Retail Therapy: Face to Facebook



Q: What social network has had the biggest effect on your business?

“Having a strong social media presence on Facebook and Instagram is important for our branding strategy as a whole. Our main purpose on social media is to support our local community—sharing customers’ nonprofit events and local goings-on—as well as sharing unique photos of our products that establish us as the go-to jewelry store in [the region]. We generate five to seven weekly posts that range from in-store products to jewelry [education] and exciting things happening in Greenville. Millennials don’t just check out your website anymore. Most of them will check out your website, Facebook, Yelp reviews, and Instagram before deciding to visit your brick-and-mortar store.” 

Ashley Brown, marketing director, Hale’s Jewelers, Greenville, S.C.

 

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“At this point I have full-time staff dedicated to our online and social media presence, and I would say the platform currently in the lead for user growth is a tie between Facebook and Instagram. I love that Facebook allows us to drill into very detailed demographics and understand more about our clients’ online interests, so that we can then target them with specific original content. Instagram allows us to tell a cleanly curated visual story that garners the most engagement. But since it’s almost impossible to track ROI [return on investment] from the platform, we’re especially concerned with how it supports our brand message. We’re working with 25-plus designers, and our social channels allow us to bring cohesion to the Peridot brand that could otherwise be diluted online. Across platforms, social media impacts us the most when clients personally let us know they fell in love with a piece through our content.” 

Dawn Hendricks, owner, Peridot Fine Jewelry, Larchmont, N.Y.

 

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“Facebook is by far the social media platform that has had the biggest impact on my business. That being said, the impact is still extremely small. Facebook has a little bit of everything from all of the other social media platforms—text, pictures, messaging, and strong analytical tools—but even with the insights of a well-performing post, very rarely does it generate a sale. At best, it helps with top-of-mind awareness to nudge a customer that would have shopped with us anyway. One of the great impacts of social media for our small business has been helping to [erase] the threshold resistance we seem to have with consumers. We are able to make ourselves accessible through social media to a customer who might otherwise have been apprehensive about coming into our store.”  

Matt Gilmore, co-owner, Dunbar Jewelers, Yakima, Wash. 

 

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“Facebook has had the largest impact. We receive more messages through Facebook, and we have been able to reach a larger audience through the platform. Several of our sales associates communicate with customers through Facebook. Once the relationship is established, it can be a convenient form of communication to share photos, ideas, requests, and referrals. The major impact of Facebook has been the growing number of customers who would prefer to communicate photos and prices electronically, and then stop in later—versus coming into the store to browse first. Everyone’s busy these days, and it helps keep the purchase personalized and convenient.” 

Trisha Joseph, co-owner, Josephs Jewelers, West Des Moines, Iowa