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Nicole Wegman, founder and CEO of the fine jewelry company, Ring Concierge, has 60 employees. Nevertheless, she said, she spends more than half her time on the brand’s Instagram, which has 633,000 followers. She personally signs off on every post, including Reels and Stories. “That’s how instrumental it is,” she said of the app’s impact on her company, which reached eight-figure revenue in 2022. Instagram drove 70% of that revenue. Thirty-six percent of the brand’s new customers come through Instagram.
The brand uses Instagram Shops, but not Instagram Checkout, and tracks the success of its posts via Google Analytics and UTM links. Wegman said that the brand’s 2022 marketing budget was 6% of its revenue and that a majority of that was spent on Meta.
Ring Concierge has been using Instagram as a growth tool for 10 years, since it launched. Using social media as a marketing tool for luxury goods is still somewhat novel now, and it was virtually unheard of 10 years ago, Wegman said, noting that the jewelry industry is still so “old-school.” Instagram was a key driver of brand awareness in the brand’s early days, which was particularly beneficial as the app was totally free to use at the time. Wegman said that she never intended to become the face of her brand but that doing so has been proved worthwhile.
“Our social content is a balance of diamond education, jewelry styling advice, and behind-the-scenes from Nicole’s point of view as CEO and founder. Nicole’s candid and humorous content performs exceptionally well, redefining what luxury means and making fine jewelry aspirational and attainable,” said Neda Whitney, CMO of Ring Concierge.
Wegman appears on Instagram Stories regularly and posts content about everything from what it’s like to run a company and be a mother and a CEO, to how she’s styling her jewelry, to her weekend plans. There are also a number of Reels showing Wegman in glamorous outfits, accessorized with lots of Ring Concierge jewels.
“Most jewelry brands can’t pull that lever. They don’t have somebody who is the general demo of their customer that they can use on social to connect. Our customer is the millennial woman,” she said.
When it comes to diamonds, Wegman said most people feel like they’re going to get “ripped off,” and having a real person on social helps crack that perception. “When you see the behind-the-scenes, you know who owns it, you know who’s standing behind the pieces. We show the sales team, we show the marketing team — we try to show who we are as a company. And that solves for this major trust issue that surrounds diamonds, especially when you’re buying things sight unseen, because 50% of our engagement and sales are done remotely,” she said.
The brand’s average engagement ring sale is $30,000, markedly above the country’s average of $5,000. Around 40% of Ring Concierge’s business is engagement rings.
Proposals have become a hallmark of social media for women, which, as a brand selling engagement rings, has helped the brand grow. “Women want to make sure they get a big ring so they can have their whole social moment around their ring,” Wegman said of the modern diamond customer. On TikTok, the hashtag #proposal has 15.6 billion views. Wegman said, as it’s Gen Z’s preferred social app, TikTok is an upcoming priority for her brand. Ring Concierge currently has 11,000 followers on TikTok.
The company has also benefitted from partnerships with influencers. Though Wegman said she cannot disclose the terms of those agreements, notable people seen on the brand’s grid include former bachelorette Andi Dorfman (1 million Instagram followers), whose wedding bands were from Ring Concierge, as well as Rocky Barnes (3.3 million followers) and Matilda Djerf (3 million followers).
Aside from engagement rings, the brand is seeing great success with its tennis collection, thanks to the tennis bracelet and necklace trends. The brand’s $898 mini diamond tennis bracelet is the company’s best-selling item. “We sell tens of thousands of them — and they’re all buying this because we’re telling them to on Instagram. So that’s why I take it so seriously.” Content advising about beginning a fine jewelry collection or offering styling tips performs well.
Eighty percent of purchases on Ring Concierge’s website are made by women. Of the tennis trend, Wegman said it’s become a “financial flex” to have a tennis piece. “It’s a trend, but it’s a trend that also shows, ‘I’m doing well, I can afford this.'” In its marketing, Ring Concierge encourages women to buy jewelry for themselves as opposed to “waiting around for men to do that — [after all] this is 2023,” Wegman said.
Ultimately, Instagram remains core to the brand’s differentiation. “Historically luxury is closed doors, it’s super opaque. You have no idea how the company operates. You just know they put out great products and they have a great service. But besides that, there’s still huge mystery around [for example] how you even get a Birkin bag. It’s unobtainable and it’s mysterious. We’re hyper-transparent. And for the category in which we sell, we try to have our prices be very obtainable.”