.

How can – in such a technologically savvy age – you not be somehow represented on one of the biggest social networking sites in the world? Immediate distrust follows and, in all likelihood, the decision to shop somewhere else. You might think this dramatic, but when you are reminded of the figures above, it seems not.

I have spoken to a number of brands over the years who are either not on Instagram or greatly neglect it and the most frequent response I hear as to why is, “I don’t know what I’m doing”. Personally, I think in these situations the best way to learn is through experience; trial and error. Yes, H&M will have a multiple strong team of social media experts who tailor every single word of every single post, but they also command a good share of the global shopping market space, so maybe don’t worry about that and start out small.

If you already have customers, you should hopefully know something about the people they are and the way they shop — tap into that. One way is to look at the other brands they shop with and see how they draw them in.

Here I have rounded up a couple of my favourite accounts from high street and designer fashion, through to homeware, cosmetics and shoes, giving you a rundown of what makes each special.

PRIMARK
Primark. The word can either strike fear or utter delight into people’s minds. Personally, I am a huge fan of their Instagram. One of the very few global brands that survives without selling online; their business model is one of fast fashion — too fast to be able to keep track of e-commerce sales. What I like about Primark’s Instagram is that it is totally accessible; it knows who it is targeting and it goes after them. It has managed to do this so well, that people are now proud to show off their purchases, allowing the brand to coin the hashtag #Primania; keeping track of what people are buying. At writing, that hashtag has been used almost 71,000 times — not too shabby for a brand you can only pick up in a bricks and mortar store. Check out their Instagram for a mixture of flat lay images (products styled in a lifestyle way, but without a model), models in fun locations, and uplifting quotes — millennial perfection. Well their 6.2 million followers think so.

JACQUEMUS 
Next up Jacquemus. Created in 2009 by the brand’s founder, Simon Porte Jacquemus, the fashion-house had a great deal of recognition in the press this summer thanks to its wildly oversized straw beach hats. The mixture of romantic and fantastical in his designs made me sit up and take note and 713,000 followers later, his Instagram is one of my favourite to immerse myself in. So simple, yet utterly eye-catching, the account uploads images in threes, with them all having a similar vibe, or theme. For example, a recent set is Kendall Jenner in a crisp white outfit of his, but in slightly different shots. It is nothing if not striking and effective.

ROCKETT ST GEORGE 
A little while back I was introduced to Rockett St George, a gorgeous homeware brand. I neither own a home nor have any aspirations to start looking at paint swatches in B&Q anytime soon, but you can be sure I like every single one of RSG’s Instagram posts. Not only is everything they post to their 95,800 followers visually delicious, but its totally aspirational. It calls up thoughts of what you could buy for that fictional house you’ve dreamed of since you were a child. It’s art. On top of that they are utter hashtag geniuses, making sure to utilise key ones that will bring them the right visitors. Take a look and see how they tailor it not only to their industry, but also to their brand ethos.

LOUBOUTIN
Louboutin. 11.4 million followers. Would sell soul for a pair. Besides an undying love for the shoes, the Instagram is magnificent. Both whimsical and totally aspirational. I can’t afford a pair of shoes from them and I can imagine a great deal of the others following can’t either, so why do they have such a huge following? Because it feeds the soul just looking at it! They use a mixture of pictures, videos, boomerangs, bright colours, graphics and light-hearted captions, so even if you can’t afford your own pair, you can still feel a part of that world. The perfect designer brand to look at when wanting to keep long term customers happy whilst not excluding the possible, and all important, one-off buyer.

MAC COSMETICS
Finally, Mac — known world-wide for the lipsticks you can never have too many of. What works for them? Besides being utterly delectable to look at, you can shop directly from their Instagram. I always think this is like putting the sweet aisle right next to the check out in the supermarket, you’re already there, so why not?

So, my advice, spend some time looking at accounts you like, brands you love and things that just make you smile. Chances are your customer follows them as well, so there are worse places to start. And, if you don’t think you are the target consumer, ask a member of staff who fits the bill and might appreciate a social media task. #Enjoy!

Becky Güth is a communications professional with over six years of agency experience, working for the likes of lifestyle legend Mary Portas, as well as large and boutique specialist agencies. Having worked for over 60 brands across health, wellbeing, fashion, accessories, jewellery, homeware, kidswear, menswear, cosmetics, shoes, retailers and watches, Becky has collated a strong and varied contact list within the press. Along with having the planning and execution of a vast range of events under her belt – from press days and blogger breakfasts, to pre-sale auction viewings and International Women’s Day panels – Becky has had a number of articles published in trade titles and blog posts on leading platforms, as well as being cited for commentary within jewellery industry articles. With previous experience in helping brands break into the UK, or understand their place in the market, Becky has knowledge of the fashion and jewellery industries, including hosting one-on-one PR help sessions at IJL.

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