Her Instagram posts of luxurious fine jewels can get up to 5,000 likes per image, short videos of glittering jewellery in motion scoring views exceeding 25,000, and the comments constantly flow in from her following of 266,000 fans. Katerina Perez’s account is a dream scenario for anyone who’s serious about Instagram.
In a digital landscape that is increasingly crowded and seems oppressed by algorithms, just how does she stand out from the crowd with her Instagram account? How does she make jewels look so good on Instagram, and build up such an engaged digital community?
When you have so many questions buzzing around your head, there’s only one thing to do – ask. So, on a sunny September day at Hotel Café Royal on London’s bustling Regent Street, The Jewellery Cut co-founder Rachael Taylor sat down with social media superstar Katerina Perez to talk all things jewellery and Instagram in front of an exclusive audience at The Jewellery Cut Live. Here’s how that discussion went down, with questions raised by you and us.
What is your top Instagram tip?
“Instagram loves consistency, so post good regular posts three or four times a week. If you change this, Instagram will punish you and you’ll get less engagement and likes. Plan your content in advance and you will be rewarded. Schedule in advance and know what hashtags you are going to use.”
Are there times that are better to post?
“I post three times a day because I want to reach a different audience, say Europe, Asia or America. I post first thing in the morning, say seven or eight o’clock, as then you’re always going to get good results. In the daytime, it depends. I use the Foursquare application and it can help let you know the best time of day to post.”
Going off feed, how do you feel about Instagram stories?
“There are the stories and there is the feed, and they are both really important. Stories allow you to produce more amateur pictures and videos, and let people go behind the scenes with you, see something different. If you’re a brand, you use professional photos [on your feed], but on stories you can be very spontaneous. On my stories, I can post my trips and exhibitions, but my feed stays jewellery, jewellery, jewellery.”
There is a lot of talk about Instagram’s algorithms and that it is harder to be seen now. Is it worth spending money to boost posts?
“It’s a difficult one. I personally don’t boost my posts, but the brands who do say the result is not what they’d expect. When you do a promotion on Instagram it is very difficult to set [the right audience]. If you don’t do the right settings, it will be a waste of money. It is quite tricky – that is the problem. You could spend a lot of money and only get five new followers, so it is about trial and error and understanding your audience. If you are doing boosted promotions, it has to be every now and then on a regular basis. Instagram loves consistency. I think it is part of the algorithm.”
What about paying to work with bloggers or influencers?
“If you want to promote your account through bloggers, don’t just go for ones with a million followers. Go for micro bloggers who have good engagement with their audience that will get you better results. Influencers and bloggers might have 20,000 to 30,000 followers, but you need to check their audience. Are they talking to their audience? Do they get enough likes? It is so easy to buy likes, but it is the good comments you want. You want people who are engaged and are asking about the product, rather than just generic comments.”
What’s best – a long caption or a short one?
“It is very time consuming thinking about which order to post, which captions to put, and this can make or break it. Sometimes, you can put a huge text and no one reads it. Sometimes, you can put: ‘Do you like this ring with a blue stone or a red stone?’ and it works.
Are hashtags important?
“It’s hugely complex. You can’t just say, use this hashtag and it will work for you.
There is no rule that works. You have to figure out your own rules, starting from what time to post, what kind of post to do, what caption to put – you have to analyse your own content instead of looking at what others do and trying to copy. It’s a very personal thing. If you are a smaller account, stick with the hashtags that have less reach. It is all about going for an authentic hashtag, not the most popular ones.”
Are there any important new Instagram trends we should know about?
“The top trend is about quality not quantity; not trying to get thousands of followers, but trying to get an audience who will talk to you. I look for a potential account that might like jewellery and then try talking to them. I comment on their posts and try and start building a relationship, and then they follow me back and are a person who will engage. It has to be a natural connection. It has to be authentic and this is how we connect because we have the same passions.”
You’ve recently been reducing your following – can you tell us why?
“I have been on Instagram for six years and some of my followers have not been active for a while, and I have some who follow 7,000 accounts [so they won’t see my posts]. I don’t have a problem with deleting them, because I want to open that account up to an audience who are genuinely going to like it [and engage and so please the algorithm]. It is a long process. I have been doing it for three months. You have to keep in mind, that you are not just deleting lots of people in one go, because Instagram will see what is happening [and penalise you]. I have two accounts – one is in Russian, as I have a very strong Russian following. I get great engagement on the Russian one and have conversations on there even though I have less followers.”
Do you personally respond to all comments on Instagram?
“When it comes to comments, it is very personal for me. If it is a smiley face, my team know they can do a smiley back for me, but if it is a genuine comment I will respond myself. It is great to have a community. I think it is important when it comes to a comment that the brand responds themselves – no agency can know you as well as you do, right?”
Do you have any advice for a jewellery start-up new to Instagram?
“There is a whole strategy behind this. For a start-up brand, you need to be consistent. Post three to five times a week so you have to have good content. Use your stories, update it once per week and show the whole facet of your business. It has to be engaging and different and interesting.”