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Use the Summer Months to Strengthen your Social Strategy

Summer-Social-Tips-2020-Header

Ahh, sweet summertime has arrived. It’s hot, kids are out of school, and people are exhausted. That being said, summertime in the jewelry industry is typically a slower season. There are not many peak selling holidays and folks are just trying to save money during the hot months.

While you may have a bit more free time on your hands, summer is the perfect time to perform a deep-dive of your social media strategy. What are you doing right? What can you improve? Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list of three things you can do to work on your social strategy.

Check out these easy ways to strengthen your social media strategy this summer.

Monitor your insights

The dreaded summer slow season is a perfect time to pick up your phone or sit at your computer and analyze those insights. Don’t know how to do that? Read our blog all about Facebook insights as well as Instagram insights.

Basically, when analyzing your insights, you are gathering data about your social audience. This allows you to better adjust the content you’ll be posting, the time you post, your tone (how to word your message), and much more.

Resources like Buffer provide insight into the importance of tracking your posts.  Here are some analytics you can look for in your insights to adjust your social strategy accordingly.  

Summer-Social-Tips-2020-Facebook-Insights

Summer-Social-Tips-2020-Instagram-Insights

Plan out your posts

I know it’s boring and can also be difficult. But trust me when I say MAKE A SOCIAL CALENDAR! Plan out your posts weeks–or even months–in advance! A simple Google search for “monthly calendar” is all you need to plan out those posts.

Utilize popular hashtags like #WeddingWednesday, #RingStack, or #EarCandy to get some creative ideas for posts when you don’t have anything else to post. Use the data from your insights to draw inferences as to what your audience likes to see – if your posts about birthstone jewelry get significantly more love than others, it’s safe to say your followers would probably like to see more birthstone pieces!

Summer-Social-Tips-2020-Instagram-Hashtag-Post

Schedule, schedule, schedule

If you’ve spoken to me before about social media, you’ll think I sound like a broken record. But I’ll say it again: SCHEDULE YOUR POSTS in advance! And take this time to get in the habit of scheduling out posts weekly or monthly. Before you know it, it’ll take you little to no time to schedule out a whole month’s worth of social media, and everything will be ready to go for busy season.

Not sure how to schedule posts? Check out my previous blog post where I walk you through the whats, hows, and whys of social media scheduling.

Social-Summer-Tips-2020

Photo by SOCIAL.CUT on Unsplash

And that’s it! I know these tasks can be tedious, and nobody likes homework, but trust me when I say future you will thank your past self for reevaluating your social audience and getting into good habits for the future.


What do you like to do to spruce up your social channels? Let me know in the comments below!




A Gift For You: A Week’s Worth of Holiday Social Media Posts

Holiday Social Blog Header

Happy Holidays! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we couldn’t be more excited to commence the holidays with lots of joy and cheer! And just like you, Stuller is also gearing up for the busiest selling season of the year. Between custom orders, last-minute gifts, and an influx of inquiries, we know you are busy!

That’s why I want to alleviate some of that stress for you. At your busiest, social media may be the last thing you want to focus on. But it is SO important to share with your customers the gift-giving message before the holidays. After all, it’s time to make their list of jewelry needs!

And that’s why I’m here— to do the work for you. Kristyn and I, the masterminds behind Stuller’s social media, have curated 7 holiday social media posts for you to share on your channels. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting the perfect photo or coming up with that catchy caption. All you have to do is save these images and copy and paste the captions. Then, BAM! Your social media is done for the day, and you didn’t even have to step away from your workspace!

 

Here are seven ideas and suggestions for holiday social media posts. The content below is ready to share with your followers!

