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Store’s Social Media Push Helps Stray Animals

Elizabeth Diamond Company explores the power of animal magnetism.

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ELIZABETH DIAMOND COMPANY OF Dayton, OH, worked with the Society for the Improvement and Conditions of Stray Animals on a cross-promotional campaign that digital media manager Mike Holland describes as “social gold.”

THE IDEA

Four-Legged Photo Shoot

When store owner Sonny Singhvi became a sponsor of the rescue group’s fundraiser, the “Lift Your Leg 10K, 5K and Walk for Strays,” he added value by hosting a photo shoot in the store of adoptable animals modeling fine jewelry. The collaboration was a natural fit. Singhvi’s German shepherd, Daisy, is a mascot for the dog-friendly store, with her own Twitter page. Included in the store’s sponsorship was a $3,000 jewelry gift certificate. The store sold hundreds of dollars’ worth of raffle tickets the day of the photo shoot.

THE EXECUTION

Entertain The Models

Dogs and cats found themselves draped in diamonds and pearls. Julie Reynolds Photography, which specializes in pet portraits, donated time and photos. Before the event, staff found out which animals would be modeling, identified pieces that would fit and photograph well, and began scouting in-store locations. Guests were invited to watch the photo shoot and meet the models. “The puppies had the run of the showroom,” says Julie Crusenberry of SICSA. Singhvi entertained the most rambunctious canine with a game of fetch right in the store.

THE REWARDS

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So Many Animal Lovers

The event was cross-promoted on Facebook; friends of both EDC and SICSA shared the photos on their social media pages. “I am amazed how many people are animal lovers,” Singhvi says. “Every one of the pets that came into the store got placed in homes.” The images drove business, too, based on feedback from client Melissa Spirek, a supporter of SICSA who has two rescue dogs of her own — Hank and Sully. “Beautiful models mean nothing to me in terms of jewelry but the dog wearing the necklace, I could not get it out of my head,” she says. Spirek sent the photo to her husband, who bought the necklace for her birthday. The social media campaign required expertise to get the message out. Even though EDC has 30,000 likes on Facebook, Holland says the campaign would have gone nowhere without targeting posts to animal lovers who are also interested in charity events. Instagram was a natural fit. “Instagram is very fun for people like me because there’s not an effort to have to pay and strategize as much,” Holland says. “These photos were social gold. It was hard to resist.”

Do It Yourself: Promote Your Pet Causes

  • Find a cause that resonates with you and then think of creative ways to personalize a charitable sponsorship.
  • If you’re inviting animals into the store, make sure you have enough staff on hand to help, and, when necessary, channel their energy.
  • If you’d like to cultivate a pet-friendly ambience, keep some dog treats around and offer canine guests fresh water.
  • Plan your social media strategy and set a budget. Don’t just throw money at it. If you’re spending on social media, it’s important to target your message to people with common interests.
  • Find a consultant or hire someone who keeps up with the changing social media landscape.

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

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MSG Jewelers has always treated its customers like family. When owner Mike George decided to retire and close the doors of his St. Louis, Missouri jewelry store, he selected a company to manage his going-out-of-business sale that treats its customers like family, too. That’s why he chose Wilkerson. “Wilkerson was able to do all the things that we needed,” says George. In the end, the bittersweet store closing was so much easier with Wilkerson at the helm. From marketing to pricing to inventory, Wilkerson does it all. “It’s a package deal,” says George.

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