How to bring your customers to Vegas without spending a dime
While we talk about tools and tactics for optimizing our social media presence, we often overlook opportunities to collect and create content that will captivate our customers. There are several times during the year when you can share engaging information, but none are more ideal than jewelry market week in Las Vegas. This collection of trade shows may seem like well-worn territory for anyone who has been attending for years. However, in most cases, a jewelry trade show can be a bonanza of intriguing information for your customers.
The cost of bringing all of them along is, of course, prohibitive. Thankfully, social media makes it cost-effective and simple for you to take your customers on a virtual journey to Vegas—all while getting them interested in the products you’ll be toting back from the show. Every employee you send to Vegas can and should create a wealth of photos, videos, and blog posts that can be shared over social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Let’s break down some of the best ways to create content at the show:
Smartphones The one thing every jeweler should bring is an iPhone or Android that is photo-ready and video-capable. Sure, you might capture better-quality footage with a DSLR or an HD camcorder, but are you likely to carry that with you everywhere you go? Once you’re comfortable with your smartphone—and it’s not as intimidating as it looks!—rest assured that you will be able to create a wide range of quality content.
Gianni Diliberto/Getty Images
Don’t forget your smartphone! (We also suggest a spare battery.)
Instagram The best things about social media are the numerous available apps that enable you to add unique filters to your photographs and share them quickly via Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and micro-blogging platforms like Tumblr and Posterous. The free iPhone app Instagram (instagr.am) makes it easy for even the worst photographers to create cool images of the latest jewelry trends. (Another benefit of Instagram is the ability to tag your images with #JCKEvents, the JCK show’s Twitter handle, and have them appear alongside all of the images being taken through this app at the show.) A solid runner-up for Instagram is Picplz (picplz.com). It works with both Androids and iPhones, though it lacks the aforementioned tagging feature.
YouTube Despite its popularity, this Google-owned video-sharing site is one of the least understood assets in the world of social media. It’s actually exceptionally easy to upload videos on the go. It’s also one of the best-kept secrets that YouTube is the second most popular search engine out there—right behind Google itself. This combination of ease and exposure makes YouTube the perfect vehicle for sharing your market week experience. Keep in mind that on YouTube, brevity is key. When starting out, most brands tend to create long videos that try to answer all of their customers’ questions at once. When it comes to Web video, viewer attention spans begin to wane at about the one-minute mark, so go slow and create shorter spots that can be posted over time.
Micro-Blogs In addition to the standard Facebook and Twitter presence, a blog is a great way to corral all of this content in one convenient place. For those who don’t have a blog set up or feel it’s simply too time-consuming, micro-blogging sites like Tumblr and Posterous are the perfect alternative. They are made for quick sharing, especially while on the go. In fact, to start a Posterous account, all you need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your own blog. Future emails to that address will automatically create new posts on the same site. You can then visit the site at your leisure to fully set up your page. Tumblr, on the other hand, requires you to download its app or visit the site. That said, it has a far more active community than Posterous and is the new darling of many fashion brands including Kate Spade, Oscar de la Renta, and Alexander McQueen.
Facebook and Twitter If you’ve invested the time in creating a community, make sure you’re all set to share with your network on Facebook and Twitter. Instagram, YouTube, Posterous, and Tumblr make it easy to share to both sites. Your existing communities represent all the people who have already raised their hands to hear from you and are the most likely audience members to travel with you to Vegas.
Most important of all, don’t just start posting once you arrive at the airport; take the time to build a little excitement. Ask your customers what they would like to see in Las Vegas. Give them the opportunity to submit questions to the designers you carry in your store. The more involved they are, the more likely they are to follow along. If you have an email list, be sure to send them a message and let them know where to find all of your content from jewelry market week.
All of this may seem like a lot of extra work for a week when you really want to focus on buying, but bringing your customers to Las Vegas virtually will ensure that they actually come visit your store once all of your new purchases have arrived.