Case Study: @BenBridgeGirl

The advent of Twitter Lists has made finding others to follow much easier, but if you still need some advice, I suggest you check out the feed of Veronica Wei Sopher, who is @BenBridgeGirl (www.twitter.com/benbridgegirl). Sopher maintains her own Twitter List @BenBridgeGirl/industry-professionals, a blog (www.veronicasopher.com/), and she’s one of the early adopters of Twitter from our industry.

She also has a great story to tell. Sopher has become an agent of trust in the jewelry, blogging, and social media arenas from her time spent engaging others. For example, Sopher says that when she started her Twitter account in January 2009, she “began by searching for customers, acknowledging their visits or purchases, and providing service referrals when appropriate.” She didn’t find a “lot of chatter about Ben Bridge Jeweler on Twitter,” so she spent more time focusing on connecting with the bridal industry, accessory retailers, the hospitality industry, fashion bloggers, and many jewelry industry professionals. Sopher even concedes that she “reached out to competitors” because they shared her community. Among her observations: “Most major jewelry retailers started out by using Twitter like a shiny new blow horn—just a steady stream of advertising, no interaction—and it’s understandable,” she says. But today she’s “happy to see that both Zales @zalesdiamondgal (www.twitter.com/zalesdiamondgal) and Blue Nile @bluenilediamond (www.twitter.com/bluenilediamond) are starting to acknowledge customers for their purchases and mentions.”

Sopher’s goals for @BenBridgeGirl: “To build brand recognition and provide customer service when appropriate,” she says.

“Perhaps some time in the future, there will be a few offers or goodies thrown in, but sales are not a primary goal for @BenBridgeGirl. Jewelry purchases, after all, are high-touch experiences that are often emotional, and much of it can’t be done very well with 140 characters. With that said, I can also see a jewelry retailer maintaining a separate Twitter account for outlet types of sales to cater to bargain hunters, but that’s another conversation.”

For more suggestions on jewelry professionals to follow, check out my industry Twitter Lists at www.twitter.com/aflyonthewall.