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Digital Corner: How to Succeed on Social Media

Throw away the excuses and renew your perspective.

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JUST ABOUT EVERY BUSINESS is in the social media game now, and most are failing to use their social media channels in even a moderately successful way. If you think you can hand off your social media presence to some service for $195 a month, you’re not even in the game. If you don’t have “time” to work on your social channels, you either don’t care or don’t believe in the medium. If you connect your Facebook page to duplicate posts to Twitter, you’re not Tweeting. If you’re not 100 percent excited about the real opportunities social media brings to your business, you’re missing the boat. It’s time to throw away the excuses and re-energize your staff and your perspective. It’s time to unlock your social media success!

Look, I get it. Social media seems just like this thing people do for fun and well … it is. But it’s also the way people connect by sharing thoughts, ideas and experiences. If you strip out all of your preconceived notions about social, or all of digital marketing for that matter, it all becomes rather simple. It’s about eyeballs. It doesn’t matter what you think about social media, because the eyeballs ARE there. Why does one put up a billboard? Mostly because of traffic (eyeballs) and/or the location of the board. That’s about it. Yet, no one questions the obvious logic of placing a billboard, because they know people will see it. It baffles me when that same logic isn’t placed on social. Instead, we attempt to justify social by trying to determine some kind of ROI, mostly sales. It doesn’t work like that. Like the billboard, social marketing is primarily about brand positioning. In fact, one could also argue that billboards have lost some of their effectiveness due to social marketing. There were a lot more people looking out of the car window 15 years ago. Now, every passenger has their nose in their phone. Eh, I digress.

It’s All About Content

So, now that you’ve bought in, let’s talk about how your business has changed. What you did 15 or 20 years ago doesn’t necessarily work anymore. The world is different. It’s a new way of clienteling. Your sales staff need to think differently. Your sales team should be banging it on social; if not their personal account, your store’s. It’s all about creating content. There are all types of content, and all of them can help to drive your business, but it takes work! Regardless of whether you do your marketing in-house or work with a third party, there is one thing that is greatly needed: content. Blogging could be HUGE for your business for many reasons, but will you put in the time? Quick in-store videos take under a minute but perform well online. Just grab a cell phone, put a ring on your finger, and say something. Done! Do that for one minute each day and you’ll have 30 pieces of content. Empower your team to get involved and be creative. Is Sally going out to a popular LOCAL restaurant? Give her a piece of jewelry and have her take a pic while there. Perhaps it’s a ring on her hand while she holds the stem of a wine glass with strategic placement of the menu in the background. Boom: content for Instagram or even the individual product page on your website. Now you’re connecting locally with like-minded businesses, giving them a shoutout, and creating content for your brand. Which leads me to …

What’s Your Brand Identity?

We touched on it above, but how do people really identify your brand? This is where you can craft that perception with social media. Create content purposefully and define your brand by connecting your customer profile to other like-minded businesses or brands. We gave one example with the local restaurant above, but here is a broader example. Let’s say you’re a big Rolex dealer, and your clientele is affluent and upscale. Shape your brand to speak to that audience. What are some of their similar interests? Perhaps a content picture of someone wearing a ring while holding onto a steering wheel and just in the corner you can make out the BMW logo. Or maybe you live in a big boating community. Take some video and pictures on a sailboat. It’s all great content and, most likely, you have similar interests as your customers, so it’s really not that difficult to do. While all of this content will work for a number of your digital assets, the best channel on which to build your “brand identity” is Instagram. No inspirational quotes or posts of staff members’ birthdays. Keep your Instagram feed focused on your brand’s lifestyle. Let Facebook be your catch-all; it’s great for news and events.

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The Bottom Line

  1. Start creating content en masse, even if you don’t use it all. You and your staff should all be content curators.
  2. Only use social platforms you can do well and use them how they were meant to be used, with unique content for each.
  3. Add in some video. It’s what’s hot right now and tends to have better engagement.
  4. Blog or vlog (video blog). Since you’re creating all of this content, use it. Post to your blog at least two to three times per month with real insights, both written and video.

