Q: How has your approach to social media changed over the years?
“Social media is a three-prong approach for us, covering all levels of our business, including the store Facebook account, personal e-mails – which includes clients, associations and personal contacts – and Jewelry and Diamond Flippers, a secure B2B Facebook-based group for buying and selling goods. To reach millennials a business has to have some social media presence, but I think sales conversions from Facebook are still something that can’t be tracked accurately and many retailers have mixed results. For me and many retail jewelers I know, we’re not sure it’s the best return on investment. I know a retailer with 7,500 followers to his store who posted diamonds at cost, and no one responded. For us, we’ll boost Facebook posts with as much as $500 to $1,000, even $2,000 for events, gold buying and important store announcements. Again, there are mixed results. I can’t accurately track sales conversions so I often wonder if this ad revenue could have been better spent on radio or TV. Facebook is our main social media focus and we do a little with Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Like many retail jewelers, we’re very focused on bridal, which is millennials, so we have to engage them through social media. Shotgun approaches don’t work in my market, so I have to identify target demographics and tailor my message accordingly.”
John Stafford, owner
“I was one of those guys who blew off social media in the early days of my business. About five or six years ago we brought on a college intern to help us primarily with our social media, mainly Facebook and Instagram. We gave them some goals and guidelines and lightly managed them, giving them a lot of freedom to develop content and put it out there on their own. Through some other business ventures I began networking with some young and successful entrepreneurs that quickly had me realizing the importance of social media and how it could impact both myself and my business. That was the kick in the pants I needed if I wanted to stay ahead of the game and my competition. I now manage and stay fully active on two Facebook and three Instagram pages. I carve out and dedicate a certain number of hours each day, every week to showcase mostly luxury products as well as personal lifestyle content on our social media pages. People really seem to engage with luxury items like diamonds, fine jewelry, high-end watches and designer jewelry and handbags. It seems to be working really well for us. I get a ton of face-to-face and posted comments as well as private messages from people that say they love our products and content. My personal favorite is the hundreds of comments I get locally regarding a recent post from people that aren’t following, aren’t liking and aren’t commenting on my post. This is when I know people truly are seeing my content on a regular basis. This year I plan to massively increase my engagement and interaction with thousands of people in hopes that when they are in a position to make that next luxury purchase they’ll think of me or my business.”
Clint and Sheena Asbell, co-owners
Haile Jewelry and Loans
“We were slow to get into social media at first, but got our start in it with Facebook back around 2012 or 2013. For starters, I knew then I needed to have a personal Facebook page to link to my business account. I don’t post much information about myself on my personal account. About six or so years ago we began posting random content to promote the store. Then in 2015, we hired a local marketing agency to help us, in part, with social media. We do a lot of custom work, and we take very good images of our jewelry and post it on Facebook to attract custom customers, mainly bridal related posts. This marketing agency only does a set number of bridal posts each month and I supplement the rest of the monthly content, which can include fun facts, seasonal content like changes of the seasons and holidays, and things of that nature. In 2016, we then started using Instagram and eventually Pinterest. We get a lot of shares and re-pinning from these websites, so they’re doing well for us. At this point I don’t see a lot of value in Twitter, but that might change over time. Facebook is the social media website we started with. We’ve been in it for the longest and have invested the most in terms of time and resources. Analytics show we’re reaching solid demographics and have more than 5,000 followers, which is pretty good for a jewelry store in a small Virginia town.”
Michelle Goodman, owner
“In the early days we started with Facebook. Postings were very basic with content like birthstones, jewelry in the showroom, new arrivals and store announcements, that sort of thing. We were very naïve at the time. These days we’re on many social media websites including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We divide the pie accordingly with 60 percent of our effort going to Facebook, 30 percent to Instagram and 10 percent to Pinterest. Last summer we started doing more video content for our social media. I read in a very interesting business journal article that by 2022 content on Facebook will be entirely video. I thought, why not get a jump on things, given how much information people are exposed to in an average day and people’s average attention spans. Video content is spread over all social media websites, including YouTube. We definitely boost Facebook posts, on average $200 to $800 per month, depending on the scheduled events. If something is trending, we’ll also boost that to reach as many of our 9,700 followers as possible. In 2018 our social media goals are to advance more personable content, from customers getting engaged in the store to fun content with staff. We take video content with iPhones.”
Mark Helgerman, president
“Last year, when I branched out on my own, I started using social media to build my customer base while maintaining a connection with my existing clients. With my own store opening in March, I’ve become more active on social media, building excitement and increasing followers for the store’s grand opening. At this time, my main platforms are Facebook and Instagram. My wife does some social media work for a non-profit, so she’s been helping along the way. We all know that people like to connect with content. This means not solely posting about sales, selling or advancing product awareness. For example, on an afternoon break from working on the store, I grabbed a bag of chips and salsa from a nearby restaurant, took a picture of our snack, posted it on our Instagram and Facebook pages, did some tagging and hash-tagging – which obviously helps with reach – and saw positive responses and more followers. My shop location has actually been a jewelry store for decades, so for now, we’ll focus content on the progress we’re making in revamping the store – such as posting before and after photos. After the grand opening, I’ll promote my CAD abilities as that is what really differentiates me as a modern jeweler in my area. And, then when the time comes, I’ll run some Facebook contests and do more video content, but will always stay mindful of what connects with my customers and viewers.”
David Breitmoser, owner
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