A social network fit for makers – time to try Instagram
Have you discovered Instagram yet?
Over the past few months the London Jewellery School team have been learning all about (and using) this picture-led social network and we think it is definitely a good social media for makers of all types including jewellers.
Instagram is a great option of creative people because it is all about the visual. The app allows you to post pictures along with a description or message but it is the pictures that matter. No image = no message. Plus users browse by scrolling through pictures on their feed so they are looking for interesting, attractive or arresting images.
This makes Instagram a good place to share the story of your jewellery through posting images of your inspirations, work in progress and most importantly beautiful pictures of your finished pieces.
It is also useful to browse other jewellers work and other types of makers’ post for inspiration and ideas – or just when you need to see something interesting or beautiful.
And if you start following other makers, you’ll find an interactive community interested in commenting on what you share and talking about their own makes.
To get started you download the Instagram app to your phone or tablet (or both) and register but before you do we have some important tips to make sure you get the best out of your Instagram account.
User name and profile.
If you intend to promote your jewellery through Instagram it is a good idea to have a user name that links to your jewellery business name. You may already have a Twitter or Pinterest account with a suitable username. If so use that.
Make sure the short profile for your account mentions what you make and that you choose the most useful weblink. The profile is the only place you can link to a website so if you have, for example, a blog and an Etsy shop you should decide where you want people to go it they want to find out more about you and your jewellery.
Although you can browse Instagram on a computer, you can only upload pictures via the app on a phone or tablet. A lot of people think this means that you can only use pictures taken with these devices, but it is important for jewellers and other makers to share really good pictures so the good news is there is a way round this.
If you have a cloud account, such as on Dropbox, you can create an Instagram folder where you save versions of the beautiful jewellery image you want to post. Then on a phone or tablet you can “export” a picture from Dropbox or similar to Instagram. Although this may sound like a lot of apps to get used to, it is worth it because you will be sharing your very best pictures and your work will look professional.
As with other social media, it is a good idea to use hashtags on your posts – these are words or phrases preceded by # such as #jewellery, #pearls or #workinprogress that mean your posts will be seen by people using the tags to find images with a particular topic.
When you are browsing Instagram, click on hashtags that interest you and you’ll see lots of images with the same tags which can help you find people to follow. Yo can find a useful list of common hastags used by makers here.
We will have some detailed posts on using Instagram in the next few weeks, but one of the best ways to learn is to register and start exploring.
And please follow London Jewellery School on the app – then we can follow you and see your work.