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Last updateWed, 29 Jul 2015 8pm

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Internet Marketing Strategies: Social Media Marketing

Social Media is one of the most powerful online tools for small businesses today. From a business perspective, there has never been a better way to reach millions of people and expose your company to those who would have otherwise never heard of you.

Combined, Social Media websites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube have more than 3 BILLION users. With the massive amount of people using Social Media websites, there hasn’t been a better time for businesses to join in.

Social Media has opened up some new doors in terms of marketing to your local consumers. Most of them are using these Social Media platforms, so there is no reason why you should not put your store right in front of them.

Here are 4 additional benefits of using Social Media to market your jewelry store:

  • Social Media is here to stay.  With their simplicity of use and interactive social activities, Social Media has completely changed the way the world communicates and does business. With the rising combination of smartphone use along with computer use, Social Media websites are predicted to grow even larger. There is no reason to avoid Social Media websites on the assumption that these websites might one day go away.
  • More and more people are searching for businesses on Social Media websites. In fact, approximately 1/3 of consumers say that they usually search for and check out a company’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter page before considering a purchase. If the company has no Social Media page, these customers typically move on and look for a company with a Social Media presence. When a business has Social Media webpages, it helps customers feel more at ease about purchases and in their mind, reinforces the company’s credibility.
  • Social Media helps your company get more online visibility. The more pages you have, the more likely your company will rank higher in the major search engines. Social Media websites already rank strongly in Google and other search engines. If you have a presence in the popular Social Media websites, not only will your Social Media accounts rank higher in searches, but they provide the Social Proof needed to push your company website higher as well.
  • The way consumers shop for products and services has dramatically changed, and Social Media websites play an important part. A majority of consumers research diamonds, jewelry and watches online before making a purchase. Most of these consumers become Social Media fans of the stores from which they purchase, and almost all would post positively on Social Media websites about their experiences with these companies.

While Social Media can be a great marketing tool for your company, you probably have questions about it and wonder whether or not it can really help grow your business. Whether you are already using Social Media or have yet to begin the journey, here are 6 answers to questions that many jewelers have concerning it:

1) I have never used Social Media. Isn’t it too late to get started?

There has never been a better time to get involved in Social Media. In fact, thousands of new users sign up for the major Social Media websites each week. Additionally, new concepts and tools are always being rolled out on Social Media websites, which drive in even more new users. It is never too late to get started.

2) I already have a good marketing plan. Why should I replace it with Social Media?

If your current marketing plan is working for you, there is no need to get rid of it. Instead, consider mixing your current plan with a combination of Social Media websites for better results. While it will take more time, the end results are well worth it as Social Media has the potential to drive in new business that you may not have reached otherwise.

3) Which Social Media websites should I use?

Currently, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, and YouTube lead as the top Social Media websites. Although there are numerous other Social Media websites available, these major websites bring in the most traffic for retail jewelry stores. Once you have grown accustomed to how Social Media works, you can always expand to as many websites as you desire.

4) Once I set up my Social Media accounts, what do I do next?

One of the biggest mistakes made by businesses and retail stores is setting up their Social Media pages and forgetting about it. Social Media websites are very much “hands on.” Each website will offer you unique tools to help you, but these websites require dedication and effort.

Most important is to create in teresting and jewelry related content and post to your pages daily, 7 days a week. You also need to check your accounts daily and interact with clients and potential customers. Keep in mind that although this can be time-consuming, the end results are financially rewarding. 

5) How much does Social Media Marketing cost?

Aside from optional advertising costs, all Social Media websites are free for businesses to use. However, the cost involved in Social Media Marketing is found in the time spent to create daily posts for each Social Media website, monitor the activity, and interact with clients and potential customers. This cost can be personal time spent by the owner, payroll for employees, or fees paid to an outside marketing specialist.

6) How long will I have to work on my Social Media websites?

How much you put into your Social Media websites will determine your success. As a good rule of measure, you should spend time daily answering any questions, engaging with users, and creating new content.  Again, keep in mind that Social Media websites are time-consuming. Many retail jewelers have found it most economical to hire a Social Media Marketing Company that specializes in the jewelry industry to create the daily content, as this is the most time consuming.  Then utilize their time or a key employee’s time to monitor the discussion and answer any questions raised on the Social Media websites.