The real secret to social media success is putting in the work and not cutting corners. Most won’t or don’t put in the time, but the ones who do will start seeing social media success. Put in the effort and see where you are this time next year. I bet you have a more engaged, excited staff and begin to see your social media come into focus.

Fruchtman Marketing is a full-service agency that specializes in the jewelry industry and works with many of the country’s finest jewelry retailers, manufacturers, designers and trade groups. The company has presented seminars at the most prominent trade shows, including JCK Las Vegas, IJO and The Centurion Jewelry Show, and contributes to top industry publications. Visit the jewelry marketing experts at fruchtman.com

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Editor's Note

Today’s Bridal Client Requires A New Approach

Selection isn’t enough anymore.

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IF YOU’RE SELLING bridal the same old way you’ve done it in past decades, you may find fewer people saying “I do” to your engagement rings.

Twenty years ago, it was enough just to have a strong selection of solitaires. Heck, it’s been less than five years since custom design began to dominate the bridal conversation and lab-grown diamonds started making waves.

Those products are responses to three traits common to nearly every engagement ring shopper these days: they want uniqueness, an environmentally and ethically friendly product, and quality at a reasonable price. If you’re not addressing shoppers’ desire for a ring distinct from their peers — and one that satisfies their social conscience — you need to revisit your business model, quickly.

Today’s engagement ring shopper also responds well to an unexpected positive experience. Many jewelers now provide one or more “extras” to bridal shoppers, which we’ve collated in our lead story, “41 Surefire Ways to Make Your Bridal Business Stand Out.” These could be anything from a proposal package to a photo shoot, booth seating or concierge services.

And that’s just the beginning. Throughout this issue, you can read about how to make the most of the lab-grown diamond phenomenon, how to streamline your bridal inventory, how to get clients to return for jewelry service, and much more. So if you’re ready to turn something old into something new, turn the page and get cracking!

Trace Shelton

Editor-in-Chief, INSTORE
trace@smartworkmedia.com

Five Smart Tips You’ll Find in This Issue

1. Write a blog post that describes the best places around your community to propose. (Tip Sheet, p. 56)
2. Create infographics about jewelry and diamonds to share on social media. (Manager’s To-Do, p. 32)
3. Give a silicon band free to engagement ring shoppers while talking about jewelry care. (Do You Or Don’t You, p. 73)
4. Treat engagement ring clients to a ride to their wedding in a vintage vehicle. (The Big Story, p. 40)
5. Track which live samples result in special orders. (Sherry Smith, p. 61)

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Shane Decker

Did You Know that When You Close a Sale, You’re Helping Your Customer?

They want to leave with their chosen product in a bag.

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TODAY’S CLIENTS DON’T have time to shop tomorrow. They buy the day they shop; you do the same thing. Millennials shop online before they decide to come to your store. Older generations might go from store to store to find what they want, but they too buy the day they shop. Most of us start with the store where we want to leave our money.

Clients want you to close the sale. In part, they are paying you to make a professional decision for them and trusting you to do it. Sixty to 70 percent of your clients cannot make up their own minds. That’s why you should never say, “Can I wrap it up for you?” They will walk because you’re asking them to make a decision.

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Moreover, approximately 90 percent of all clients who say I’ll be back never come back; 7 percent do. And, around 80 percent of all clients who say “I’ll be back” buy elsewhere within the first one to two hours after leaving your location.

The No. 1 reason clients leave empty-handed is not inventory or price. It’s that they were not closed. Too many salespeople do show-and-tell presentations rather than show-and-sell presentations. Independently owned stores’ closing ratios are between 27-33 percent, yet 80 percent of shoppers buy the day they shop. If you shop today, do you have time to shop tomorrow? Didn’t think so.

Never believe the client is coming back. This is the time for a team-sell or a T.O. When they say “I’ll be back,” that means they are leaving to shop somewhere else.

