How Ylang 23 Built a Social Media Empire

Ylang 23 has built a national and international brand from one Dallas jewelry store and an ecommerce site that launched in 2000. The retailer’s savvy use of online marketing appeals to their customers, 90 percent female self-purchasers who gravitate to fashion-forward fine jewelry from designers such as Cathy Waterman and Todd Reed. They now ship to more than 100 countries around the world.

Co-owner Joanne Teichman runs the business with her husband Charles, but it’s her voice and vision that runs through their social media. Ylang 23’s biggest social media successes to date include:

YLANG23: Joanne’s Eye – Teichman started blogging in 2007, developing the voice and online persona that eventually extended to many forms of social media. She tells that story here.

FacebookThe photo-centric, interactive quality of Facebook proved a perfect vehicle for the store’s 50-some lines of designer jewelry and mainly female customer base. Ylang 23 has nearly 36,000 likes, and posts daily – events, contests, and promotional images from the designers they carry.

TwitterJoanne Teichman’s witty and opinionated voice has been a recognizable presence in the Twitter feeds of jewelry aficionados since 2008. @Ylang23 has 20,100 Twitter followers. These days, what you see most from @Ylang23 are posts synced from her Instagram account.

InstagramJoanne’s current passion has attracted nearly 10,000 followers. She loves it because it calls into play her journalism and photography background. You’ll find images of her travels, her children, her dogs, her jewelry, and sometimes jewelry on her dogs. “It’s like keeping a wonderful diary,” she says.

Pinterest – Ylang 23 has 62 boards, many of which are devoted to designers carried by the store and website – including Monique Pean, Jamie Joseph, Irene Neuwirth and Jennifer Meyer.

Polyvore – On this “social commerce” website, members curate products into a shared product index and use them to create magazine-like collages. Polyvore was a hit with fashionistas and perfect for designer jewelry. “I was creating Polyvores left and right,” Teichman says. Others took notice, and Teichman installed a Polyvore app on the Ylang 23 website, inviting customers to make collages from the site’s jewelry.

The key to social media success? “Have fun with it,” Teichman says. It’s obvious in all of her social media that she enjoys herself. But none have clicked with her quite like Instagram.

“I experimented with everything that came along,” she says. “Then I got to Instagram, and that was my jam. Once I started on that, that was it. Nobody touches Instagram but me. The voice is mine, the photos are mine, the dogs are mine.”

As it happens, Instagram has become the influential platform of the past year or two, especially when it comes to jewelry and fashion. It’s given birth to a certain kind of selfie – detail shots of jewelry on the hand, stacked bracelets or necklaces – picked up by fashion blogs. As usual, Teichman was onboard when that train took off.

She also gravitated to Polyvore, creating her own collages and inviting customers to create their own by installing a Polyvore app on the Ylang 23 site. A customer from Oklahoma contributed so many, Teichman eventually sent her a piece of jewelry as a reward.

Always looking for ways to combine social media efforts, she found a way to merge the Polyvore passion with her growing Pinterest presence. Among her 62 pinboards, you’ll find one called Polyvore Nation made entirely of Polyvore collages. Some were made by Teichman, some by her art director, a few by customers using the app on the (newly-revamped) Ylang 23 website.

As we speak, she’s scrolling through the Ylang 23 Pinterest boards, dormant too long she decides. “I think I might sit down and update my Pinterest boards this afternoon,” she says.

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories appear in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more in “Work Local, Market Global.”

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