03242019Sun
Last updateTue, 19 Mar 2019 7pm

Retailer Roundtable: Are B2B social media-based groups helpful to you as a business owner?

RR Beh"I’m very involved with such groups. I have been for five years and really increased my activity on the Flourish and Thrive Academy over the last two years. There’s a tremendous amount of information between the group’s Facebook page and their website. With downloads, podcasts, videos to watch and tons of other resources, it’s been very helpful to me and my business. This website works well for me, and I stick to just this one for the most part. For those venturing into these types of social media groups, I would suggest focusing on one or two good ones that serve your business model and informational needs. Otherwise pursuing too much information becomes a black hole that sucks in all of your spare time. Next thing you know you’re not paying attention to your business. What I like most about these B2B social media groups is the cost - it’s free! And, it’s good to see jewelers, designers and others in the gem and jewelry industry finally letting go of that old way of keeping things close to the vest. People in our industry are so much more forthcoming with information. It’s really refreshing to see after so many years. And, I just love the energy and what people are putting out there. It’s so vital now to interact with each other in this industry.” 

Katy Beh, owner
Katy Beh Jewelry
New Orleans, LA

 

“I’m an IJO [Independent Jewelers Organization] member, and have used the Indy Channel, so I like the idea of helping each other source and sell as well as gathering and exchanging information. I don’t use Jewelers Helping Jewelers a lot. But when I have, people have been quick to help. I’ve used it for sourcing and selling gemstones, and parts postings or general questions mainly about bench work. Since August, when I closed the smaller of my two stores, I’ve been very active on my own Facebook page, doing a lot of homemade videos about the store. Thanks to my participation on JHJ’s Facebook page, I’ve brought on more followers to my store’s Facebook page. And, a couple of JHJ members, whom I would consider good friends, regularly post kind words about my store videos. Perhaps in 2019 I’ll spend more time on B2B social media websites. But I just don’t have a lot of time to do it. I have my own social media goals with Facebook and YouTube.”

Terry Quinn, owner
Quinn’s Goldsmith
Woodridge, VA

 

 

RR Youngberg“I love them. I’ve been active with Polygon for a number of years, so reaching out to other retailers and industry members is nothing new. But I started looking at social media groups such as Jewelers Helping Jewelers in recent months. For the last two months I’ve been very active with their social media page. I check in about six times a day. I like the format because when it comes to reasons to connect with other jewelers the posting hit on mostly three main things we’re trying to accomplish: selling items, buying items, and information we can use in many of our day-to-day business applications. Although I like the postings for sourcing and selling items, the exchange of information is extremely useful. For instance, a woman posted an image of a parcel of rubies she recently purchased and asked if JHJ members thought the rubies were non-heated. Given my level of gemological experience, I posted a comment that based on my observations of the image she posted, the rubies were not just heat-treated, but more than likely have glass fillings. In 2019 I plan on using these social media websites more.”

Gary Youngberg, co-owner
Ames Silversmithing 
Ames, IA

 

 

RR GInsberg“I’ve looked at social media B2B websites like Jewelers Helping Jewelers. I definitely see the value in B2B social media websites where retail jewelers share information, buy and sell goods and find other jewelers that are facing similar vendor issues, like a POS software problem and how to overcome it. For me to make a posting about a vendor matter, a POS software issue for example, I would first go to the vendor. In the rare case the vendor doesn’t provide me with the information or solutions I think are needed, I’d definitely use a platform like JHJ to find help. To date, I haven’t had that issue. But, when that moment arises, I know I can use a B2B exchange for assistance. For now, I check the JHJ website frequently to see what the most current postings are all about and then get back to my busy day. I like it. I think it’s a very democratic environment where a lot of information is exchanged and, again, I recognize the real value it brings to business owners.”

Steve Ginsberg, owner
Ginsberg Jewelers
Cedar Rapids, IA

 

 

RR Bellman“To be honest, I never knew such social-media based groups existed. Back in the day, I used Polygon’s web board to interact with other jewelers. In more recent years, I know retail jewelers that have asked David Geller [author of Geller’s Blue Book to Jewelry Repairs & Designs] to post items for sale on his e-mail blasts. Given his large and faithful following, such items have sold quickly. His model indicates that these B2B websites proves that these models work for such transactions. Given the opportunity to use such social media B2B websites, I’d most likely use them to source and sell items. That would be most useful for me. And, I’d prefer to reach out to other jewelers than try to sell such items in a retail environment. Also, I like the idea of sharing information in a non-compete website. Lastly, I share the opinion that retail jewelers really need to be more forthcoming and share information.” 

David Bellman, owner
Bellman Jewelers
Manchester, NH

 

 


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