Instagram to grow in social media marketing of colored gems

Instagram to grow in social media marketing of colored gems

Instagram is set to be the star performer in social media marketing of colored gems and colored gems-set jewelry in coming years, says influencer and gemologist Benjamin Guttery of @ThirdCoastGems. Benjamin, who will join a seminar about social media marketing during the ICA Congress, discusses the future of social media marketing, its business models, and risks of piracy. David Brough reports. 


  1. How important is Instagram, in your view, in the marketing and sales of colored gemstone jewelry, and do you expect the impact of Instagram to increase in the next few years?

Benjamin: Instagram is the most important channel for marketing jewelry at any time, including colored gemstone jewelry. It’s the channel that a brand can have the most control over. Never before has a brand been able to tell its own story, and to tell it fully in the way that it wants to. Most definitely Instagram will grow. Instagram will continue to dominate because it is so visual and so many people have it.

What are the other main social media channels that are effective in the marketing of colored gemstones and gem-set jewelry. What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Benjamin: Facebook will continue to trend “older”. For an international audience Facebook is still a good platform for miners and lapidaries.

Twitter is part of the conversation, but it is hard to make money from it. Some of the more major players can do more via social media marketing to raise the profile of colored gems.

Pinterest is a great platform to launch a trend. Women used mood boards to help cocktail rings turn into engagement rings. But will you get direct sales from Pinterest? I’d say no. However, it can bring more stones to the market. 

What types of business models do influencers use to promote colored gemstones and jewelry on Instagram?

Benjamin: The standard business model is charging for posts. Also, dedicated links for a percentage of sales. Some influencers may barter for goods, but the resale of such goods will not pay the bills.

What are the risks that influencers have bought followers, and what audits can be undertaken?

Benjamin: A number of influencers have bought “likes” or “views”, and many brands (clients of influencers) have not done their homework. If you are going to approach an influencer, ask what campaigns they have worked on. Some clients in the industry don’t care that an influencer has bought “likes” and just want to be seen on the posts of a leading influencer: it is a status symbol.

What are the risks of piracy if brands showcase their latest designs on Instagram?

Benjamin: Piracy is a huge concern. However, sometimes it is better to be part of the conversation than not. Your photo is timestamped and dated whenever it is posted. I am a close friend of a designer whose work was copied. We have all heard of reports of copying in India and China. Sometimes piracy can contribute to a trend and make the original (copied) designer’s pieces even more special. Come to me if you have been copied: I get into this conversation often.