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A couple of months ago, pre-coronavirus emergency, when the economy seemed to be humming along, digital marketing may have been a useful part of your marketing toolkit, among many others.

Now, it is key to business resilience.

“This crisis is teaching the industry that digital marketing and e-commerce are so important,” says Julie Gotz, chief marketing officer at Bruce Freshley Media. “But for a lot of our clients, it’s a scary entity, or they don’t think it’s necessary.”

Gotz says social media should be the top priority. “This is a time where everybody is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram getting their information, and this is where they are shopping from. Everyone is tethered to their phones. Let people know in organic posts if you are open or closed, and what kind of services you are offering. And reach beyond the followers on your page by paying for Facebook advertising.”

In the past month, André Savoie of High Level Thinkers Digital Marketing has been advising clients to do the opposite of what they think they should do. “Every jeweler has had the same freak-out reaction about cash flow and getting customers in the door somehow,” Savoie says. “But jewelers should use this time instead of pushing product to push what they’re about and what they believe in and bond with the community in that way.” Tell stories about what has made your customers happiest through the years and how you’ve put a smile on their faces. “Making people happy is in jewelers’ DNA. Talking about that will get a lot of positive feedback and love. And at some point, they are going to buy.”

Discounts won’t work right now, either, says Andrea Hill of Hill Management Consulting. People who are concerned about cash flow in precarious times won’t suddenly be enticed to buy something if it’s discounted 20 percent. And people who are able to buy it would likely buy it at full price if they wanted it.

Melissa Quick of Steve Quick Jeweler,Chicago says telling the story of her travels to East Africa

CONNECT WITH CUSTOMERS. It’s important to connect with clients on a human level, tell stories, and let them know what you believe in. Melissa Quick of Steve Quick Jeweler in Chicago says telling the story of her travels to East Africa with Gem Legacy, a charity that benefits mining communities in East Africa, elicited the most engagement she’s ever had on social media. She also promotes her commitment to sustainable jewelry sourcing.

Approach social media to forge one-to-one connections because in uncertain times, connection and authenticity bring comfort and reassurance. ”During the crisis, the most powerful thing people can do is connect with customers personally — respond to every post, seek individual mini-conversations, host in-the-moment live events and get-togethers (online), and keep the connections alive,” Hill says. “People will remember how you made them feel. The time for more promotion and redirecting online marketing strategy will be more in the June-July timeframe I think.”

Ben Smithee, CEO of the Smithee Group, urges clients to invest in their brands and to create an “evergreen” branding campaign that will work now and later. “Think of your brand like Netflix or HBO,” he says. “Think in a series of content, not just pieces of content.” Most brands will run out of content quickly because they are solely product- or service-focused. Now is the time that brands that relate to their audience on a human level will win, he says.

George Blair, vice-president of Jeweler Websites, Inc., suggests adopting a moderate, low-key tone on social media. ”Take it in a less sales-y direction. Talk about the things that bring us together. Highlight the elements of why people respond to jewelry.”

Invite your followers to virtually browse your inventory and keep your online catalogs up to date, Blair says. If your customers are not directly buying, they will be fantasy shopping, so wish lists and shopping carts are likely to be full. “They’ll need a distraction, and they will go on a window-shopping spree. They will be more discerning when it comes to buying, but impulse buys will release serotonin and we all feel good when we have something coming in the mail. The concept of gift-giving and self-purchase will continue.” In fact, sending gifts to loved ones can bridge geographical and emotional distances.

In addition, Jennifer Shaheen, president of Technology Therapy, says it’s a natural time for retailers to both embrace and learn about available platforms. “Share original images of your products and focus on emotions and stories.” Use emojis and components of more casual language.

Shane O’Neill, vice-president of Fruchtman Marketing, advises clients to stay the course when it comes to advertising but concentrate on themes of unity, hope and community. “During the 2008 downturn, our jewelers that stayed the course took market share from those that stopped advertising. If things start to look more positive, consumers will likely move forward with those planned purchases. So if you want to stay top of mind, e-commerce provides an opportunity to connect with your customers.”

33 WAYS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA GAME

Move beyond boosting.

Michael Moriarty

Michael Moriarty made a video of a hyalite opal that has so far garnered over 4 million views.

