WJA Conference Highlights Evolving Social Media

Not all forms of social media are created equal, said speakers at the Women’s Jewelry Association’s 10th annual “In the Know” conference, held March 8 in New York City.

Today, while “the average person is exposed to 3,000 to 30,000 commercial messages daily,” many ads fails to reach their desired audience, said Stacey King Gordon, president of Suite Seven Inc., a content strategy and brand communications consultancy based in Oakland, Calif.

Gordon urges companies to tailor their social media plans to their individual business and not simply get involved with every media form just because everyone else is. “You shouldn’t get into social media or start a blog until you know why you’re doing it,” Gordon says. “Ask yourself what story you’re trying to tell first.”

She suggests that businesses focus on two specific social media platforms, but make sure to follow through with their message. “Ninety five percent of all blogs are abandoned,” Gordon says. “A defunct or neglected social media page can do more to tarnish your business than not having one at all.”

In a world of social media clutter, how do you determine which platforms are right for your business? According to Gordon, let your audience be your guide. “Think of your target audience as individual people,” Gordon says.

The conference encouraged retailers to know their goals before they dive into the overcrowded social realm. “Pinterest is a very important tool to showcase a visual product,” Gordon says. “Twitter is a great conversational tool,” WJA panelist Jacqueline Weppner, founder and editor of Merci New York, says.

Likewise, it is essential to know how your target audience receives content. Specifically, today’s consumers are increasingly being shaped by smartphone usage. “Thirty-nine percent of time spent on social media is through mobile,” Gordon says.

Regardless of which media forms you choose, when it comes to social media, it is important to keep in mind the 70/20/10 rule: “Seventy percent of content should add value, 20 percent should be shared from others, and only 10 percent should directly promote your product,” says Gordon.