Rapaport Magazine
Retail

Do You Use Social Media?

Retailrap

By Phyllis Schiller
RAPAPORT... 

Jordan Scott

The 4Cs are not the only things that make a piece of diamond jewelry a sales winner. In an ongoing series, Rapaport Magazine explores the “3Ws” — what’s selling, what’s not and why — by going straight to the people who really know — jewelry retailers. Each month, we ask a sampling of retailers to comment on the important issues that are facing the industry today. Here is what they had to say when asked: “Do you use social media to promote your store?”


JAY MEDNIKOW, OWNER
MEDNIKOW JEWELERS
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

“I do, but not nearly as effectively as I know I should. We have a Facebook page and we have a lot of fans and occasionally we do something on there, but I’m embarrassed to say that’s one area where we are somewhat deficient. It requires constant maintenance. We can have good intentions, but often, other things get in the way. My intention is to get more into it. But at the same time, while I know it’s effective, I question sometimes whether it’s as good as the hype makes it out to be. Social media is great. Does it convert to paying customers at a rate that’s as good as advertising? I don’t know. I think it has to be part of the entire package; you can’t cut out the traditional ports of advertising.”

 

MARK & MONIKA CLODIUS, CO-OWNERS
CLODIUS & CO. JEWELERS
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS

“The answer is yes; specifically Facebook and email contact. We started a presence a year and a half ago and we’re just now in the process of better managing it and finding a management company that specializes in these things for jewelers. You can use it to let people know about specific events, but what I read is that if you use it as a sales tool or as an advertising tool, people will tune that out very quickly. We are preparing to launch a number of contests on social media and have come up with some novel things, treasure hunts and other fun ways for our customer base to interact with the community. We’re excited about that.”

 

DAN WIXON, OWNER
WIXON JEWELERS
BLOOMINGTON, MINNESOTA

“We are just diving into that feet first, everywhere we possibly can. I am hiring a guy just to make sure that we are constantly at the top of our social media game. We are going everywhere we can possibly go; it’s clearly the future. Depending on the media, we’ll use it to get our name out there. The up-and-comer is Pinterest: You start with things people like, so that you are basically promoting sales. And Facebook can be different; so, it’s a combination of both.”

 

TOM WRIGHT, CO-OWNER
WRIGHT’S JEWELERS
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

“We’re barely touching the tip of social media. As an older-generation management, we aren’t as quick or adept at it as the very young. We have a Facebook page for our store and we have individual Facebook pages. We haven’t gotten into Twitter or Pinterest.

“We’ve just started approaching our clients to ‘like us’ on Facebook. And we’ve just recently started a gift drawing that customers can enter if they fill out our card and like us on Facebook. And that’s getting us a few people, but it’s slow.”

 

JIM ALATI, GENERAL MANAGER
SIMMONS FINE JEWELRY
MERIDIAN, IDAHO

“We do pretty much all the major social media. We have Facebook, of course. We also have a YouTube account and we use Twitter. And we are considering Pinterest. On top of all that, we do emails and our website. We do quite a bit of interaction — every time we post something on Facebook, it goes automatically on Twitter. And any time an email goes out, it gets connected to Twitter.

“As far as whether all this is bringing in customers, it’s really hard to track that. But as far as keeping in contact with people, especially the 18-to-35 year olds, they’re all about that media. Most of the people on Facebook and most who follow us on those types of outlets either have been a client here at one time or another or are friends with somebody who has shopped here. It’s really about staying in contact with people who are currently our customers. Sometimes the only way they will ‘like you’ on Facebook is if they’ve had a good experience or one of their friends recommended the store.

“We have run an ‘if you like us’ enter-to-win promotion, which we’re thinking of doing again. It bolstered the number of people who follow us. We try not to advertise on social media but rather ask questions, to see if they’ll interact with us. And we do get some feedback on that. We have about 2,500 followers at the moment. When we have in-store events, we do use Facebook and other social media to let people know.”

 

GEORGE FOX, OWNER
FOX FINE JEWELRY
VENTURA, CALIFORNIA

“We’re on Facebook — we’re always posting pictures and having contests. We use it all the time; we have about 1,700 fans…it’s great. It’s not business-oriented but more to get a buzz going about jewelry and keep Fox Fine Jewelry in the forefront of people’s minds. We still do traditional advertising but we’re putting most of our efforts into Facebook. And it pays off because it brings us higher in the search engine and we garner reviews — sometimes people will comment on a job we’ve done for them on Facebook. I haven’t seen any negative comments. And we’ll direct people to reviews on Google and Yelp, and those reviews really drive people to the store.”

 

JIM MESSIER, PRESIDENT
ARTHUR’S JEWELRY
BEDFORD, VIRGINIA

“We started out with some of the high school kids here and realized what a communications tool social media was. We’ve recently integrated our Facebook page so it shows up on our website. We found that trying to do strong selling on Facebook didn’t really do it for us. But by having it be more of a passive thing and making ourselves a part of people’s lives, it worked better. And the store does use Twitter. The whole idea is to make the store become relevant.

“I’ve noticed that with our young first-time diamond customers in their twenties, whatever social media and web presence we have lets them check us out online and see what we’re all about before they walk in the door. You can fight it or you can join it — we may stumble a bit along the way, but it’s working. It has helped our diamond business, which in my opinion, is what it’s all about.”

 

CLAYTON BROMBERG, PRESIDENT
UNDERWOOD JEWELERS
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

“We do Facebook and Twitter — I have a social media person who does it for us. The biggest investment is some person’s time to keep it maintained but since it’s not really a hard cost because they do it part-time, if you get any kind of return, it’s an immense return in comparison to the investment. We don’t use Facebook and Twitter to sell as much as we do use them to help give customers an awareness of us so we’re the jeweler on top of their minds. Then, if they need a diamond, we have a shot at making that sale.”

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - June 2012. To subscribe click here.

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