What to Know Before You Add More Social Media to Your Marketing Mix

More isn’t always better—sometimes it’s just more. Before you create a new social media profile for your jewelry business, consider these 5 questions.

As part of a jewelry store’s marketing mix, social media has graduated from a nice-to-have to a need-to-have tool.

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest serve as high-powered marketing megaphones, offering jewelry retailers cost-effective, accessible ways to communicate with customers in a thoughtful and genuine manner.

“We no longer have to wait for someone else to tell our stories or have a huge media budget to announce a promotion with often inconsistent results,” says Ashley Thiesen, founder and CEO of The Modern Connection, a Charleston, S.C.–based social media and digital marketing firm.

Most jewelry stores already have a presence on various social media outlets, but owners have to contend with new platforms—such as the latest marketing sensation, TikTok—as well as innovate ways to leverage comparatively old stalwarts like YouTube to extend their reach. In the hustle to capture social media’s benefits, however, retailers should be wary of signing up for a new profile and only do so after careful consideration.

“A strategic approach ensures a memorable, consistent, and relevant presence that effectively generates awareness, differentiates from competition, and sells product effectively,” says Kent Lewis, founder of Anvil Media, an integrated digital marketing agency in Portland, Ore.

Before introducing a new social media account to your store’s marketing mix, consider these five key questions.

1. Am I committed to doing this well?

The most effective social media features crisp writing, quality images, and compelling video aligned with the store’s brand. Absent this, a store’s latest social media venture can—and likely will—fall flat.

Katie French-White, director of internet marketing at Reno, Nev.–based White Stone Marketing, urges retailers to consider the time and resources they can devote to a vibrant, active social presence that is, at a minimum, on par with local competitors.

“If you can’t do this well, then don’t do it at all,” French-White advises.

2. What social media are my target customers using?

Any business should seek to be wherever its target customers are. While top social ­media platforms tout impressive numbers—Facebook, for instance, boasts some 2.5 billion monthly active users—retailers shouldn’t rush onto every outlet, but rather explore the platforms their core customers use.

Keep in mind: Each platform has its own “demographic sweet spot,” Lewis says. For example, Facebook skews toward boomers and the Gen X crowd, while younger consumers favor Instagram and YouTube.

In addition, retailers should park their own personal opinions.

“You can despise Instagram personally, but your business very well might need to be on there,” Thiesen says. “The most important question to answer is: Where do your customers spend their time online, and where do they get their inspiration, news, education, and entertainment? That is where your business should be marketing.”

3. Who will oversee content on the new social channel?

Many small businesses, including jewelers, don’t have the budget to employ a dedicated social media marketer, so social is often handled internally with owners leveraging the strengths and bandwidth of existing employees.

While this might lead to individuals playing out of position, it can also produce the most authentic, relevant content, according to Lewis. “Think about the entire organization, not just the person in charge of sales or marketing,” Lewis says. “Customer service should be active on social media, for example. More hands lighten the load.”

At the same time, avoid tasking an intern or young relative to start a new account simply because that person is social media savvy (and inexpensive to boot). “There’s a big difference in social media use personally and professionally on behalf of a business,” Thiesen says, adding that a seasoned consultant can bring management up to speed on how to use social media effectively.

The bottom line: “It’s imperative that someone competent” is the one to implement a new account, Thiesen says.

4. Will I be able to create quality content consistently over time?

To capture a return on investment and build a standing in the marketplace, a business must devote consistent, regular attention to each social media platform it utilizes.

“Brands that blog three times in a week then don’t post ­another blog for a few months don’t look as credible,” Lewis says, suggesting retailers source content from designers and manufacturers as well.

Jewelry retailers hopping on YouTube, for example, should be committed to creating one to two videos each month, Lewis says. Those creating a Facebook or Pinterest account should be prepared to post two to three times each week, while Instagram demands daily attention.

“If you can’t commit to this, you may need to staff up or outsource,” Lewis says. “Taking a long-term view ensures ­content is more intentional and strategic versus opportunistic and ad hoc.”

5. What are the goals with this new social media presence?

Is your store aiming to build its email list, drive online sales, or increase social media followers? Knowing the primary objective will lead you to one platform over another. Instagram and Pinterest, for instance, can spark sales, while Twitter remains a go-to for sharing news.

“Different social media sites yield better results based on specific goals,” Thiesen confirms.

With clarity on goals, your store can then shape its approach. Lewis suggests starting with market research before evolving to marketing. “Customers are telling jewelers what they want to see in terms of products and service. All you have to do is listen and be willing to learn and adapt.”

(Illustration by Aldo Crusher)

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