 

December 8

Holiday Social Media Posts Elegance

Leave a little SPARKLE wherever you go this holiday season in diamond necklaces, stackable rings, and accented gemstone earrings! #Holiday2019 #TisTheStullerSeason

#engagementring #stackable #jewelry #rings #ringsofinstagram #diamondring #showmeyourrings #dreamring #weddingring #finejewelry #jewelrygram #ringspiration #ringstagram #jewelryoftheday #diamond #instajewelry ⁠#holidayjewelry #holiday

 

December 9

Holiday Social Media Posts Pearl Jewelry

Subtle Sophistication— Pearl jewelry is a MUST for holiday parties and gift-giving! Luckily, we have pearl styles at the ready for those who value the subtlety of pearls. #Holiday2019 #TisTheStullerSeason

#pearls #pearljewelry #finejewelry #handmade #jewelrygram #handmadejewelry #ilovepearls #instajewelry #jewelrydesign #jewelryaddict #jewelrylove #jewelrylovers #modernjewelry #sparkle #jewelrylover #jewelryoftheday ⁠#holidayjewelry #holiday

 

December 10

Holiday Social Media Posts Bands

Whether you prefer simplicity or intricacy, we are your go-to source for wedding bands! We’re here to help you with your promise of forever. Make this holiday a special one with our range of wedding bands for you to choose from! #Holiday2019 #TisTheStullerSeason

#mensbands #showmeyourrings #handmadejewelry #weddingrings #weddingbands #dreamring #downtheaisle #weddingforward #futuremrs #ringbling #ringenvy #ringgoals #ohwowyes #showyourrings #finejewelry #jewelrygram #instajewelry #jewelrydesign #jewelryaddict #jewelrylove #jewelrylovers #modernjewelry #sparkle #jewelrylover #jewelryoftheday

 

December 11

Holiday Social Media Posts Geometric Jewelry

Merry and Modern—

Detail, depth, dimension: geometric jewelry has it all! We’ve got plenty of on-trend designs for a contemporary look that we know YOU will love. #Holiday2019 #TisTheStullerSeason

#stackable #jewelry #rings #ringsofinstagram #diamondring #showmeyourrings #dreamring #weddingring #finejewelry #jewelrygram #ringspiration #ringstagram #jewelryoftheday #diamond #instajewelry ⁠#holidayjewelry #holiday

 

December 12

Holiday Social Media Posts Birthstone Jewelry

Family Reflections— Family jewelry is the best kind of holiday gift! Celebrate your unique family with stones and styles that reflect those closest to your heart. #Holiday2019 #TisTheStullerSeason

#familyjewelry #gemstonejewelry #birthstonejewelry #birthstone #heirloom #finejewelry #jewelrygram #instajewelry #jewelrydesign #jewelryaddict #jewelrylove #jewelrylovers #modernjewelry #sparkle #jewelrylover #jewelryoftheday #holidayjewelry #holidays

 

December 13

Holiday Social Media Posts Personalization

Turn to us for all of your personalized jewelry this holiday season! We offer engraving, monograms, and special finishes to ensure that your jewelry has that individual flair that everyone is seeking! #Holiday2019 #TisTheStullerSeason

#personalizedjewelry #personalization #engraving #engravedjewelry #heirloom #finejewelry #jewelrygram #instajewelry #jewelrydesign #jewelryaddict #jewelrylove #jewelrylovers #modernjewelry #sparkle #jewelrylover #jewelryoftheday #holidayjewelry #holidays

 

December 14

Holiday Social Media Posts Modern Bridal

Under the Mistletoe— Engagement season is here, and we’re here to help you prepare for your holiday proposals. Let us help you choose your perfect ring to tie the knot with! #Holiday2019 #TisTheStullerSeason

#engagementring #stackable #jewelry #rings #ringsofinstagram #diamondring #showmeyourrings #dreamring #weddingring #finejewelry #jewelrygram #ringspiration #ringstagram #jewelryoftheday #diamond #instajewelry ⁠#holidayjewelry #holiday


Let’s call it the #TisTheStullerSeason challenge. Brace yourself for the upcoming holiday season with us. And, more importantly, avoid slacking on your social media at this crucial time of year. All you have to do is save the images above to your desktop. Then, copy and paste the captions to create effective Holiday 2019 posts!