1 “Yes, it’s really important to post to your page,” says Gotz. “But it’s pay to play. Everybody is tightening their purse strings and looking at their budgets. But if you can find $1,500 or $2,000, put it toward a Facebook campaign for products, or to promote services like delivery or pickup.” Paying for Facebook ads rather than a boosted campaign can be much more targeted. “We can find out where people are shopping online, what their interests are, what their income is. We can dive so deep that I feel Facebook is the way to reach your potential customers in a very, very targeted way,” says Gotz.

When trying to figure out what your audience likes, test your content organically first. It will have limited reach, but it will allow you to tailor it before you put money behind it. Take the time to outline the campaigns you want to run and figure out whom you want to target. Then you can allocate funds across a certain time period to those campaigns. If you do advertise via Facebook Ads Manager rather than boosting, you’ll be visible 24/7, says O’Neill, who suggests budgeting $500 to $700 per social-media advertising campaign or a minimum of $250. Your overall marketing spend should be 6 to 8 percent of gross revenue, he says.

bend the knee Fruchtman Marketing

Fruchtman Marketing produced a timely social media and video campaign for Walters & Hogsett Jewelers of Boulder, CO, that referenced Game Of Thrones during the show’s final season, demonstrating how to tie in to pop culture.

Brainstorm a timely video theme.

2 Video offers more bang for the buck than other media, lowering cost-per-engagement, says O’Neill. Brainstorm with staff to come up with a timely idea. For Walters & Hogsett Jewelers in Boulder, CO, Fruchtman Marketing brainstormed a “Game of Thrones” themed video for its final season last year with the catch phrase, “Bend the knee,” a recurring theme in the show. The resulting YouTube video, targeted to the engagement ring consumer who watches Game of Thrones, was wildly successful. Watch the Game of Rings video at instoremag.com/gameofrings.

Recognize that YouTube is the new TV.

3 Keep in mind that YouTube is not only a social-media channel, but it’s also the No. 2 search engine in the world and an option for ad spends, too, says O’Neill. So, use your phone to create educational or topical videos, such as what you should know about changing a watch battery, or the difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds. Humanize your offerings and connect with followers and fans by showing off your talents that have nothing to do with jewelry. Let them see you cooking or playing an instrument, for example. “We look at it as the new TV,” says O’Neill. This medium reaches more 18 to 49 year olds than any cable network.

Glowing Hyalite Opal with 4.2MilViews

Show off what you’re good at.

4 If you’re a custom jeweler, video allows you to show off your expertise and craftsmanship.

Michael Moriarty, bench jeweler and social-media guru at his family’s jewelry store, Moriarty’s Gem Art in Crown Point, IN, did just that. He had produced a series of videos showcasing his dad’s expert gem faceting, along with informational videos showing the entire in-house process of faceting, design, casting and setting. When he made a video of a glowing hyalite opal that looked like kryptonite from the Superman comic books, Moriarty knew he had a hit on his hands. “I was holding it in my hand and moving it into daylight, which made it literally glow, and someone grabbed a small clip of that video and posted it on Reddit. It made the front page of Reddit and it really started rolling. It’s up to over 4 million views now. It’s been posted for a couple years now and it keeps getting views.” Best of all, the videos help explain what Moriarty’s Gem Art is all about. “Our video will pop up, and if they are interested in buying, they go to our channel and see all our other products.”

Advertise if you can.

5 Because so many businesses have pulled back advertising right now, you can achieve far more reach for far less budget than before, says Savoie. “We’ve seen 30, 40, 50 percent more reach, even with reduced budgets. If you can advertise on social media right now, you are getting incredible bang for your buck.”

Experiment.

6 Now is not the time to go “dark” and pull back on content, says Smithee. Instead, use this time to create content you’ve been too busy to create previously. Use Instagram Stories, Instagram TV for longer video content, and Instagram and Facebook live streams to keep your audience engaged and informed. “When we come out of this, which we will, the brands that have remained relevant and engaging will win.”

Link back to your website.

7 Social media platforms shouldn’t be considered the end of the road, says Blair. They are, rather, an important tool to engage people and invite them to visit your website, the virtual equivalent of welcoming people into your store. If you don’t link back to your website, it’s as if you are walking around handing out Polaroid photos without giving directions to your store. If your post shows March’s birthstone and asks, “Who’s born in March?” without a link to view your birthstone collection on your website, that is a missed opportunity. If you ask followers, “Which ring do you like better?” without linking to your website’s product catalog, you may have missed out on a sale. Your website is the only thing online you have complete control over. So take a link from your blog, or post an image and link to your website’s product catalog. Make sure it’s shoppable and has a chat feature.

