The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Instagram Account From Scratch

ColumnistsFeb 22, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Instagram Account From Scratch

Instagram is a huge opportunity for jewelry businesses. Don’t miss out because you’re not sure where to start, writes Emmanuel Raheb.

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Columnist Emmanuel Raheb shares eight tips for growing an Instagram account from the ground up, from optimizing your bio to engaging local influencers and spending money on advertising.
Instagram has been a game changer for the jewelry industry. If you’re not using the popular social media platform to grow your audience and drive new foot traffic into your store, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

More than 1.4 billion people use Instagram every day, according to HootSuite, with 35 percent of users expected to purchase a product or service they saw on their feed this year. 

When you do the math, Instagram may have more reach and impact than television, radio, newspapers and magazines combined. Plus, it’s an interactive medium. You can have a direct conversation with your customers. No other advertising channel gives you this level of feedback from your audience. It’s your own private “focus group.”

But simply setting up an Instagram account isn’t enough. You need to have a strategy.

It’s difficult to grow an audience from nothing. So, where do you begin? 

Here are eight powerful ways to jump-start an Instagram account when starting from scratch.

1. Optimize your Instagram bio.
Whenever anyone visits your Instagram profile, the first thing they’re likely to read is your Instagram bio. This is even before viewing your posts. 

People want to get a sense of who you are and what your channel is all about. You only have 150 characters to communicate your message so make every word count. 

Ideally, your Instagram bio should be a short and concise description of you, your jewelry store, what type of jewelry you specialize in and what makes you different. You don’t have much space so it’s best to create a teaser then link it to a landing page on your website where you can explain more.

That’s where you can go into detail about why you’re the perfect place to buy an engagement ring or other jewelry to celebrate a special moment.

2. Geo-tag every post.
Geo-tagging lets everyone know the location where a post was made. The purpose of a geo-tag is to make it easy for people searching within a particular region to find  hyper-local posts.

You can include the name of your city or town, or pinpoint your particular location. It takes just a few extra moments to do this, but most jewelers don’t. You can even ask your customers to post pictures and video from your store and get them to geo-tag the location.

This strategy can be extremely effective with the launch of a new collection or to create buzz. The Instagram algorithms love it. For something relatively simple, it’s extremely powerful.

3. Have a regular posting schedule.
Instagram rewards profiles that post regularly. At a minimum, especially when your channel has less than a thousand followers, you should be posting at least once a day. This includes both regular image posts as well as Instagram Stories and Reels. 

Once you become larger, you can scale back your posting schedule, but keep a consistent schedule of at least every other day. 

The Instagram algorithm only has so much “reach,” meaning eyeballs to serve content to within someone’s feed. This means that they tend to favor smaller accounts over much larger accounts. They want new profiles to gain traction and users to stick with the site. 

When you’re just starting on Instagram, you have a short window of opportunity to gain momentum.  Use it wisely and post every day, not once a week.

4. Use interactive stickers on Instagram Stories.
One strategy we’ve found works well is to use Instagram’s interactive stickers on Stories. They’re fun and engaging, and people seem to love them. (If you’ve ever seen a poll or quiz, then you’ve seen an interactive sticker.)  

Instagram rolled out stickers as a way for users to engage with their audience.  

Be creative and think about how you could use this feature. What would you like to ask your audience? What one piece of feedback would you want from customers if you knew it could grow your business? Use interactive stickers and uncover what your followers really think.

 Related stories will be right here … 

5. Add product tags to every item.
Product tags are a way for your customers to learn more about, and even purchase, a particular item directly through Instagram. 

When you add a product tag to an engagement ring or jewelry featured in a post, your followers can tap to see the price and other information, then proceed to checkout and purchase the item, all without leaving the app. 

Product tags give you a way to make direct sales through a channel other than your jewelry store’s website.

6. Use Instagram Reels for collaborations.
Instagram Reels and video content have been hot ever since they were released on the platform a few years ago. With the growing rise of TikTok, there’s also been some changes to the Instagram algorithm and how Instagram pushes and promotes this type of content. Video is becoming more and more popular and your followers expect it.

One way to leverage the power of video, especially if you’re not adept at using it, is to collaborate with another channel. Working with influencers on Instagram is an ideal way to create video content and be seen by a larger audience. They know what works and can help you to grow your own channel. 

When you collaborate, you both share content and audiences, helping to drive new traffic and eyeballs to your content. Some collaborations will be paid while others could be free, depending on the nature of the deal. 

Reach out to influencers you follow and admire to get their rates, especially local influencers who are already well-known in your area. Because they are smaller, typically their rates are a lot less expensive and they are a lot more effective because of their location. You may be surprised just how affordable they can be!

7. Review your account analytics.
To get the most out of Instagram’s analytics, make sure you’re using a business account. Personal Instagram accounts are severely limited as to what they offer. You’ll want to change your account over to business, if you haven’t done so already. 

Go through your account analytics and learn more about your audience and how your Instagram channel is being consumed. Go to your analytics section and discover which content is most popular, how many new followers you’ve gained in the last week, how many people you’ve reached, the percentage of interaction on your posts, how your Stories and Reels are performing, and much more. 

Instagram gives you a wealth of insight for free. Everything is designed to help your posts perform better and for you to become more successful on the channel.

8. Use the power of Instagram advertising.
As your Instagram channel grows, posting is not enough. Eventually, the algorithms will change and it becomes more difficult to get people to see your content. It gets very competitive as Instagram has to prioritize and choose which content to show a user in their personal feed. There is only so much space available for them to fill.

One way to overcome this and to guarantee that your posts are seen is to advertise. Promote your most important posts to ensure your audience sees your message. 

Run Instagram ads either in combination with Facebook or on their own. Set a budget for every post and give each one a little boost to help them gain an edge in the algorithm.  

One little secret is if you invest just a small amount of money in advertising, Instagram rewards you even more. They want to entice you to spend more money with them and the only way to do that is if you see results. By you committing to advertise, Instagram commits to you.

In summary, if Instagram is so successful then, one might wonder, why don’t more jewelers use it? 

Part of the reason could be because it’s hard to get started when you’re at zero and you see other Instagram accounts with thousands, or even millions, of followers. Many people don’t know where to start and become discouraged and overwhelmed quickly.  

Always remember every successful jeweler on Instagram started with just one follower and because they kept at it and didn’t give up, they were able to grow their audience to what they have today.

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says the best time to plant a tree was yesterday and the second-best time to plant a tree is today. 

Start where you stand and let’s grow your jewelry business together on Instagram.
Emmanuel Rahebis the CEO of Smart Age Solutions, a digital ad agency and coveted Premier Google Partner.

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