Last updateTue, 06 Oct 2015 12am


Internet Marketing Strategies: Social Network Marketing

Social Networking is not a fad, it is not going away. Adding Social Networking to your marketing plan is no longer a novelty, it has become an important part of Internet Marketing. Social Networking provides retail jewelers one of the best opportunities to develop relationships with your current clients and bring them back into your store.

With the tremendous growth of Social Networking websites, it is necessary to add Social Networking to your marketing mix. Marketing online is no longer just about having a website where people come to learn about your store. It’s about going where they are online and connecting with them in those locations.

Utilize all 5 of the Top Social Networking Websites to Promote Your Store.

It is essential to your Social Networking success to integrate all five of the top Social Network websites, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, Twitter, and Linked-In. This combined approach reaching across various platforms creates a powerful network that provides you the greatest marketing success.

You need to be active in all the places where your target customers hang out online. Even with over six hundred million users (which may reach one billion by early next year), not everyone is active on Facebook. To successfully reach the broadest audience you need to establish your presence across the Internet on various Social Networking platforms. In addition, by effectively integrating the top Social Networking websites together you can create a post once and have it display on all of them saving you time and maximizing your ROI.

Social Networking Facts:

  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • Twitter users that integrate with a blog have 70% more followers
  • YouTube reached over 700 billion playbacks in 2010
  • Businesses that have blogs receive 55% more traffic than those that don’t
  • A new member joins LinkedIn every second of every day, approximately one million every 12 days.
  • 33% of Twitter users have household income of over $100,000 per year
  • 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • YouTube’s demographic is broad: 18-54 years old
  • The top 100 business blogs average over 30 posts per day
  • Over 12 percent of all time spent online is on Facebook
  • The top 10 Twitter users each have over 5 million followers
  • The average Facebook user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  • LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet
  • The fastest growing demographic among Facebook users is 35 to 65 year-old women

The Goal of Social

Network Marketing

The goal of Social Networking is NOT getting lots of Friends, Fans & Followers and having conversations with them.

The goal of Social Network Marketing is getting customers into your store giving your sales staff the opportunity to convert the in-store traffic into new purchases. Apps, Contests and Campaigns to get more Fans and Followers are all fine, but the real payoff is your status updates. They need to be frequent, interesting and compelling.

Social Networking is not set and forget. You need to stay fresh. Social Networking is like big grocery stores - there’s a sell-by date on every message - and it’s today! If you create a Social Network page about your store and then only up-date it once a week or a couple times a month it will not be effective.

There is no such thing as an ideal number of Social Networking posts. You are only posting too often if all your posts are about you selling your jewelry. The content of your post (the quality) is more important than the quantity of your posts.

If you post pictures of your jewelry and informational videos and text about jewelry, the more the merrier. Inform your followers how to care for their jewelry and how to build their jewelry wardrobe. Tell stories about gemstones and the history of jewelry. Make it interesting to your followers and they will look forward to reading all your new posts and up-dates. Also link to informational articles about jewelry, such as jewelry fashion trends, jewelry news, etc. If all your posts are about ‘Buy My Jewelry’ people will tire of reading them and either ignore them or un-friend you.

In addition, the more often you create new posts on Facebook and other Social Networking websites the greater the chance that your followers will see your content. Facebook tells us that 90% of people who ‘Like’ a business page never return to that page. The only way to reach your fans is through their News Feed. People log onto Facebook at different times during the day and on different days of the week. You need to be posting at various times so that you have the opportunity to be in your Fan’s News Feed when they are online logged in to Facebook.

If you have 10 new pictures of your jewelry to post, instead of posting them all at the same time, spread them out over a couple of days at different time intervals. If you post them all at once, everyone online at the time will see them. However, if someone logs in 3 or 4 hours later, they may never see your pictures as the content has been pushed down by more current posts.

If you spread those 10 pictures out over several days at different time intervals you will reach more people. The chance is greater that they will be online when one of the pictures are posted.

Mix It Up

If every one of your status updates is simply a notification that you are having a special event, you will find some of your best customers reacting, but little else. It’s okay to talk about your events, but real engagement comes much faster when you mix your content up giving people a variety of information in different formats.

