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Forging Ahead: David Mellor Family Jewellers’ Unwavering Resolve in the Face of Instagram’s Unjust Blow

David Mellor Family Jewellers has stood as a beacon of elegance and craftsmanship for over four decades. With a legacy rooted in tradition, the Mellor family’s journey on Instagram was marked by dedication and community. Amy Mellor, a driving force behind the business, shares the story of their Instagram account’s sudden removal and the impassioned struggle to reclaim their rightful place.

Founded in 1976 by David Mellor, the business started as a humble market stall before blossoming into three cherished stores, a thriving online shop, and an in-house jewellery workshop. The reins were later passed to David and Christine’s children – Dan, Jim, and Amy – who infused modernity into the business while honouring its storied heritage.

In 2012, as Amy Mellor officially joined the family business, she embarked on a journey into the world of social media. “I established our Instagram and Facebook presence, foreseeing the potential to foster personal connections with our patrons,” recalls Amy. Over the years, their follower count grew organically, amassing 12k Facebook likes and a remarkable 6k Instagram followers.

However, a fateful Friday shattered their online world. “An email from Meta, the parent company of Instagram, declared the suspension of our account,” Amy recounts. The message urged immediate action to prevent complete access loss. “Initially skeptical, I checked the app and saw the same notification, setting a 180-day window for appeal.”

Fuelled by hope, Amy plunged into action, lodging an appeal against the suspension. “Initially, the response suggested we violated community guidelines, without specifics,” explains Amy. Yet, the promise of a resolution went unfulfilled. “An automated rejection, void of human assessment, felt like an arbitrary slap in the face.”

Efforts to reach Instagram’s support yielded only robotic responses. “Absence of human interaction and automatic appeal rejection exacerbated our frustration,” Amy reveals. Even attempts to connect with Meta employees yielded silence.

The fallout was swift and impactful. “Our Instagram transcended marketing, fostering authentic connections with customers,” Amy reflects. Daily sales tied to the platform’s engagement were crucial during these uncertain times.

David Mellor Jewellers in the Chantry Centre, Andover

Amy recounts years of nurturing their online presence with pride. “Hours devoted to content creation, follower engagement, and strategic planning – around 60% of the last decade,” she estimates. Victories and challenges punctuated the journey, often subject to Instagram’s elusive algorithms. Amy adds, “Within that there are a lot of successful posts that receive a great response, as well as many posts which you think will do well but completely flop”.

Their social accounts also give opportunity for their followers to win prizes, Amy says “We’ve held numerous giveaways at various milestones to thank our followers for their loyal support, the most recent one being when we hit 5K followers and gave away a Preowned Rolex worth nearly £4000 to one of our followers.

This obviously comes at a financial cost to us, but we gained nearly 1000 new followers from that giveaway and we hoped to have been able to continue to build on that exposure to make the expense worthwhile. Sadly, this may not now be possible“.

The business has been trading for nearly 5 decades and constantly keep up with new laws and guidelines throughout the whole business, “Having been in business for over 47 years, we are fully versed on UK trading laws and marketing guidelines that must be followed, so we are honestly baffled as to what we might have posted (if anything!) which has supposedly  gone against Instagram’s terms.

It would be so helpful to find this out so that we can remedy it, but having gone through their terms with a fine tooth comb, we can only assume it is a mistake on their behalf”.

Reflecting on the recent turmoil, Amy Mellor bares her heart, sharing, “Personally, I’ve been an emotional wreck since this happened last week. As someone who usually finds the silver lining even in dire situations, it’s been incredibly challenging to maintain that perspective.” She acknowledges the privilege inherent in the situation, stating, “I know it’s not the end of the world and it’s a very first-world problem to have.” However, this doesn’t undermine the profound frustration of being penalized without cause, especially after dedicating over a decade of hard work.

Amidst the uncertainty, Amy finds solace in the unity of her team, noting their remarkable support: “Our team has been incredible – rallying new followers, spreading the word, and providing encouragement that we’ve got this and we’ll come back even stronger.” This unwavering camaraderie exemplifies the resilience that defines David Mellor Family Jewellers.

Through adversity, Amy stands resolute. “Our battle extends beyond us; it’s a struggle for every small business against tech titans,” she declares. The injustice ignites her to spotlight the plight of vulnerable local enterprises.

Amy envisions a future where their Instagram account is resurrected. “We seek account restoration, sharing our passion with followers once more,” she states. Compensation or apologies aren’t the goal – the Mellor family yearns to return to the thriving online haven they cultivated.

In their saga, David Mellor Family Jewellers emerges as a symbol of tenacity, representing the spirit that defines small local businesses. As they press onward for justice, their narrative inspires us all to champion equity in the digital realm.