Is Social Media Engagement Changing for Jewelry Brands?

If you’ve ever researched jewelry-related hashtags on Instagram, you’ve probably seen how saturated some of them are. For example, the #jewelry hashtag alone has more than 50,000,000 posts, while #jewelrydesigner has more than 3,000,000, and #jewelrylover has more than 1,000,000.

Do you ever feel like you’re struggling to stand out in a sea of sparkle?

On their Daily Insights blog, Gartner L2 recently published a post about the roles that social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook Pages, and Twitter play in social media strategies for jewelry brands. With Facebook and Twitter serving more of a customer service function these days, Instagram seems to be the only platform where brands can hope for discovery by new customers and engagement with fans.

A caveat: while it’s true that Instagram is definitely the platform where jewelry brands can hope for engagement, the number of total interactions is decreasing. However, not all hope is lost, and some jewelry brands are thriving on Instagram regardless.

These brands (L2 uses Adina’s Jewels as an example) are getting their jewelry on the celebrities, models, and fashion bloggers “du jour”, who serve as style icons to consumers who range from Gen Z to Young Millennials. Gen Z consumers “are often inspired by peers, which makes sense regarding their current life stage and their extreme connectivity to social media,” according to an article from Forbes.

At the same time, Gen Z consumers are not established in a career and only have income from a part-time job, entry-level job, or parental allowance. It makes sense that they’d be buying from a brand like Adina’s Jewels, which sells fashion jewelry priced between $28 and $1,450.

So what are you supposed to do about Instagram if you don’t target Gen Z? Is Gartner correct in wondering, has Instagram “reached a saturation point for jewelry content”? Should you give up on social?

My take: worry less about the numbers and focus more on developing your Instagram as the absolute best representation of your brand – like a visual elevator pitch. Use it as a proving ground to try new imagery, colors, or artistic direction. Consider it a place to practice your brand voice by exploring new iterations of your caption copy.

If you’re doing all these things right, you may not hit the high numbers, but you will attract the right customer, if she’s on Instagram. If she’s not an Instagram user, then maybe her social-media-savvy friend or daughter will tell her about you, and you’ll find your way to her anyway.

The Role of “Curation” in Jewelry Marketing

Most shoppers crave a point of view; they want to understand how an article of clothing or a piece of jewelry like a bold necklace can fit into their lives and how they should wear those items. Otherwise, they’d be overwhelmed by too many choices.

At the height of print media, fashion magazine editors were the style curators, showcasing clothing and accessories they loved and that matched their publication’s aesthetic.

These days, anyone can curate a digital fashion and accessories collection based on categories like season, color, mood, and occasion. Pinterest and Polyvore, among other tools, allow anyone with an Internet connection to showcase a point of view.

Instead of shopping in a brick-and-mortar retail store, we might shop an Instagram post styled by a highly trafficked fashion blogger.

As a jewelry brand, you may find that some bloggers and social media users will add your pieces to their own curated Pinterest boards. Why not follow their lead and curate your own merchandise by organizing your jewelry offerings into manageable and “shoppable” collections?

Too often, I see jewelry stores with displays that lack focus. Most jewelers, especially those who sell bridal jewelry, cast as wide a net as possible when it comes to merchandising. Who can blame them? They believe the more styles they offer, the more customers they’ll attract. In reality, the lack of focus is overwhelming.

Online, the issue seems to be even more widespread. No physical jewelry case is limiting any one retailer from posting as many products as possible. The temptation to sell everything may be great, but marketing your curated jewelry brand will always win as the most effective strategy.

As an example, let’s view the Tiffany & Co. e-commerce website. In the “Engagement Ring” category, a user can shop by style or by collection. The collections have names like “Harmony” and “Soleste” and are divided into manageable groups that have been curated by a common design element like a pave diamond shank.

Someone who hasn’t done much engagement ring shopping or “dreaming” might not know where to begin in terms of style, but the person might have a positive visceral response to a collection’s overall mood. A collection can help focus and alleviate the anxiety of the subsequent buying decision.

Furthermore, creating collections within your brand’s jewelry inventory allows you to tell a story about your merchandise. In the highly competitive world of e-commerce retail, where you may never meet your customers face to face, you must distinguish yourself with a story that contains strong emotional elements.

When you curate your own collection, you can assign it and the items within it, names, and the product descriptions can be more than a simple rundown of the technical details. Instead, the item can become a character in the larger story of the collection.

Do you already use collections as part of your jewelry marketing strategy? If so, how do you decide which items to group together in a collection? Do you tell a visual and/or written story about the collection? Comment below with your thoughts.

Featured photo by Barta IV