If you’ve thought of using social media in your jewelry business, Facebook is a great place to start. It has approximately ten zillion users and on average they spend about 32 hours a day on Facebook. That’s a lot of free exposure for you and your jewelry!

Taking advantage of Facebook, however, can be tricky. I lead Rio Grande’s Facebook efforts (like us by clicking here!) and decided to post the top five things I’ve learned along the way. Follow these tips and I bet you’ll sell at least 100 billion dollars a year. OK, my numbers here may be a little exaggerated/fictional. It’s still a giant opportunity you should consider, and not as daunting a task as you might think.

  • Create a Facebook Fan Page for your business, not a personal page. Facebook has come a long way in developing tools for businesses and groups to better interact with their fans, and they put these tools in the Fan Pages section, not in your individual Profile. Use a profile for your normal Facebook activities: keeping up with your friends, family and long-lost exes. Save your professional life for a Fan Page—it’s what people expect and lends credibility to your business. Click here to start a Facebook Fan Page.
  • Make a plan to guide your efforts. Don’t get caught up in numbers right away—whether that’s worrying about how many fans you have or worrying about how many times you (don’t) post. Start with manageable goals, write them down and then tack them by your monitor. “I will post 3 times a week” is a great goal to start with, and seeing that message every time you get on your computer will drive home some accountability. Revisit things every few months and adjust your goals.
  • Get the word out by contacting everyone you know through email or Facebook—friends, family, business contacts and customers—and asking them to “like” your page. This is how you create a base of fans, which Facebook itself wants to see (more on that later). Never spam (harass) people, especially people you like, but a few friendly reminders in the first month of your page’s new life is OK.
  • Write great posts. This is the hardest part of all, but don’t be intimidated. Again, write out what you want your posts to accomplish on a sticky note and put that on your monitor. Check everything you want to post against that list. For instance, a standard list for a Fan Page promoting jewelry might be, “Interesting, Engaging, Related to My Jewelry.” It’s just that simple. Now imagine you just took a picture of yourself on the toilet in a hotel room to show how small the bathroom was (Note: I actually saw someone do this on my wife’s Facebook News Feed. Yikes!). Is it interesting? Debatable, but let’s say yes. Is it engaging? Well, plenty of people commented, so OK. Is it related to your jewelry? No. Don’t post it!

Here’s another example: Let’s say you snag a quick video of your daughter playing dress-up with your jewelry. You want to post it with the question, “Have I created a jewelry monster?” Is it interesting? Yes, kids being cute is always interesting. Is it engaging? Yes, you asked a question to get people to comment (great job!). Is it related to your jewelry? Absolutely, you just made everyone associate your jewelry with something that makes them smile. That’s the definition of a perfect Facebook post.

Dissection of a Rio Grande Facebook post: relevant information our readers want, a photo or video to grab their interest and a link to encourage interaction.

  • Get interactive. Did you know that not every post you make on Facebook shows up on people’s News Feeds? Facebook bases relevancy and post placement based on a semi-secret mixture­ of comments, likes, how many fans you have and how many times they view your page (and some other stuff). What does it all mean? Again, write great posts. One of the best ways to do that is to include photos, videos and links in your posts, because these things encourage activity and comments, which Facebook will reward. Links on a business Fan Page are especially important—when you talk about your jewelry, make sure they can click on a page to buy it!

Remember, if you sold jewelry at a show or in a store, you’d probably talk with the customers who walked in and tell them the stories behind your pieces. You would show off your personality and create a relationship. Promoting your jewelry on Facebook and other social media sites is exactly like that, except your audience is potentially limitless. Take that face-to-face energy and put it on your page, and have fun doing it! If you have any questions, post them in the comments field below and we’ll answer as best we can.