Find and hire a local influencer.

8 Find a local “micro-influencer,” defined as having between 2,000 and 50,000 followers, by researching jewelry niches on digital platforms. Look for someone with a proven history of engaging with your target audience, says Jen Cullen Williams, communications strategist. Then send an email or direct message with a paid offer. Once an influencer accepts the offer, fine tune a contract and be clear about your rights to use images. Agree on when the campaign will begin and end, how it will be tracked and what you expect. Before you hire someone, consider:

A. What are your goals? Is it to increase your social media following? Create beautiful photography and content? Drive traffic to your store or online? Or promote a specific product or message? Determine how goals will be tracked and measured.

B. Set a budget. It’s becoming less common to trade product for posting, so expect this to cost between $500 for a single post to more than $10,000 for a comprehensive campaign. Most influencers have media kits that outline their core audience and rate options.

C. Communicate your goals. If the goal is to drive followers to purchase a specific product, then a campaign that has a swipe-up-to-shop link, photos of the influencer wearing the product, and perhaps a discount code could make sense. But understand that while you can provide key messages to them, you will be paying for the influencer’s voice and perspective, so make sure you like their style and it’s a good fit.

Jack Lewis Jewelers on Facebook

Jack Lewis Jewelers on Facebook

John Carter, owner of Jack Lewis Jewelers in Bloomington, IL, is known for letting his staff shine online, from karaoke videos to social media posts that express their individual style. These types of personalized posts can’t be duplicated by a competitor.

Let your staff shine online.

9 John Carter of Jack Lewis Jewelers in Bloomington, IL, has weekly photo features starring employees. “Hollywould,” for instance, features sales associate Holly Stief in a fun series of professionally shot photo shoots around town. Says Carter: “The concept is ‘Would you wear this? Holly would!’ and it shows her wearing our jewelry all while enjoying the very cool local businesses that our community has to offer. This has become one of my favorites because it celebrates our town and our people as much as it does our store.” Jack Lewis Jewelers also does a feature called “Legitimissy” where once a week, Missy, the store manager and jewelry buyer, shows viewers what’s “legit.”

Be human.

10 Humanize your company by personally showing off your jewelry collection via YouTube or Facebook Live, says Smithee. Talk about how you started the company or recount favorite memories. Interview longtime customers talking about their favorite purchases. Interview couples that got engaged with rings from your store and include an update on where they are now. Send a personal invitation to book a virtual appointment. Highlight a member of the community or a charity that’s supporting others. Photos of products can be human, too, if the tone of the caption speaks to sharing love and beauty.

Offer tips behind the scenes, like what it’s like to work at home temporarily, your favorite recipes, and how you stay motivated.

Sissy’s Log Cabin Ideally Flawless on Faceook

Starting a private Facebook club, like Ideally Flawless managed by Sissy’s Log Cabin, can snowball into far-reaching engagement with patience and leadership.

Start a Facebook group.

11 Sissy’s Log Cabin, with locations in Arkansas and Tennessee, created the Ideally Flawless Facebook group. They offer giveaways to 15,000 members while also positioning the family business as industry experts. “Facebook doesn’t incentivize business groups or ads, so we try to get people to post what they’re doing or post jewelry pictures,” says William Jones IV, VP of operations. Facebook rewards that strategy with visibility. But maintaining such a group requires a fair amount of admin work. “Unless you are there leading it, you’re going to get people posting political things and arguing. So lead by example. And be very patient. It’s a snowball effect. Still, if you have a page with 200,000 impressions a week that you are not paying for, that makes it worth the time.”

Reply with aplomb!

12 On Instagram, reply to comments within one hour to boost your visibility while reminding customers that yes, they are communicating with a real person, says Erin Lashley, brand strategist at the Smithee Group. When you comment, use at least three words. Why? Bots that leave comments use emojis or one-word comments. But if you take the time to leave meaningful, thoughtful comments, Instagram will reward you with a wider audience. Instead of “nice” or “lovely,” say, “I love the way this blue sapphire glistens in the sunlight. It really captures its beauty.” In addition, if you direct-message someone, that person will become far more likely to see your posts in the future. Try sending voice memos to followers, too. (“Thank you so much for following. I love what you’re doing. Tell me more about yourself.”) Such an approach can humanize you.