How are you prepping for the holiday season? Let us know in the comments down below!




A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Shoppable Instagram and Facebook Posts

Blog Header Beyond the Glass Shoppable Facebook and Instagram Posts

Social media boasts prime real estate for spreading brand awareness and engaging with your customer base. And while social media works ’round the clock to connect with your audience, sometimes it’s difficult to quantify the impact. Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to create transactions on social media using shoppable Instagram and Facebook posts. It might seem like a daunting task at first, but this will help draw more customers to your doors AND close more sales.

Shoppable Instagram and Facebook Posts Mobile Screenshot Shoppable Instagram and Facebook Posts Mobile Screenshot

Here is a simple guide to creating shoppable Instagram and Facebook posts—

Step 1: Switch to Business Accounts

Before you can start to build your shoppable Instagram and Facebook posts, your accounts on each platform must be business versions. This means having a Facebook Page rather than a profile and converting your regular Instagram into a business account by choosing Switch to Business Profile in your settings menu.

Step 2: Link Your Accounts

Next, you must make sure these accounts are linked to one another. You can accomplish this one of two ways:

1- Visit your Inbox Tab on your Facebook Page when viewing on a desktop computer. Here you will see an Instagram logo. When clicked, it will then prompt you to connect your profiles by entering your account credentials.

2- Choose Linked Accounts in your Instagram account settings from your mobile phone. You will choose Facebook and simply follow the on-screen prompts, entering your account credentials to connect your profiles.

 

We recommend that you complete the next two steps on a desktop computer

 

Step 3: Add the Shop Tab

In your Facebook Page settings, locate the Edit Page tab. Here you will see all of the tabs you have set up on your page. (About, Reviews, Events, etc.) Scroll to the bottom and choose Add a Tab. Select Shop. This functionality will then show up as an option on your page.

 

Step 4: Import Your Inventory

This is where you’ll start adding inventory to your new Shop! When you choose Add Product, you will be guided through adding your first piece. You will add photos and/or videos, product price and description, and a checkout URL (a link to purchase). Repeat this process with each piece you wish to upload.

My recommendation: Start by uploading styles with existing photography that you would like to post soon. This enables you to start building up your Shop as you simultaneously create your shoppable Instagram and Facebook posts.

Shoppable Instagram and Facebook Posts Desktop Screenshot

Step 5: Wait for Approval

Once you add a single product to your Facebook Shop, you can begin to tag that product in any posts within thirty minutes or less. However, on Instagram, you must wait for approval before you can begin the process. According to Instagram, “Once you fulfill the above requirements (Steps 1-4), your account is reviewed for access to the feature. Usually, the review process takes a few days, but sometimes we may need to review your account in more detail, which can take longer.”

 

Step 6: Tag Product

Now, all you have to do is tag products from your Shop in any corresponding posts! Viewing your photo from a desktop computer, you will now see the option to Tag Products. Click on that button, and then click on the product within the photo. Type whatever you named the style in the pop-up and that’s all there is to it! You will now see a shopping bag when you hover over this photo on desktop AND mobile.

Shoppable Instagram and Facebook Posts Desktop Screenshot

Step 7: Close More Sales!

Do a happy dance! You are DONE creating your Shop and will start converting more social sales before you know it.





Cool Tricks & Tools for Social Media Jewelry Photography

Social Media Jewelry Photography Blog Header

Raise your hand if you’re trying to succeed in the social space with nothing but a smartphone. 🙋‍♀️ If your hand went up, this blog post is for you! Welcome to Social Media Jewelry Photography— a quick guide to using your smartphone (and a few cool tools) to capture stunning images of your jewelry to post on social media.

