Social Networking

Social networking is a medium that allows interested parties to tell their stories about occasions that include jewelry. Hosted social applications are now being used to very effectively share real-life stories for commercial purposes. Social networking empowers people by providing a platform to enable them to share their own stories. This social capital holds high credibility with consumers.

We all like to read about love stories whether they be lighthearted and funny or deeply sentimental. What makes social networking so compelling is the fact that all of the content is authentic and user generated. Social networks provide narratives that celebrate some of life’s best occasions . . . and it is amazing how jewelry is included some of these.

Social networks are made up of groups of people who find connections to one another. Jewelry can be one of those connections where people have common interests and want to share some of their activities. Jewelers can take advantage of social networking by providing a networking site to allow customers to share the benefits they have derived through the ownership, gifting, self-gifting and wearing of jewelry. For example, Zale Corporation (lovestories.zales.com) and Gordon’s employ Bazaarvoice to host their own social commerce applications. Jewelry consumers and businesses can also use social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace. Some social networks have found ethnic followings to cater to such as Ning which is preferred by Asian users.

Jewelers can create their own profile for their business and take advantage of lots of opportunities to advertise their company through a social network. Consumers are increasingly using social networks to find and share their experiences with companies like jewelers. Updates to a business site are automatically communicated to interested parties.

There are several luxury jewelry companies with social networking sites. Cartier is one example of a luxury jewelry company with a site on Myspace. Zale and Seiko can both be found on Facebook. To maintain that mystic of exclusivity some luxury providers have turned to private networks like ASmallWorld, which is by invitation only private online community. Besides creating pages on social networking sites, some jewelers also advertise on Google, Yahoo, and Kudzu.

Today there are so many new ways to market a company . . . and many jewelry companies are looking for merchandising managers to help promote the company. If your company is not using social networking or blogging or online advertising then merchandising managers should consider taking on these new forms of promotion.

What experiences can you share with us regarding social networking? If your company has used social networking, tell us about your experiences.