Add pictures to your Facebook page, then link to them from Twitter and LinkedIn. Use those pictures to create a video slide show to post on YouTube and embed the video on the other Social Network websites. Write a Blog post and have it sent to your Facebook and LinkedIn news feeds and create a link to it from Twitter.

The content you create should include information on Gemstones, Diamonds, Precious Metals, Jewelry Care, Jewelry History, Jewelry News, and Jewelry Trends in addition to the information you share about your store.

Use Tools to Save Time

Take advantage of the various social media tools that are designed specifically to save you time. They can help you by sending updates to multiple Social Networking websites as well as enabling you to schedule when your updates are made. This way you can spread those 10 new pictures over several days at different time intervals without having to set an alarm clock to remind you to log in and create a new up-date.

Some of the top Social Networking Tools are: Ping.fm, TweetDeck.com, AtomKeep.com, CoTweet.com, HootSuite.com, SocialOomph.com, MarketMeSuite.com, and Seesmic.com. Some of these tools are free while others have paid memberships.

If you still have trouble finding time to effectively use Social Networking or are uncertain how to set it all up and what to do, Brad and Debbie Simon are owners of Internet 4 Jewelers and provide Social Networking management as well as other Internet Marketing services. Log onto http://Internet4Jewelers.com for details.

Internet Marketing Strategies: Stay out of bad neighborhoods

When I was a child growing up my parents warned me to stay away from Bad Neighborhoods.

Today, nearly one half century later, I find myself giving that same advice to my clients. However, rather than rough parts of town, my advice is to stay away from Bad Neighborhoods on the Internet when building links to your website.

Internet Marketing Strategies: Confused about Internet marketing?

Websites, Google, Facebook, Search Engines, Online Video Marketing, Link Building, Local Search, Twitter, YouTube, Pay Per Click Advertising, Social Networking, SERPs, e-Mail Marketing, SEO, Organic Search, LinkedIn, Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, Blogs, Shopping Carts, Natural Search, Social Media, Bookmarking, Bing, Text Messaging, Yahoo, Facebook Business Pages, Pay Per View Ads, and on and on it goes.

Internet Marketing Strategies 2011 - The Year of the Blog

Business blogs and blogging for marketing purposes became popular during the middle of the last decade and reached its peak in 2008.  Then social networking caught everyone’s attention and blogs were forgotten by many businesses.  Those businesses that already had a blog posted less frequently as their time was spent on all the different social media websites.  Businesses that ventured into online marketing for the first time were swayed to the social media websites by all the frenzy in the news, and information freely given in online marketing seminars and articles.

Internet Marketing Strategies: Get your Groupon!

If you follow Business News or Internet Marketing News you know that in December Groupon, Inc. (Groupon.com) turned down an acquisition offer from Google and is staying independent. Google reportedly had offered between $5 billion and $6 billion for the daily coupon deal Internet company.

Most people are left wondering: Who is Groupon? And, why would they turn down so much money for their company?

In short Groupon is a 2 year old Internet start-up company that offers discount coupons from local businesses to their subscribers. The reason for them turning down the offer (and why Google would make such an enormous offer in the first place) is because of the explosive growth in Online To Offline Business or O2O.

The idea behind O2O is to use the Internet for people to find you and then use that awareness to drive them offline and into your local business where they can get the products and services they want conveniently and with a greater experience than a big box or online retailer can deliver.

While a lot of Local Social Media websites such as Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places are ideal for restaurants, night clubs, and other social gathering places, I believe Groupon is at least worth a look for Local Retail Jewelry Stores.

How Groupon Works

1. Set up a deal. This is usually a discount coupon for a service or item your company provides, though you can get creative here based on your user base and experience with them.

2. Groupon does a write up. This means that they write a sales pitch about your business to promote it to their audience including pictures, a link to your website, and a map pinpointing your location. Many times this also includes positive reviews of your business to show the customer’s perspective. The idea is that the site features one business promotion daily that they also e-mail out to their list.

3. People purchase the deal. Here’s the one catch, in order for the deal to become valid, a certain amount of people have to buy. This number is decided between you and Groupon when setting up your feature. This is to encourage customers to spread the word about your deal which they can do easily using the Facebook or Twitter button, e-mailing directly from Groupon’s form and the old fashion way - spreading the word to their friends.