Build relationships with influencers by turning on post notifications and being the first to comment on their posts, says Lashley. You’ll be able to further build that relationship via direct message. It’s a strategy that will lead to greater engagement for all of your posts.

Lastly, be a real person on social media, not just a brand. “I do a lot of replies on my own personal profiles, Instagram, Facebook; that adds a different layer of relationship,” says Jones of Sissy’s Log Cabin. “Your personal profile nowadays is what you want people to see and feel about you.” People also feel less aggravated when they run into a problem. “People can see that it’s a real person when you take the time out to respond to these things and put yourself out there, that this business represents you and you stand behind it,” he says.

Dianna Rae Jewelry

FT Lee

When you’re shooting jewelry to sell it from social media or link to your online e-commerce catalog, it’s important that the quality of the photo reflects the quality of the jewelry. Jeff High photographs jewelry for Dianna Rae High Jewelry in Lafayette using specialized equipment, but says jewelers can get amazing results these days with a simple smart phone setup, as long as they commit some time to practicing.

Fine-tune photography.

13 Start by producing high-quality photographs. “If you’re showing a piece of jewelry that can cost thousands of dollars, having a nice (and sharp) photograph is pretty important,” says Jeff High, who founded GemVision. “The quality of the photo must do justice to the quality of the jewelry.” While High built his own photography equipment to show off the custom jewelry at Dianna Rae Jewelry, his wife’s Lafayette, LA, jewelry store, he says good jewelry photography doesn’t require a big outlay of time or money. Use an iPhone with an extra lens, a desktop studio and a lightbox, he says, and get amazing results. Spend an afternoon experimenting and take a look at products such as the GemLightbox Basic Kit, which retails for $899 on riogrande.com and is compatible with DSLR cameras as well as newer smart phones.

Secondly, loosen up. Don’t be afraid to use your smartphone for more casual shots, says Matthew Perosi, president of Jeweler Websites, who created a jewelry photography class. There is a place for showing jewelry in “real life,” such as shots of newly arrived inventory, a ring on your finger, or what you’re working on at the bench. Those photos don’t have to be perfect. “I usually recommend you don’t use a white background on Facebook or Instagram because they are really boring and really only good for your online catalog. Social media is about capturing attention in a split second.”

And lastly, use your own content. At Sissy’s Log Cabin, Jones limits vendor content. “People are desensitized to high-end retouched photos,” he says. “Jewelry lines want to send you as many stock images that they have. It is the easy way out, but 400 other jewelers might have that same picture. Post photos that other people can’t compete with. If I take a picture with a customer or my family, I’m the only jeweler that has that picture.”

Think about the models and the backgrounds you’re showing in your photography, too. Stylized images featuring high-fashion types might be crowd-pleasing in New York or LA, but may not resonate with your own local crowd, says Savoie of High Level Thinkers. Clients want to shop local, you are local, so make sure you look local. Take a picture of a plant that’s blooming right now, that people will recognize as something local. Show people who look like those likely to walk in the door. Show diversity, particularly if you’re in a multi-cultural locale.

Try a virtual, interactive event.

14 Jewelry company Little Bridget Jewelry invited followers to a Virtual Jewelry Make Party. Participants purchase a jewelry-making kit via their website and receive a link to a Zoom party, where they could learn step-by-step how to craft earrings, necklaces or beaded bracelets. Zoom is an online-based video calling tool, which allows users to talk with up to hundreds of participants. It doesn’t have to be jewelry related, though. Get people together for a virtual wine-tasting, for example. Google Hangout is another option.

Use dynamic retargeting.

15 You can sell directly on Instagram by tagging areas of an image that would link directly to the product detail while staying within the Instagram interface, writes Alex Fetanat, CEO of GemFind, on his blog. If you load your products into Instagram, you can also start using “dynamic retargeting,” which shows viewers the products with which they already engaged on your website. By sharing the right products to the right person at the right time with dynamic ads, your conversion rates will increase and your image will improve in the eyes of your customers, who won’t be bombarded with options they’re not interested in.

Consider Google search and ad words.

16 Because larger retailers have had to move online, they are pouring more money than ever before into national Google search buys, and there’s no guarantee that a smaller store with a smaller budget will be able to compete there right now. It’s still worth researching though. How to begin? Bid on Google Ad extensions to boost your placement on Google search, says Cody Giles of The Smithee Group, because you want to be No. 1 on the search page. And if there are more places to click, people will have more reasons to choose your business first. From the Google search page, allow customers to make an appointment directly, add a promotion, add a location so viewers can see your physical location and then see your ad on Google maps. Add a phone number. You can track the number of people who have called directly from Google ads. If you fill up extensions, your Google listing can take up a whole screen without even showing your competitors.

