Social Media is Hot, it is Growing, and it is Changing every day. What does this mean for the jewelry industry? Is it worth investing in such a sprawling, time-consuming endeavor? The answer is Yes! In the same way no one questions the necessity of having a website today, a social media presence is equally important. Social Media Activity is a crucial brand-building tool that allows you to connect directly with current and prospective customers. If done correctly, social media activities can build community, increase exposure, and increase website traffic.
While you may not see an obvious link to sales, social media often plays a hidden but key role in persuading people to purchase merchandise. The chart below taps Google Analytics to make this point. You can see that Nina Designs had only $4,000 in direct sales from social media sources but $66,000 in assisted conversions, which means that our customers interacted with us on social media at least once before making a purchase through our website.
Studies show that the average person spends two hours a day on social media activities. If you want to be where the people are, role up your sleeves and plan your Social Media Strategy.
- If you only participate in one form of social media, choose Facebook. Facebook is a great place to tell the story of your brand and forge a sense of community. There are over one billion people on Facebook, and you should be there too! Success on Facebook hinges on generating engagement. Facebook will monitor how often people like, comment, or share your posts and use that information to determine how many people will see them. Even your fans won’t see all your posts! Try to post at least once a day. Limit sales messages to 15% of your posts. Use the other posts for material that you think will interest your customers, even if it is not directly related to your industry. Include visuals in all of your posts.
- Pinterest is a perfect match for jewelry. Eighty percent of pinners are women. They spend their time on Pinterest looking at food, décor, crafting and fashion. According to the websites Pinterest Insider and Wishpond, Pinterest-referred website visitors spend 70% more money than visitors referred from other sites. When you use Pinterest for business, spend most of your time generating original Pins that link back to your website, rather than repinning. Ideas for organizing jewelry boards include Seasons, Jewelry Categories and Color Palettes.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Internet. Posting YouTube videos about your jewelry is a great strategy for improving organic search rankings. Videos are intimate and powerful. Treat the viewer with respect and be careful to provide real value.
- Twitter does not lend itself naturally to jewelry, but it is a great way to keep customers informed on new styles, events and jewelry trends. Leverage Twitter by linking to longer posts on your Facebook page or your blog.
- Consistency is one key to success in social media. Don’t set up, dump a bunch of content and disappear. Create a calendar to schedule posts ahead of time as much as possible. This is an efficient use of your time and will ensure that your content is spread out evenly. Once your personal calendar is set up, you can use scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to load up your content and have it post automatically to Facebook and Twitter. You can also schedule posts directly on Facebook. Unfortunately, Pinterest does not have the same free scheduling tools at the moment.
- Responsiveness is crucial for growing and maintaining relationships. Social media is about interaction, and people will get irritated if you don’t respond to comments and inquiries promptly. Even if you preschedule your posts, check in several times a day to interact with the community.
- A Call to Action should be included in ALL posts on ALL platforms. Tell people what you want them to do! Some examples include “Click for details,” “Like if you agree,” “Tell us your favorite” or “Share this post with a friend.” This strategy may seem blunt, but it is extremely effective. Remember, your goals are to drive up engagement and drive people to your website.
- Analytics are important for tracking and improving your social media content. If you set up business accounts on Facebook and Pinterest, you will automatically have access to analytics, or Insights, as they are called on Facebook. These tools are easy to use so don’t be intimidated! You can see which posts get the most likes, clicks and comments and which ones bomb. Use that information to guide your decisions on what content to generate next.
- Blogs are a great place to generate content to push out to other social media venues. Scour social media to discover what your customers are most interested in and, in particular, what problems they are facing. Create blogs that Solve Problems and you will attract an enthusiastic audience. Then take the highlights and sprinkle them throughout your social media network.
- Multiplying Platforms: Instagram, LinkedIn, Vine, Snapchat, Google+, how to choose? If you can only find the time for one, choose Facebook. Next, ask yourself, which venues are best for jewelry? What do you enjoy most? If you are passionate, you will attract a following. Keep in mind that no one expected Facebook to become the dominant social media site, or Twitter to rocket into popularity, or Pinterest to promulgate so quickly. The next big thing may be right here now, and we just don’t know it yet. In such an uncertain environment, it is best to reserve your name on as many social media sites as possible. By doing so, you keep your options open in case one of them becomes tomorrow’s Facebook. Try signing up for Instagram now and you will see how quickly names get snapped up!
Finally, know that even professionals get overwhelmed by the prolific world of social media. Don’t get paralyzed by overabundance. Focus on one goal at a time. Set up your Facebook page, get into a groove, and then add another venue or two if you can manage it. In any case, you may be surprised how much fun, goodwill, and business you can generate from your Social Media Activities.