New York, NY—Not only is it possible to grow your business in tough times, but in many ways it’s the best time to grow your business!
Independent jewelers have been doing surprisingly well through the pandemic, as people seek ways to show appreciation to loved ones, cheer themselves up, or simply look better for a Zoom meeting. Emmanuel Raheb, CEO of SmartAge Solutions, presented a webinar series of tactical, use-it-now ways for retail jewelers to grow their business both online and in-store. In Part I of our series, he listed eight ways to improve your website and online customer experience.
In Part II, he offers advice and best practices for using Google and social media effectively. (Yes, Google ads do make sense for jewelers! says Raheb.) Here are nine strategies for better Google and social media results:
1. Update your information! “A lot of websites don’t even have their updated hours right now,” says Raheb incredulously. Some jewelers with multiple stores and multiple phone numbers have redirected all calls to go through one number, so it’s essential to make sure any online information or search results show that.
“Go to Google My Business—it’s a free service—and update your phone number if you’ve changed it, your hours, and your contact information. And of course show your reviews and increase them.”
2. Use Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads. “A lot of people think we’re crazy, but we’ve seen the success come from this,” says Raheb. You should never stop advertising [in hard times] but be smart, he says. For instance, if people aren’t driving as much, don’t do billboards. But the concept of Google ads is that it only serves up the ads to people who are looking.
“This is a pull mechanism. You pull customers into your website, into your business. If people are out there right now in your community looking for your product, do you not want to be there and want your competitor to be there? I’m not saying to go out and push your message on people who are not looking, but this is showing people who are already in the cycle and looking,” he stressed. As an example, he showed a “book a virtual appointment” Google ad, which he explained shows that jeweler is responding to people who are looking.
3. Advertise the right things. “The only kinds of ads I’d run now are engagement rings, brands, and core products,” advises Raheb. “People are actively looking and you should try to be there.” He cited a retailer on a buying spree for diamonds. “He’s getting some great deals right now and he’s loading up on studs. He knows as soon as this thing passes, people are going to be rushing out and buying, and he wants to make sure his core products are there.”
4. Don’t just sell, buy! Raheb reminded retailers that right now there also are a lot of people who need or want to sell jewelry. “You should consider [a buying] campaign,” he advises.
5. Get your name out there. “Ogilvy, one of the most traditional advertising agencies that does TV and radio, said the first dollar a marketer spends should be on search. This is never truer than in a recession,” explained Raheb. “You want your name to come up on Google!”
He has seen many opportunistic retailers buying their competitors’ names “because those guys are sleeping at the wheel. You don’t want to be asleep at the wheel. Search is going up naturally because people are home. People are looking for engagement rings. They are looking for buying and selling gold and diamonds. There’s a lot of activity,” he says.
Social media is probably the biggest and most popular question SmartAge gets, says Raheb. Here’s what they advise:
6. Posting jewelry is totally okay. You’re not selling something that’s wrong or bad. You’re selling emotion, a joyous thing. But also remember it’s a different time and people need extra compassion right now.
7. SOS: Stay on Social.“More than ever, your social media channels are on fire and they’re being looked out. Right now they’re probably getting the most engagement ever,” says Raheb. “This is going to end. Everything has an end and a new beginning and we will come out of this ahead. But while we’re in it, show the softer side of your business.” He particularly likes Instagram stories:
Gabriel & Co. showed a charity tie-in:
John Hardy shows togetherness, below. “It still shows product, still shows a link to buy product, but they do it in a way that shows togetherness; two people holding hands,” says Raheb.
David Yurman shows the creative process and tells a story about what goes into it. “People want to know you, not just your business. What makes you you, not just a jewelry store? Maybe show a post of you cooking or doing something you love,” he suggests.
Frieda Rothman is still showing jewelry but in a subtle, creative way, showing togetherness:
8. Funny is ok! “People want to laugh,” says Raheb. “Funny is not a bad thing.” This example from Orr’s Jewelers features a Cartier watch and asks ‘What time is it? Probably time to wash your hands again.’ It’s luxury, but creative, cheeky, and comical—very important in times like this.
So are straightforward reminders that jewelry is important in these times:
Raheb likes Bell Jewelers’ post (below) about custom jewelry that tells customers they can still have the same feel without the in-store visit. “I hope this carries on for many years. You have customers who are elderly or who have moved, and this can be a good way to still do business with those customers.”
He also thinks gift cards are fantastic option right now too, and again, the post on the right is cheeky, cute, and funny, but subtly showing dollars of pieces of jewelry:
9. Stay on top of your social! Community management is critical. People are commenting and you must be involved and responsive. It means consistently being online with Instagram and Facebook ads, too. And it’s not just Raheb’s advice: “Rolex in particular advises its retailers to be very active in community management!” he says.
Retailer homework assignments for these lessons include:
- Update Google My Business
- Prepare a Google Search ad strategy
- Revisit social media strategy (posting, ads, and stories) and plan for upcoming months. Be funny, compassionate, and cheeky.
- Designate a community management leader who will be actively engaged in keeping your social presence strong and responsive.