First Thing’s First:

The device matters! If you’re relying on a smartphone for your social media jewelry photography, you need the latest and greatest out there. Currently, that’s the iPhone XR and the Google Pixel 3, but you can get away with one version prior.

Now that we have a high-quality mobile device to capture our images, here are a few tips and tricks to get your photos ready for social media. We’ll start with the lowest investment required, then work our way up.

Let’s start with my favorite level of investment— FREE! Here are four must-have apps that I use to edit social media jewelry photography every single day.

First Up: Instagram

How many of you use Instagram to edit your smartphone photos? YOU SHOULD. The editing capabilities of Instagram are literally like having Adobe LightRoom in your pocket. It’s so much more than just filters. I encourage you to dig around in the editing options and get a feel for it in your spare time!

 

Social Media Jewelry Photography Boomerang AppBoomerang From Instagram

In the latest State of the Industry Social Media Report, marketers reported that video content received 50% MORE engagement than other content types, on average. Who wants 50% more engagement but feels like they don’t have time to produce full-on videos? Yeah, I totally feel that way sometimes. Boomerang allows you to create simple video content on the go!

 

Social Media Jewelry Photography Layout From InstagramLayout From Instagram: Collage App

Layout is an Instagram-owned collage maker. I’ve included it here because everyone needs a good collage maker from time to time and this one is my absolute favorite.

 

Social Media Jewelry Photography PicsArt Photo StudioPicsArt Photo Editor + Collage

PicsArt gives you extra editing capabilities that were once only available in Photoshop. Text overlay, smoothing, and spot healing are just SOME of the noteworthy features!

 


And Now, it’s Tools Time

In addition to your smartphone and social media apps, there are several social media jewelry photography tools that can be used to capture professional-quality images. Here are a few our favorites, starting with the basic and inexpensive and moving toward the more sophisticated.

Give Me the Loupe!

Oh yes, the old reliable loupe! I’m sure every one of you has a few of these lying around, right?! This is one of our new arrivals — the Hexagon Triplet 10X LoupeWe’re going to use this loupe for The Selfie-Loupe Technique. All you need is your phone, a diamond loupe, and tweezers.

Here is a step-by-step guide to the Selfie-Loupe Technique

Clean the phone camera lens.
Place the phone on a table with the screen facing up.
Activate the selfie camera.
4
Place the diamond loupe on top of the phone lens (making sure the loupe lens is also clean).
Hold the diamond with the tweezers above the loupe.
6
Make sure the lighting fixture on the ceiling is not visible in the frame. If unavoidable, ask someone to hold up a white background 40 centimeters above the diamond.
7
Fix the on-screen exposure to reach optimal look, as needed.
8
Select video mode, preferably, although still images will result in an authentic image as well (the tweezers will look distorted due to the diamond loupe effect).

Also, watch this quick video for a refresher on how to use our new hexagon triplet loupe.

Here’s an Example

DiaScope Clip on Mobile Lens

All you have to do here is simply attach the device onto your phone, turn on your camera, and start shooting. You can adjust your lighting as needed.

GemCam™ Imaging System

This device is perfect for those who buy and sell diamonds and gemstones. In addition, many customers keep the device on their showcases to help customers better visualize the stone.

Instead of eyeing a stone on the customer’s finger, or asking them to use a loupe, they can simply view the stone on a microscopic level using the GemCam™. Here is a complete guide to operating your new GemCam™ Imaging System.

 

Dino-Lite Digital Microscope & Photo Box

This next one is for those of you who do repair work! We highly recommend using the Dino-Lite Digital Microscope & Photo Box (29-1532 & 29-1502) to document repair take ins and the finished repair work that follows. This will ensure your work is validated and give you something to brag about online. In fact, we’ve seen countless jewelers garner additional repair work by simply taking before and after photos of their work like the ones below.

Before

Social Media Jewelry Photography Repair Work Before

 

After

Social Media Jewelry Photography Repair Work After


And that’s where we end today. There are SO many cool tools and little tricks out there to help you succeed in the social space. I hope that hearing a few of my favorites today will inspire you to improve your social media jewelry photography this year!




