Net Profits: Social Marketing Plan

By Cathleen McCarthy

When you look at your peers on social media, you will likely find people with tens of thousands of followers on a certain platform, getting dozens of likes, comments, and shares within seconds of posting – and feel suddenly inadequate. You missed the boat! How can you ever catch up?

First, take a look at those social media stars. Most are expending a great deal of energy on one platform. I know one jewelry maven with more than 27,000 followers on Pinterest, but she’s pinned more than 35,000 images. A massive social following has its benefits, but I don’t even want to try to compete with that. Assuming you have some jewelry to make, along with everything else in your life, I don’t recommend you spend that much time online either.

My advice: Focus, at first, on getting your stuff out there every day and making your website or online shop easy for others to share. You may find one platform in particular is sending a lot of customers your way and end up directing your energy at that. But I recommend setting up a few accounts and syncing them. Spread your bets until you find your groove.

I try to commit about 15 minutes a day to social media marketing, especially during the work week. On days when I’ve posted something new to the blog or when there’s breaking news and images – I just attended a jewelry show or auction preview, for example – I spend quite a bit more than that, but it’s averaged out by days when I’m under deadline, on the road, or chilling with friends and family.

Let’s say this is your average workday and you’re checking in for 15 minutes. How should you spend them? Here’s a basic plan, tweak to suit your circumstances.

Your 15 Minutes of Social

  1. Aim for a presence on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, with the goal of building at least one to a sizable following.
  2. Feed them five days a week. Any time you post a new piece of jewelry or introduce a new collection online, share it on each of your platforms in a way that’s unique to that platform. In between, engage with others on those platforms, share interesting content, and find ways to tie your jewelry to a holiday or event that week. Make an old piece new by reshooting it or presenting it in a new context. That is the kind of stuff others will share.
  3. Spend one week opening an account you don’t have, and each day thereafter play with tools, hashtags, tagging and following others on that platform.
  4. Prioritize visuals, then sync accordingly. If you have more than one platform established, sync your weakest to your strongest. For example, I have 7,500 followers on Twitter and 2,500 on Facebook, so I sync everything I post on Pinterest and Instagram to Twitter and/or Facebook. That shows up as recent activity on Twitter and Facebook while letting my followers know I’m playing elsewhere.
  5. Sync judiciously. If you sync to Twitter, remember only 140-character teasers (no photo) will show up there. If you sync from Pinterest to Facebook, you can automatically share a pinned image to your Facebook page, and it appears as a photo that people can click on – and end up on your product page.

Give it time and remember to engage with others. This is particularly crucial early on and should be part of everything you post. Many people in the jewelry world maintain half a dozen social media platforms and work every one of them daily. Once you get into a rhythm, you may find this isn’t that hard to do. Or you may find you get more from spending 80 percent of your energy on one platform.
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 “Stategize Your Social Media.”

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories about jewelry, art, and business appear in dozens of magazines and newspapers, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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