To cap off a week focused on how jewelers can best utilize social media, I talked to Mary Rosch—the sales, marketing, and social media coordinator for jewelry designer Atelier Minyon—about her company’s approach to social marketing and what the future holds for the jewelry industry’s online future.
JCK: Tell me a little about the company’s history.
Mary Rosch: Atelier Minyon started as an offshoot of Jewel House of Minyon in Ankara, Turkey. Our designer, Alp Sagnak, had been designing a lot of pieces on his own in Ankara and got the idea to try to bring his work to New York City. Alp was, and still is, bursting with creativity and thought his approach to fine jewelry would translate best in the U.S. market.
JCK: What made you get into social media and marketing?
MR: Self-branding efforts to promote my hobby, a food blog. I gained valuable experience using Twitter and Facebook to promote my posts, do giveaways, crowd-source information, etc. When I changed jobs I wanted to tie social media into my full-time position. Fortunately, I found an opportunity with Atelier Minyon, where I am one of the major players in managing all of our social media outlets.
JCK: How important is social media to your company’s business plan?
MR: For us it is very important because it is how we engage our customers on a daily basis. We might show pendants worn as earrings one day on Facebook and a customer will come in three weeks later to buy that look because they couldn’t stop thinking about it. Allowing people to see into our day-to-day life is a selling tool, but our social media sharing never comes off as a sales tactic.
Customers can keep up with us every day and we can keep up with them. We have a Facebook page and a Facebook profile—so we have both fans and friends. Since we spend the bulk of our day at the shop, social media provides a window to the outside world. It allows us to see what’s happening and get a sense of what is popular daily. It is a convenient and inexpensive way to connect with a lot of people. Sometimes Alp will get feedback mid-design from our followers and that makes for a better end product. Facebook, in particular, has become an archival reference for us. We can look all the way back to three years ago and be inspired or learn something about ourselves.
JCK: What are some of the key factors to maintaining a successful social media presence?
MR: Consistency. Diversification. Knowing your audience.
We consistently post a few times a day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram throughout the day, and then post a few times a week on Tumblr, Pinterest, and once in a while on Foursquare. By using a variety of social media outlets we are making ourselves available to our followers who may love Instagram but are not on Facebook or who can’t stop pinning but don’t know how to express themselves in 140 characters or less. And lastly, Erin, who has been in charge of social media here all along, knows by now what people respond to; links will never be popular for us on Facebook, but new pieces shown in an interesting way on Instagram will get a lot of likes quickly.
JCK: What are some of the fun and innovative things you’ve done for your company on social media?
MR: The main thing I have started for Atelier Minyon is our blog. When I joined the company they were in the middle of transitioning from the old website to a new e-commerce site. Instead of abandoning our old design completely we came up with the idea of turning it into a blog and maintaining the format that includes photos of all of our past and current collections. As a team we come up with post ideas but I’m the person in charge of writing the content. I’m most proud of the post I wrote about custom designing with us; it is my favorite thing we do as a company.
JCK: What social network do you get the best responses from?
MR: Our Facebook is by far the most popular social media outlet in terms of followers; but I’d say our Instagram gets the most responses. Every photo we post gets a handful or more likes from a following of only 109 people.
JCK: Has social media helped you create or maintain relationships with retailers?
MR: Social media definitely helps us maintain relationships with our wholesale accounts. In many ways they are “customers,” too, and sometimes need to see pieces shown in a new style or worn in a different way. Then when they are on the floor they have more ideas in mind when speaking to their customers.
JCK: How important is a blog for a jeweler, designer, or manufacturer?
MR: Blogs are most important for smaller independent businesses. The medium allows companies or stores to express more than any micro-blogging platform or maybe tell stories with photos in a way Facebook just can’t. The readership may not always be there, but it can be a real resource for customers, fans or press who want to learn more about the company.
JCK: Should the tone be more personal, professional, or a mix of both?
MR: The tone of the blog depends on the nature of the relationship the company has with its customers or fans. So for us, we definitely mix personal with professional. We are always sharing things we’re excited about as much as we are selling.
JCK: What are some of your favorite jewelry industry blogs?
JCK: What do you think are some of the best ways the jewelry industry can market and sell jewelry to younger consumers?
MR: Don’t be afraid to make fine jewelry FUN! We don’t let ourselves be restricted by what “fine jewelry” has meant historically or if we make jewelry for men or women—it is about personal style above all else.
JCK: Do you think social media—and online in general—will ever truly catch on in the jewelry industry?
MR: So long as social media survives, it will 100 percent catch on in the jewelry industry. The people who are heavily using social media today will ultimately be the people running things in any industry in the future. Also, jewelry is such a visual product, being able to share it across the Internet is a total plus.
JCK: And I always end with this one: What’s your favorite part about being in the jewelry industry?
MR: My favorite part has come while working for Atelier Minyon. It is when someone comes in with a few loose ideas or flat designs on a piece of paper and then being able to see it become an amazing piece of jewelry the customer instantly falls in love with.
Also check out:
- Talking Social Media With Gumuchian Online Guru Romy Schreiber
- 5 Jewelers You Should Be Following on Twitter
- Infographic: How Much Do Small Businesses Spend on Social Media?
- Selecting the Best Social Media Tactics for Your Store
- Pinterest Board of the Week: Titanium Jewelry’s Hearts in Love
- Why Embracing Social Media Might Mean More Sales for Jewelers
- 20 Jewelry Retailers You Should Follow on Pinterest
- Why Social Media Is Driving Shoppers to Shop Locally
- 5 Cool Jewelry Industry Blogs You Should Be Following