Patience is a virtue. Although it would be ideal if your Social Media presence could quickly grow on its own without any additional work from you, the fact is that building up a trustworthy Social Media presence takes time and dedication.


Brad Simon is co-owner of Internet 4 Jewelers and specializes in Local Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Mobile Marketing exclusively for retail jewelry stores.  For more information you can contact him at 864-680-4416 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Strategies: What a Blast

Everywhere you go today you see some company advertising to text a word or phrase to receive a coupon or enter a contest. Text messaging has taken the marketing world by storm. It has become the marketing tool of choice, and for good reason.  Text to Win Campaigns and Mobile Coupons are extremely successful methods to reach out to your prospects and customers.

Internet Marketing Strategies: Top 10 text marketing questions

The time for text message marketing has never been greater, as more and more people become inseparable from their mobile devices. Marketers are quick to realize that sending text messages to advertise their products and services is a very inexpensive way to gain the attention of their consumers.

Internet Marketing Strategies: Follow your customer’s lead - text them!

Mobile phones are used by your customers for text messaging more than voice phone calls and Internet access combined.  There are now over 276 million mobile wireless subscribers in the U.S., which is more than 89% of the population.  The latest Forrester Research statistics show that more than 2.2 trillion text messages are sent in the U.S. every year.  That equates to over six billion text messages sent every day, in the United States alone.

Texting Is Cross-Generational

Texting is a teenager’s most common form of communication. Pew Internet Research reports that 75% of teenagers in the U. S. text, and on average they each text 60 messages a day.  That is more than social networks, phone calls, and face-to-face communication combined.

Americans ages 20-29 are the most frequent text messagers.  They send and receive an average of nearly 88 text messages per day, compared to only 17 daily phone calls.  The 45 to 64 age demographic is the fastest growing text messagers with the largest increase in text messages sent over last year.

While it’s true that the number of text messages decline with older demographics (as well as overall frequency of all communication), texting is still the most frequently used communication avenue.  Those over 65 text 4.7 times more frequently than calling. A recent TIME Mobility Poll revealed that 32% of all respondents over 65 even prefer to communicate by text rather than phone with people they know very well.

How Does this Affect Small Business Owners?

Mobile Text Message Marketing for small business owners is the fastest growing advertising medium today.  Newspapers are in decline, radio stations are hurting, direct mail does not produce returns as in the past, and Yellow Pages are almost extinct.  They are not producing advertising results like they used to because consumers today are using their smart phones and other mobile devices all day long, every day.  You know that to reach your customers you must advertise to them where they are, at that moment.  Text messaging allows direct and instant contact with your customers and potential customers and, more importantly, will produce increased sales.

The Mobile Marketing Association states that more than half of all national brands had shifted their focus from advertising with traditional media to mobile marketing in 2012 and many more plan to do so this year.  Over 40% have already started text messaging, and 2013 marketing budgets include up to 25% for mobile with many of these national brands. 

Now you can do more than just endure the national chains in your market area who work hard to take away your customers.  You can take them on head to head, leveling the playing field.  You now have the ability to get your customers on a list and entice them to remain your loyal customer with rewards and great offers.

The cost of text marketing has dropped significantly over the last few years, so you will not have to invest 25% of your marketing budget on mobile to compete.  You can start a mobile marketing campaign for less than $40 per month with text message marketing companies like Mobile 4 Jewelers.

Welcome to Text Message Marketing: The New ROI Generation Machine

All jewelry store owners want the same thing from their marketing. They want to establish a great brand in their company name, entice more consumers to visit their jewelry store and develop a loyal customer base for repeat business. While websites, social media and traditional marketing are helpful, consumer behaviors have evolved to the point that these tactics simply do not generate the ROI they once did.

