On Saturday August 10th, it was my great pleasure to be a guest speaker at the annual Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) annual conference. Since I personally do love jewelry, it was exciting to have an opportunity to share my social media expertise with this audience.
It’s hard to think of a business more ideally suited to benefit from smart social media strategies than the independent jeweler. Jewelry is intensely visual. There’s a strong emotional component to choosing, buying, giving, and receiving jewelry. Yet there are independent jewelers out there who aren’t sure that social media is right for them.
What Do the Numbers Say?
Many small business owners don’t really understand how prevalent social media has become in our culture. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard “Our customers don’t do Facebook or Instagram. They’re too old for that type of thing!”
The numbers tell a different story. Here are some stats that can help you understand the state of social media at the moment:
of online adults are currently using at least one social networking site. Facebook is the most popular, with Twitter and Pinterest following closely behind.
of all Americans own a smartphone
of Americans under 30 are on more than 1 social platform
of individuals 65+ now use one social network
Why Do People Use Social Media?
It’s clear that social media is extremely popular. What’s not often clear is why – what is it about social media that causes people to devote time, multiple times a day, to it? What is the value they’re finding on Facebook walls and in Vine videos?
This is the type of mystery that should be familiar to jewelers. A natural flawless diamond can be replicated in a laboratory with such skill and precision that no one would be able to tell the two stones apart. They’re virtually identical. Yet the natural diamond commands a price tag that’s exponentially higher than the lab-grown stone. There’s a higher value attached to the natural stone for reasons that aren’t immediately obvious and understandable.
Researchers have been investigating what drives people to use social media. There are three primary emotional causes that are at work. People use social media to provoke certain emotions within themselves – namely feelings of connection, belonging, and self-preservation.
That’s the same reason most people buy jewelry. We choose bracelets, baubles, rings, and necklaces in an effort to provoke feelings within ourselves and to communicate those feelings to others.
One of the biggest emotional triggers is LOVE. Jewelry is often purchased as a token of affection, whether it is from Mother to daughter or from one partner to another. Status can often be the catalyst for certain purchases and for people in certain circles. Jewelry can be used to signal elements of our identity: the avid sailor, for example, might wear a necklace with a nautical theme.
Finally, there’s the feelings of artistic appreciation that comes when one’s face to face with a stunning piece of jewelry. Go through your local independent jeweler’s shop. You’re going to find breath-taking beauty there. It feels good to look at it.
All of the reasons we invest in jewelry are emotional. Whether we’re communicating our affections, signaling our status, expressing our identity, or celebrating beauty and artistry, jewelry gives us a channel through which we can express our emotions.
Just like social media.
Capturing Attention and Creating Emotion
Independent jewelers and other small business owners have a mission in common. They all want to capture attention and create emotional responses in their customers.
This is best accomplished using visual tools. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all offer great ways to put compelling, appealing pictures and videos right in front of your customers.
Different images evoke different emotions in your customer’s mind. So you must first understand your customer’s psychology if you wish to uncover the appropriate images that will be most meaningful to your customers. If you’re a jeweler who specializes in custom engagement rings, for example, you’ll want to populate your social media presence with romantic imagery. On the other hand, if you’re the favorite jeweler of the more macho-fashion forward crowd, you’ll want to share images that highlight pieces with more rugged, masculine appeal.
These are the best social platforms to consider sharing your images on: Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Vine, Instagram, and YouTube.
Each one of these platforms requires a slightly different strategy and approach. During my time with the great IJO audience, I was able to share some easy-to-implement ideas and tips on how to leverage these tools. Feel free to download the presentation on our Freebies page. We’ve also got a few videos on our YouTube channel you won’t want to miss.
With this information, you can start using social media to connect with your customers on a powerful, compelling emotional level. That’s the best way to build your business. If you need help getting started, or need some assistance managing your campaign so you can build your business faster, give us a call. We’re here to help your business grow. Book a consultation today.