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Merrick, NY—A luxury jeweler’s guide to what?

Pinterest, the new darling of social media, is an online bulletin board where users “pin” items they find interesting—hence the name, Pinterest. Pinterest got its start only last year and, while not (yet) as big as Facebook, the site passed the 10 million visitor mark sooner than Facebook did, and now logs some 11.7 million unique visitors a month.

What’s important about Pinterest is the behavior of its visitors. In short, they come, they stay, and they interact. If a picture is worth the proverbial thousand words, what’s it worth to a luxury retailer?

According to this article on Small Business, the average Pinterest user spends 89 minutes interacting with the site, looking around, sharing and posting. And if you know how to use the site effectively, it could be your brand, your store, and your products they’re sharing and posting for an hour and a half at a time.

The key to using Pinterest successfully, says the Small Business Trends article, is to use it more as an image builder for your brand than an advertisement for specific products. That’s not to say you shouldn’t show product—and many jewelers successfully do—but focus on showing why they’re special; i.e. the lifestyle that your brand represents. So you might pin items relating to fashion or red carpet looks, or images from a trip to a gem mine, or a location that inspired your designs, as well as your products.

Jeffrey Arnold of Focus BMI and author of The Centurion’s series about digital marketing, agrees that it’s mostly about image. He says to use Pinterest as the same as Facebook: engage to engage, not to sell. But he also believes jewelers should actively use it for product, especially for custom design and other distinctive categories that have keywords that can drive a Google search like “custom” can.

“Pinterest can be a gold mine for jewelers because the jewelry industry is a visual medium. [In previous Centurion articles] I’ve talked about how websites should not be heavily photo-laden as it hurts in Google searches, which are based on textual content, but Pinterest is designed 100% for images and it is 85-90% women using it!  What a great target audience! You don’t need to flood your board with information, but keep posting on a regular basis,” he says.

Luxury jewelry designers, such as Raymond Hak and Reena Ahluwalia, are beginning to find it useful for building exposure. Hak’s pieces are featured on pinboards of both jewelry retailers and individuals. And Ahluwalia takes the above advice very seriously, pinning not just her own award-winning designs—many in conjunction with Royal Asscher—but the self-confessed “design addict” also posts images of beautiful things that inspire her jewelry creations. Like Hak, she also gets a lot of re-pins from followers, which in turn gain more followers.

“It’s helpful, since it very easily connects people to ideas and products, generates website traffic, and gets your work out to more people,” says Ahluwalia. Hak’s pieces, meanwhile, have been pinned by Austin, TX-based Benold’s Jewelers, Sherrie’s Jewelry Box of Tigard, OR, and The Jewellery Space in London, U.K.

But how do you get started? As Tennessee jeweler William Sites says, “We’re still learning.”

Start here: Small Business Trends offers an easy, step-by-step guide to getting started, beginning with how to set up a Pinterest account. You need to apply and be invited, but that’s easy and you should receive an invitation within a day of applying.  Once you receive your invitation, you will need to set up your account through either Facebook or Twitter, but you can de-link it later if you want. Though jewelers probably shouldn’t de-link—your goal is to make relevant use of all social media, and having it linked so that your pins are posted for fans to see is a convenience that makes up for the (minor) inconvenience of having to be invited to join.

Once you’re up and running, Content Strategist offers four tips for companies to use Pinterest the right way:

1) Make your boards timely and relevant. Real Simple magazine, for example, pins seasonal recipes and quick tips, all of which reinforce the brand’s message of providing simple solutions to make life easier.

2) Make your pins searchable, like Nordstrom does by employing tags and naming each board with a relevant name, such as “Fall Wishlist,” or “Shoes and Boots.”

3) Pay attention to photo quality. The site suggests not using product shots, but for a jeweler a good product shot can work as long as it’s a high quality professional image that conveys the lifestyle your brand represents—that means not you with a digital instamatic snapping a necklace on a form. (You with a camera snapping a necklace being worn by a fashionable socialite customer could work, though!)

4) Keep your customers who are using Pinterest engaged., for example, a site for handmade products, had a section on its own site to help its storeowners learn from each other about how to use Pinterest. As a result, Etsy’s own presence there grew organically.

Click here to read the Small Business Trends guide to getting started.


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