Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Social Media Tools Add Zing to Bling

The Fashion Institute of Technology was buzzing earlier this month when about 100 ladies from the Women's Jewelry Association gathered there for their annual "Women in the Know" Conference. Jane Seymour was the keynote speaker, looking as gorgeous as ever. She was promoting her new Open Hearts collection for Kay Jewelers, but if she could bottle whatever it is she's doing to look so good she'd make millions more than she already has.

I was there to give a presentation on Web 2.0 Tools for Jewelers and talked about how some sites are making the most of social media. (I've added my powerpoint Presentation below). Tiffany & Co. does all its social networking on their Facebook page, which has over 800 fans. Zales and Blue Nile have taken a cue from Amazon and allow customer reviews, while Ross-Simons has 85 product videos on their site, as well as some on their YouTube channel. They're quite pretty but need a little more of a personal touch to make them less "HSN".

Adding a presence on social networking sites is a great way to put your products in front of a whole new audience of people that would not have found you otherwise. Jewelry is a category that's well suited for social engagement and discussion and reviews. However, most companies in the space haven't embraced "new media" quite yet. Individual designers on the other hand, are plentiful on the blogosphere, which makes a lot of sense since blogging does wonders for search engine optimization.

During lunch I chatted with Andzia Chmil, owner of who has a blog where she regularly updates her readers on specials, product information and giveaways. She shared with me the recent success she's had with mommy bloggers.

"We gave away $100 gift certificate. To win people had to go to our site and choose a piece they liked and then go to and write about it. It gave us 700 more unique visitors a day. Our traffic on a slow day is like 500 so when you increase it by 700 more people it's huge for us. Through Google Analytics we saw how many direct buys were coming from the mommy site - people that were so tempted they had to buy something right away. This was over Valentine's Day weekend and it went so well that we're doing another one with Mommy Goggles, which showcases a product a week. They were featuring ladybug jewelry so they showed our pendant & bracelet. It works the same way - people select they piece they like on our site and then write about it on the mommy site."

Holly, Andzia's daughter, added that through BloggyGiveaways, they reached December-level traffic for four days during a time of year that's usually flat for them. For the promotion they paid a nominal fee, plus the products. They also received terrific feedback through comments people left about various designs they carry and the way their website is presented. With the MommyGoggle's contest they just sent the product. They shopped around and reviewed various other blog giveaways, and found these to be the best. "It was very fun, we got our brand and the idea of amber itself out to fresh people we don't normally connect with", says Holly.

Another social media tool Andzia likes is the "Tell a friend" button. "About 10-20% of the people who visit us use it and it's great because you have women pick out things and tell a friend or a relative what to get their girlfriend or wife and you get to see the one they choose. We see what they said to them and then 5-10 minutes later the order comes in, and it's from a different IP address so you know it's working," explains the jewelry designer.

Additional resources:
Here's a press release with more coverage of the event.

Here's other jewelry related posts I've written:
Using Video to Advertise Your Business
Making Sales with Facebook and Flickr

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