Be creative in branding.

17In late March, Fabergé introduced the #FabergéEasterEgg social media campaign, to offer creative relief during “these challenging times.” Released via Instagram, the immersive activity allowed users to personalize a Fabergé egg, either online, or printed out and decorated using pens, markers and pencils. Participants were invited to repost their creations on their pages and to tag @officialfaberge & #FabergéEasterEgg.

Consider each platform.

18When you post to Instagram, for example, you can connect it to Facebook, but don’t automatically connect it to your Twitter feed because it doesn’t translate well and won’t repost the image or even most of the caption, says Blair of Jeweler Websites. Ideally, post to each platform directly. Says O’Neill: “Every social network has its own requirements and sizing for the ads to be displayed. If you don’t optimize your ad to the right specs, it might not reach its full potential for success.”

Do fence them in.

19Although geo-fencing around your store won’t work if it’s closed or if traffic is down, it is possible to target users in their homes and serve them custom banner ads, based on your target demographics, such as zip codes, household income, marital status, whether or not they are investors or luxury buyers, etc., according to Freshley Media.

Grow in depth.

20Think about the depth of your reach rather than the width when growing your social-media, says Erin Lashley, brand strategist for the Smithee Group. “Most retailers will say they want to grow their audience and get more followers. But it’s not just about the number of followers. It’s about depth of engagement. Take the 500 or 5,000 followers you have now and grow in deep conversation and you’re ability to engage them. The platform will reward you with width once you grow your depth. Phlanx.com is an engagement calculator that can help determine your engagement rate.

Get right with Instagram.

21Ensure your content is tailored to the audience you are trying to reach. Instagram is about lifestyle, so what’s YOUR brand lifestyle? Focus on lifestyle posts and leave generic white background product type posts for Facebook, O’Neill says. “Bring in your local community by incorporating popular restaurants, locations and events into your lifestyle posts. Connect with your customers with brand association. Are your customers affluent? Then incorporate other luxury brands into your product lifestyle posts OR if your a rural jeweler, for example, if your customers are farmers, consider the brands they relate to. Connect with people with the type of content you post.

Be consistent.

22Manage your posts so you stand out. “Provide fresh content. See what’s popular on hashtags and Youtube, so people think, “I wonder what’s going on at Sissy’s this week?” says William Jones IV of Sissy’s Log Cabin. Sissy’s builds social media posts around a theme: Jewelry tips on Tuesdays, for example, videos posted another day of the week; “It gives them the promise that next week, or the next day there’s going to be something else offered,” he says. Julie Terwilliger of Wexford Jewelers in Cadillac, MI, has 20,000 followers on Facebook and 3,000 on Instagram and reports great engagement by using their own content and being intentional about what they post. “We also try to show faces and do a few stories a week and a couple videos here and there as well as lifestyle images and product shots. It drives foot traffic asking for things they saw on our accounts.”

Divide and conquer.

23At Midwest Jewelers & Estate Buyers in Zionsville, IN, every staff member is allocated a day of the week for which they are responsible on Facebook. This keeps the postings fresh, as everyone has a different point of view, says owner Brian McCall. “Videos are encouraged and we have great feedback from our customers; when you go to the local Lowes and a staff member says “You’re that lady in the video!” you know you are doing something right. We “drank the Koolaid” and quit almost every other form of advertising. There is no question that it has paid off.

Photograph new arrivals.

24Denise Oros of Linnea Jewelers in La Grange, IL, says when she and her staff post an Instagram picture of a new piece it ALWAYS sells. “Women want (lust after) what they see,” Oros says. “Customers have been flat-out ticked that we sold the piece before they came in! I say, I can order you another one,” but more often than not, that Instant gratification mentality is very, very real. So our lesson learned was to have a few extra unless it is a one of a kind custom.

Clear up the mystery.

25At Vardy’s Jewelers in Cupertino, CA, customers, family members, or employees are featured on their Instagram feed and none are professional models. They’ve also recently launched a new video series “How It’s Handcrafted” to show their artisans at work. Both initiatives create transparency. How jewelers actually work can seem quite mysterious, they say. “We want to make it less so.”