Vow to Keep These 3 Important Social Media Resolutions in 2019

We know, we know– this is your busiest time of year. You don’t even have time for a full eight hours of sleep, much less the opportunity to read a blog post about improving your social media strategy in the new year . . .

PRO TIP: Bookmark this post and read it after the holiday buzz

 

Why, you ask? Because below you will find THREE social media resolutions for the new year AND I’m going to show you how to accomplish each and every one of them in 2019. Are you ready?

1. Resolve for consistency

One of the BEST things you can do to improve your social media presence is to be consistent with your audience. Have you noticed that my social media blog goes out around the same time every single month? That’s on purpose! When you distribute content rhythmically, your followers (especially your most loyal ones) will recognize your schedule and begin anticipating your posts. An audience that is ready and waiting for your posts is the fastest way to earn high engagement rates. Here’s how to commit to consistency:

Determine how often you can post

Whether it’s 3 times a day or 3 times a week, it doesn’t matter. Decide on what’s feasible for you and your team and stick with it!

Determine the best time for you to post

Eliminate the guesswork by checking out your platform insights. On your Facebook Page, for example, you would click Insights > Posts > When Your Fans Are Online (See below). Here, you’ll see which days of the week your fans are online and their average times. Choose the most popular days and post one hour before your followers come online. This will give your content time to make it through the algorithms and land in their feeds.

Stick to it­­

Deliver every single time you promised yourself you would. Help yourself stay accountable by using a content calendar. Print it out and place it in a high traffic area. This creates a constant reminder on which your social media success depends. Comment down below if you’d like me to email you a FREE template.

Social Media Resolutions Facebook Insights

2. Resolve to be more engaging in 2019

This one is the easiest social media resolutions. Simply put, respond to every single person that engages with your content on social media. Today, our lives are fast-paced and heavily digitized. In a world where everything is automated, what is nicer than interacting with a genuine human on the other side of the phone, email, etc.? Nothing, right?

Social Media Resolutions Facebook Response Rate

The same applies to your social media presence. Respond to every message and comment. Don’t be afraid to let your store’s personality shine through, too! Obviously, this means answering all questions, but there’s more to it. If someone comments, “Oooh pretty!” respond with a “Thank you!” If someone cracks a friendly joke in your comment section, laugh along. Every comment (even your own responses) counts as engagement on your posts. So the more conversations you create under your own content, the higher it will rank in their timelines.

3. Resolve to innovate in the new year

We’re following the easier social media resolutions with the most difficult. I want to challenge you to try something NEW in 2019. It’s easy to stick to what you know and remain in your comfort zone — but in the social space — that just won’t cut it. Each platform updates often and sometimes, what worked yesterday doesn’t produce the same results today.

So, resolve to constantly innovate your social media strategy to stay relevant. Now, I know that seems intimidating, but that’s what I’m here for! Our social media team is constantly testing out new features, technologies, and content. Then, I get to report back to you with what proves most valuable.

With that said, here are my recommendations for NEW and FREE techniques and tools to use in 2019:

Facebook

Live Video

Tried and true for a few years running, Facebook is leading the live video movement. Join the party!

Watch Party

Speaking of parties, this is a brand-new feature Facebook has given us. Learn more about Watch Parties here.

Social Media resolutions video party callout

Instagram

Stories

Stories are the future of social media. I truly believe that. Spend 2019 getting to know this tool. Because by 2020, they’ll have taken over!

User-Generated Content

Or, UGC for short. This is how we find your #HowIStuller posts and share them. Try something similar with your customer base.

Pinterest

Shoppable Pins

Shoppable content is all the rage. Pinterest has the simplest experience if you’re wanting to try it out. Learn more with this step-by-step guide to creating shoppable Pinterest posts.