4. Customers claim their Groupon coupon. They can also download a Groupon app on their phone and take it into the business to have it redeemed (once the deal has hit its minimum point). According to Groupon, the day of the feature is the busiest day for the featured business, and so are the 30 days after the feature and 30 days before the coupon expires.

5. Groupon mails you a check. This happens the day after the feature. It’s that simple. There’s no up front cost from you because Groupon takes a small percentage of the money made from each coupon sold. The only real cost is honoring all those coupons, but once your new customers come into your place, there’s a good chance they’ll want to come back. According to their site, 97% of businesses who use Groupon say they’d use it again, so they must be doing something right.

In addition to the basic features, Groupon has advanced features to take advantage of, which are divided into 3 groups within Groupon’s Merchant Services:

Deal Preparation

Groupon has trained sales reps to help set up your feature, and to find the deal that works best for your business. They also have several tools at your disposal to help you find the perfect deal. They go so far as to offer webinars on basic online business practices.

Day of Feature Support

Groupon will give you advice on how to handle the phone support, website readiness, and discussion board practices for the day of your feature.

Ongoing Consultation

After your feature, Groupon will continue to offer you services. They will offer business advice and even evaluate your promotion to see if they need to change anything if you choose to be featured again. They also have a two way rating system which allows you to identify problem customers, and in turn allows customers to recognize you for your great service.

Who Uses Groupon

Groupon says their user base is “savvy young urbanites with money to spend” and “college educated single females who go out two times a week on average.” Of course these are the exact people you would expect to be attached to a social network at almost any time. From the case study videos one business owner described the customers as young professionals. Groupon claims these to be customers that are hard to attract with more traditional forms of advertising.

What is more important is that Groupon users are people who are actively seeking out deals. They sign up for the site, and receive daily e-mails on the deals in their area. The Groupon site is also strongly geared towards people who want to explore and find new local places in their city.

A Word of Warning...

Recently a survey of 150 different businesses that tried Groupon revealed that there are some risks involved in using the service. Out of the 150 businesses, 66% actually made a profit from using Groupon, and 40% said they would not use the service again. Obviously this is way different than the 97% of customers who said they would try the service again according to Groupon.

Whether there is actually such a big difference between the two sets of stats or the customers just told Groupon they would use the service again knowing they were not obligated to actually uphold any agreement is unclear. The more important, yet unavailable, stat is how many customers actually returned to the store after the initial trip for the coupon.

It is very important to remember that Groupon does an amazing job of showing their subscribers and website visitors new places in their city to visit. Be sure that you give any Groupon users an experience that makes them want to come back.

Tips to Consider

Use promotions for building relationships instead of creating one-time transactions. Instead of offering $60 worth of shop services for $30, parcel it out to offer $20 worth of services for $10 over the customer’s next three visits.

Choose items thoughtfully to sell shop services, or appraisals during normally slow times, or to move old inventory.

Consider a Groupon offer as a loss leader. Between the discount received by the client and the percentage paid to Groupon, your profit on the promoted item will be slim to nothing at all. Use the promotion to expose your store to new potential customers, and offer them an incredible experience that will cause them to want to return.

Don’t offer discounts on a total bill; rather, offer a specified discount on a specific product or service.

Offer a special gift item you can buy in quantity for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Christmas. Then train your sales staff in selling add-on items to the coupon buyer. For example offer a pendant at a special price to Groupon users. Then offer a neck chain, matching earrings, pin or ring to those who come in to buy.

What Are You Waiting For?

Groupon has some very big potential. If nothing else, it will create exposure for your business for next to nothing invested. Sometimes, trying new marketing techniques is all that stands between you and your competition. To get started go to: GrouponWorks.com or go to Groupon.com and click on the link for Groupon for Your Business at the bottom of the page.

Go Get Your Groupon!

Brad and Debbie Simon are 30+ year veterans of the retail jewelry industry and have been marketing on the Internet since 1999. Their company Internet 4 Jewelers provides On-Line Marketing services for Retail Jewelers. For more information on their new Local Search Marketing book “Feet Thru The Door Marketing” log on to Internet4Jewelers.com/store.

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