Text Message Marketing is successful for numerous reasons. Consider that Text Messages are:

  • Permission Based - Customers want to receive text messages and show that by opting in. They prove they are interested in you and are waiting to receive value based messages from you, whether it’s an announcement of new jewelry, a discount coupon or other informative message.
  • Prompt - 98% of people will open their text messages within 3 minutes of receiving it, which helps to increase your engagement. This is the only marketing tool that encourages immediate action.
  • Proficient - The redemption rate for Mobile Coupons is 10 times higher than traditional coupons. 50% of consumers receiving text messages from retailers have made a purchase based on messages received. There is not a more effective marketing media today.
  • Proven - An American Express study found 84% of small businesses that implemented text marketing have seen a resulting increase in new business activity.
  • Personal - When customers agree to receive your company’s texts, they are welcoming you into their personal circle normally reserved for friends and family. This creates a sense that your company is friendly and trustworthy rather than a cold corporation. Use this to your advantage when writing your messages so that they come across in a pleasant personal manner.
  • Preferred - Consumers now use their mobile phone for text messages more than voice and Internet access combined. 66% of U.S. mobile customers say they prefer offers from stores they do business with by text message rather than any other media.
  • Profitable - At 3 to 5 cents per contact, Text Messaging services offer one of the least expensive forms of advertising.  And when the high response rate is factored in, Text Messages produce the lowest cost per sale.

Customer Texting Etiquette

Text messaging has grown from a niche form of communication to a powerful tool to connect with customers regardless of their age group.  You now have the ability to reach hundreds or even thousands of customers quickly and easily through mass messages called Text Blast.  However, the ease of text programs to send mass communications should be tempered with good etiquette and respect for your customers. 

Clear Opting-In

You know that first impressions are very important, and it is especially important when texting your customers.  Texting from businesses still evokes apprehension in some people and you don’t want to catch them off guard.  Be certain your customers have specifically opted in to your texting program. 

If your customer has given you their cell phone number for other reasons, such as to notify them their jewelry repair is finished, do not assume you can start texting them regularly with your offers.  Doing so may irritate them and damage their trust in you.  Additionally they could report you causing your account to be closed and possibly incur hefty fines.

Set Your Boundaries

You should advise your customers of what they can expect when they opt in to your list.  You can do this at the time of sign up or with your first text.  You will alleviate any worries of being flooded with messages they don’t want by telling them your plans.  Being up front may even make them excited for your next message.  Don’t be too specific; give yourself a margin for error.

Be Respectful

Text messages are opened when they are received. One of the fastest ways to upset customers and have them unsubscribe is to send them messages at the wrong time. Wake them up at 2 am to share a coupon and not only will they unsubscribe, but you may loose them as a customer!  The most appropriate time to send texts are between 10am and 8pm.  However, avoid rush-hour.  You don’t want your customers trying to read your message while driving.

Think Beyond Advertising

You want your text messaging to have an incentive for your customer to read them.  If all you do is advertise, you are not rewarding your customer for signing up.  Proper etiquette rewards your customer for trusting you with their information and allowing you to send messages to them.  Sending a coupon or exclusive offer unavailable by other means on a regular basis is one example.  When people know they will get special incentives it encourages sign-ups and improves retention.  Plus, they will actually be drawn to your jewelry store to make a purchase.

Provide Exit Strategies

You must make opting out simple.  Anti-spam regulations require clear opt out information in every bulk text message you send. More importantly, people become aggravated when they cannot figure out how to unsubscribe.  When you offer clear instructions to unsubscribe it shows your customer that they are your first priority.  It sends a message about your integrity.  Easy unsubscribe is more than good etiquette, it’s good business.

For all those jewelry store owners and marketers who use text messaging as part of their marketing campaign, great for you! You already know how your customers prefer to receive valuable offers and information regarding their favorite jeweler. You know that you are more likely to see success and more sales. If you don’t already use Text Messaging I encourage you to visit Mobile4Jewelers.com and explore ways to add it into your marketing campaign today.

Join us for a free, informative webinar The Power of Text Messaging sponsored by Southern Jewelry News on Thursday June 28th.  For more information see page 4 of this issue.


Brad Simon is co-owner of Internet 4 Jewelers offering Internet Marketing services for retail jewelry stores.  Their services include Local Search Marketing, Social Networking, and Mobile Marketing.  You can contact Brad at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him at 864-680-4416.

 

Internet Marketing Strategies: Mobile coupons

Mobile Coupons are an extremely affordable and effective marketing tool. According to recent studies by Mobile Commerce Daily, 66% of consumers would like to receive text offers from retail stores with which they do business, and those numbers are expected to rise rapidly over the next year.  However, only 23% of consumers have actually received an offer from a store on their phones.  Why? Because retailers are falling far short of consumer expectations.

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