Video Pins

These are super new and super exciting! Stand out in a sea of still pins by posting video content on this platform. Take the leap. Be an early adapter.

 

Well, there you have it— my TOP 3 social media resolutions for the new year. This is my last blog post in 2018, so I thank you all for reading. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to seeing you in 2019!

Social Media Resolutions Social Share

Are you up for these challenges? If one in particular (or all three) social media resolutions resonated with you, let us know by leaving a comment down below!




CMO Vision: 10 Steps to Blast Your Digital Experience Above and Beyond

CMO Vision Drive Traffic to your Jewelry Website

CMO Vision Kevin Metz Digital ExperienceMeet Kevin Metz, CMO

In my role as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Stuller, I’m exposed to thousands of customer websites each year. Time and time again, I’m amazed by what jewelers are able to accomplish through their individual websites and unique digital experiences. Top-selling superheroes are able to garner significant online sales while identifying and generating new customers via digital avenues, then drive them straight to their physical storefronts.

So, I thought it’d be interesting to create a series of blog posts over the coming months to point out a few specific Stuller customers that I think are offering an amazing digital experience.

KABANG! Behold your newest superpower:
CMO vision

 

Forge Your Digital Experience

Experience is everything — from your store’s appearance to how you personally greet and consult with your customers each day. Even the way you wrap that special purchase your customer just made for his bride-to-be evokes a particular experience.

As the digital world grows rapidly around us, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and all of the other apps individuals download are booming. It’s safe to assume almost every customer uses their smartphone daily to connect with their family, friends, AND their favorite stores and brands. You’ve likely also heard about millennials and how they’re BIG users of technology. Oh— and most of them love jewelry and are getting married at this time in their lives, too.

If you’ve already established your brand and are trying to provide your customers with a unique experience to reflect your brand with a physical storefront, by-appointment-only location, or through another face-to-face type of business, then I suggest you extend that experience into the digital space as well.

Decide Your Digital Starting Point

1. Social Media (Introductory)

Creating a digital experience for your brand doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create a website. I’ve seen countless successful jewelry brands leverage social media like Facebook and Instagram as an outlet and go-to location for their customers (and prospects). Social media allows you to express what your brand is all about. Try posting images of your jewelry stores, unique product designs, updates, current promotions, and even pictures of your customers and in-store pets. All of these things can help support and communicate the brand image and experience you aim to convey. Find more social media help here.

2. Sell Online (Intermediate)

If you want to go further by trying to sell online, start by creating a digital storefront using websites like Etsy. Amazon also launched Amazon Handmade as an outlet for artisans to sell their wares to over 250 million people— that’s a HUGE audience and customer base to work with. These are great places to get your feet wet with online sales and help to expose your brand to folks who visit these sorts of sites every day seeking that unique, one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.

3. Website (Experienced)

If you want to go all out, strive to build your own individual online presence with a personalized domain (example: www.yourstorenamehere.com). However, keep in mind the increase in time and effort this will require on your part. You must be cognizant of the involvement associated with creating and maintaining your own website, which can become significant.

There are many ways to approach this. You can create what I might call a branding website where you leverage content like pictures and text to convey your brand, products, and service offerings. Or, if you want to sell your jewelry online, you can create an e-commerce website. In this instance, the goal is to present the individual items you are selling and provide potential customers with the ability to purchase them online.

Start With a BANG!

Ramping up your digital efforts can be difficult. Whether you’re creating a Facebook page, establishing an Etsy presence, or creating your own website using WordPress, sometimes it just takes a little inspiration.

So, I’ll leave you with a list of ten concepts to consider as you contemplate your next digital direction—

1. Image is Everything

The perfect picture is the most effective mechanism for capturing someone’s attention. Make sure the first image visitors see in your digital experience is interesting, clear, and reflective of the brand you want to convey.