When you let the client leave empty-handed, you’re giving money to one of your competitors.

The best way to preserve client loyalty is to close the sale. A client is successful when they leave with a bag, give you money and they’re glad they came in — not when they have to leave and start the process somewhere else.

One of your most successful opportunities should be your referral clients, but remember, they have high expectations. Someone bragged about how awesome you or your team was. If the expectations are met, closing ratio with referrals are usually over 80 percent. Interestingly, this is a higher percentage than even clients who come in two-three times per year. Another type of presentation that should have a high closing ratio (80 percent) is the appointment.

The more money the item costs, the easier it is to close it. A $500 item is harder to close than a $5,000 item and so on. Why? Because the client can. Never decide for the client how much they can spend. Let them decide that. Do not do price presentations.

Owners, track clients coming in with a door counter and see how many sales slips are written up. This will tell you your closing ratio, which is the most important number in your entire company. You’ll also learn what your team is doing. Ultimately, your store’s closing ratio should be 50 percent or more.

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Columns

Create a Marketing Machine with a Blog

Once you build momentum over several months, you’ll start to see the fruits.

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EVERY JEWELER GOES through a phase when they’re obsessed with Google. It dawns on them that everyone uses Google for everything. But they have to dig to find their own site after trying a search. A blog isn’t just a way to address this. It’s a certified marketing machine.

Blogs Give Google What They Want

Earlier this month, Google wrote a blog post that included tips about how to rank well. They used the word “content” 45 times. A typical jewelry website has a page for each type of jewelry sold and maybe a few more pages covering related topics like diamond education. You might have one or two dozen pages that probably don’t have all that much text on them. Contrast that with a blog, that easily racks up 52 pages just by posting once a week for a year. That’s two to four times as much content as what most jewelry sites rely on year after year.

How The Blog Machine Works on Google

Blogs are powerful marketing machines for SEO. They give Google lots of new content on a variety of topics. A single blog post on a jeweler’s site probably won’t rank for general terms with lots of search like “engagement rings”. It can rank, however, for a bunch of specific terms with less search like “best places to propose in [name your city]”. We’ve seen a jeweler get good traffic from a blog post on that topic. This is an easier way to introduce your brand to the exact same customer.

Jewelry store blogs have the ability to cover lots of different topics; topics that a future customer might search for during different stages along their path to buying. This way you’re introducing your store and brand to future customers earlier in the process. By the time they’re ready to buy, they already know who you are and have found your website helpful.

Other Places The Blog Machine Works

Having lots of great content regularly posted on your site is a dream scenario for marketing. Every blog post that goes up is a new opportunity to talk to your customers. You can share the new post on social media and send an email to your list too. With regular blogging, you’ll find that some of the same customers will come back week after week to see what’s new in the blog. This is a fantastic way to stay top of mind and encourage sales.

How To Build Your Jewelry Blog

And we do mean build. Each post in your blog is like adding a brick to a house. Over time you’ll have a strong foundation and a respectable presence. Google will notice your site more and will reward you for having lots of rich, relevant content for them to show searchers, but it takes time.

Start by making a list of topics you want to cover. Here are some topics to write about:

  • Jewelry tips
  • Store events
  • Local events
  • Fashion trends
  • Birthstones
  • “Did you know” type of information
  • What you do and why you do it (could be things you sell, recommendations you make, etc.)

Beyond this list, look to Google trends for ideas about what people are searching for online. Try comparing a couple of ideas and seeing which is more popular. Also, after you do a search on Google, check out the bottom of the page. They’ll show you related searches. These serve as good variations or alternate topics to consider.

Build Momentum and Enjoy the Ride

Blogging is a long game, but once you build momentum over several months, you’ll start to see the fruits. To build momentum, blog regularly. Do it weekly if you can, monthly if you must. Consider splitting up the work among multiple authors to make it manageable. But know that you’re building up an asset that will last for years and years and can quickly become your unfair advantage.

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