Always be marketing.

26Team marketing is the approach at Dutilles’s Jewelry Design Studio, meaning all employees should always be marketing. Whether their goldsmiths are melting down an ingot from sentimental rings, or rhodium plating a ring in for repair, they use those pieces as marketing tools. The goldsmiths document the work with before-and-after pictures, and those photos are used on Instagram and Facebook. This approach also ties in with Dutille’s “done on site” philosophy with pictures that reinforce their mission statement.

Not available at ……

27Fruchtman Marketing developed a social media campaign shining a light on their client’s custom-design capability. “What’s so special about custom design? It’s not available anywhere else, that’s what,” says Shane O’Neill. “We took that statement literally and developed the Not Available campaign for social media. The key component for any advertising campaign is to make the viewer stop, take note and remember. We did that and more, leading to nearly 30 percent growth in the client’s custom business in one year.”

T Lee Custom Designer Jewelry

12 deals of Christmas.

28Starting 12 days before Christmas Eve, T Lee’s annual social-media and email promotion helps her clear out old inventory. “It’s not like they’re dogs,” Lee says. “They’re 12 expensive pieces that need a very specific buyer, pieces that people have been looking at all year. It’s a novel thing that helps people feel like they’re getting a fair price.” In the first emailed announcement, they reveal the 12 pieces but don’t specific which day they are going to be priced half off. Each subsequent day, they email pictures of the deal of the day at 6 a.m. along with promotional copy written in the voice of an elf, as if the elf has just made it. “We sold every single piece,” Lee says, and quickly. Sometimes a buyer at 6:01 a.m. would beat out a buyer who responded at 6:03 a.m. Payment was required by noon of each day of the promotion.

Get clients involved.

29Carter’s Jewel Chest in Mountain Home, AR, features a Couple of the Year Contest, where local couples share their photo and love story for a chance to win prizes and be featured in ads. Their Purchase with Purpose Program raises money for local charities through fundraising efforts. The goal of their marketing efforts is to encourage interaction, promote community involvement and showcase the people who live there.

Promote a cause.

30Melissa Quick of Steve Quick Jeweler in Chicago says telling the story of her travels to East African with Gem Legacy, a charity that benefits mining communities in East Africa, elicited the most engagement she’s ever had on social media. “I went into it with a journalist’s approach and decided I was going to give a recap of everything I saw,” she says, “but it was virtually impossible to post every day. There was one Internet connection where I was staying, so I would wait for everyone to go to bed and write my posts at 1:30 or 2 in the morning to have all of the bandwidth I needed to upload photos.” Gem Legacy, organized by the Dery family, works to support artisan miners and their families as well as orphans and offers scholarships for gem-faceting training. “Jewelry does good in these communities and we seldom see the stories of the positive impact it can have. It resonated with a lot of people. It’s been over a year and I still have people talking to me about it.” This kind of engagement makes your clients feel positive about your business, gains credibility, drives traffic, increases loyalty and deepens relationships.

Create and follow a calendar.

31”I set an intention each month with my clients,” says Jacqueline Stone, founder of Bubblegum and Duct Tape. “For example, try using ‘Love’ as your intention for February. What love stories could you share? What fun facts about Valentines Day could you provide? How did the engagement ring come to be? You could also share some personal info in the stories feed about who and what you love. When you start tying your content to a central idea it is much more cohesive and it helps you share your expertise in a way that doesn’t feel phony or forced.”

Is that you, John?

32At MESA Jewelers in Grand Junction, CO, a life-size cardboard cutout picture of owner John Kelly became the Valentine’s season draw to convert social-media followers into in-store visitors. Customers were invited to come in and take a picture with “John” and post it on social media with #winatmesajewelers to enter. The prize was a pair of diamond earrings, hotel, dinner and flowers.

Build pre-event excitement.

33The Smithery in Columbus, OH, cross-promoted with Virtue, a local independent vegan salon, for their annual earring exhibition, Flaunt. Stylists photographed earrings from the exhibition on clients when they finished getting their new look at the salon. The Smithery included a diversity of ages, lifestyles and genders to make the point that anyone can accessorize with jewelry to complement their style. They created a hashtag #flauntyourearrings2019 on Instagram where the earrings, the exhibition and the purchases could be shared by the artists, stylists and customers. This built excitement leading up to and throughout the exhibition.

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