As the editor here at JCK who heads up our social media feeds, I read hundreds of user comments a day, on posts across the three major networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) from jewelry retailers, designers, and manufacturers and also jewelry media, consumers, and fans.
And I can confirm, anecdotally at least, that jewelry is an incredibly friendly and supportive industry on social media! Not a day goes by where I’m not genuinely moved by a sweet and supportive note from a retailer to a designer, a designer to another designer, a vintage jewelry dealer to a customer, etc.
Still, on occasion I’ll spy a comment from an industry professional or jewelry business that takes me completely aback—in that shocking “a bird just flew through my bedroom window” kind of way.
When I read these rare (and often negative) comments, it always occurs to me that the people who penned them forgot the golden rule of marketing on social media: What you write on your and others’ feeds reflects powerfully on who you and your business are off-line.
That said, here are a few comment types that should be avoided at all costs.
Let me take you into an Instagram post: Here we all are, talking about Lady Gaga in the Tiffany Diamond at the Oscars on Instagram, commenting about the “wow” jewelry moment with heart emojis, exclamation points, and the like. The expanding dialogue is light and fun—that is, until a small jewelry store types something like “Engaged? Come and share the @jillandjimjewelry experience!” Cue deafening record scratch. Mom and Dad just entered the party space.
Social media is a place to chat casually, not go for the hard sell. And overt plugs—especially those that come out of nowhere and don’t discuss what’s being talked about in the actual post—make a business look rather clueless and like they’re copying and pasting that same comment in hundreds of posts online, at random.
If @jillandjimjewelry (not a real store/handle) had chimed in with a factoid about the Tiffany Diamond or a comment that made readers smile, they might have seen some social traffic flow their way. Soulless plugs are about effective as putting a QR code sticker on a banana. No one’s biting.
Negative and Nasty
It sounds obvious, but it’s slightly shocking how often I see small business handles—jewelry stores, designers, and manufacturers—leave negative comments on posts on Instagram and Facebook. “Not cute,” “Overworked,” and even “Ugly as Sin” are comments I’ve seen left under jewelry product images.
And photos showing celebrities wearing jewelry seem to set off a certain type of social user who feels comfortable being hypercritical, as though celebrities aren’t actually humans with feelings.
Infusing comments with a casual-feeling chattiness is great, but no one wants to shop the collection or store of a business that tears people or products down. Keep your company’s name and reputation squeaky-clean online.
Excessive Back and Forth
You’re a small business owner and you’ve engaged in a breezy, lighthearted conversation with a consumer under a post on Instagram. Great! That’s exactly what social is for: to forge those connections with current and potential clients. But your chat buddy is eager to keep talking after five back-and-forths, so he sends line after line of comments and questions. You’re a busy person and are in a rush to wrap up your conversation, but you don’t want to seem dismissive.
What to do? Don’t continue to comment publicly after a few rounds with him—the dialogue starts to look and feel spammy to other users. Instead, type something along the lines of “Please DM [direct message] me with any other questions—love to tell you more!” or “Let’s take this to email. I’ve DMed you our address!” They will get the message, and you’ll get the chance for a more intimate exchange with a potential customer.
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