2. Simplicity is King

You may have heard of the KISS Principle – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Consumers are busy these days. They want things to be easy. So try to strive for simplicity in everything you do online. Don’t use too much text. Make things easy to read.

3. Consumers are Social

Don’t overlook the power of social media. Start with Facebook. Lots of traffic means more potential customers. Remember #1 on my list? Expand to Pinterest and Instagram if you have the time. These are VERY image-oriented platforms.

4. Keep it Fresh

Consumers are always looking for something NEW. If you want visitors returning to your digital experience, make sure you add new content on a regular basis.

5. Seek Help

Not everyone is an expert in all things digital. Don’t let that stop you. I mentioned millennials earlier. They are very good at social media and digital things. Look for part-time help from a local high school or college student to help maintain your social presence.

6. Feature Yourself

Show pictures of yourself and your employees. Consumers are always interested in who is behind the scenes of your brand.

7. Tell Your Story

Don’t forget to tell your personal story and how you became a jeweler. What is your inspiration? Where do you come from? What drives you every day?

8. Test it Out

It’s always a good idea to have your employees, friends, or trusted customers try out your digital experience before you present it to the world. Let them call out your errors and pain points. Capture their feedback and use it to enhance your digital experience.

9. Let Your Customers Sell You

Reviews are huge. Strive to capture and leverage as many customer reviews as you can. You should leverage review platforms like Yelp. Be sure to urge all satisfied customers to provide their positive feedback. Then, make sure to feature them on your Facebook page and/or your website.

10. Video 101

Video can go a long way. Don’t worry— it doesn’t have to be produced in a studio with high production value. In fact, rougher video can actually have a greater appeal. It’s raw and relatable. Don’t be afraid to shoot video on your iPhone. Try interviewing a satisfied customer. Do a simple walkthrough of your store or present product in your case. Post it on Facebook and see what happens. Bonus points for going live on Facebook or Instagram.


That’s all for now! I’ll come back next time with a couple examples of customers that are doing some killer things online. Stay tuned! In the meantime, read more about Kevin Metz, CMO here.




Take Advantage of Disappearing Content on Social Media

disappearing content on social media blog header

Today’s market is fast-paced. Consumers want information that is quick, easy, and disappears in 24 hours . . .

 

Wait, WHAT?

It’s true! One of the newest ways users absorb information is through disappearing content on social media. In other words, top-performing content is here-today-and-gone-tomorrow. This social media phenomenon is known as Stories and they only last 24 hours. So at first glance, it may seem overwhelming to build a strategy around something so short lived. But I’m here to break it down for you and show you WHY you should take advantage of this valuable up-and-coming social media tool.

Grow your social media computer tablet mobile

WHERE to use Disappearing Content on Social Media

At this moment, there are two main avenues for disappearing content on social media: Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories. Recently, (because Facebook is a copycat) they too have adopted disappearing content. However, these stories haven’t been widely adopted just yet.

The breakdown:

  • Instagram has 300 million daily members using stories
  • Snapchat has 191 million users posting stories
  • Facebook has 150 million story users

These are pretty substantial numbers and disappearing content on social media is a fast-growing tool. So, let’s get YOU up to speed so you can start creating stories too!

HOW to Use Disappearing Content on Social Media

In case you aren’t familiar with how to use Instagram and Snapchat Stories, here’s a quick run-down. Both platforms allow you to post photo and video on your story, but they do have some different tools you can use to enhance your content.

Instagram Stories Social media changes in 2018 Instagram icon

Instagram allows you to add stickers, text, GIFs, and more to your image or video. One of the coolest features is that these are interactive. There are three interactive stickers: polls, sliders, and hashtags. Utilizing these stickers, in particular, invites your followers to engage with your content by tapping, sliding, or swiping! I’ll demonstrate one in the video below.

On Instagram you can also post several types of videos or photos:

  • Text – The simplest kind of post: text on a colored background
  • Boomerangs – One-second looping videos
  • Focus – An option that has a focal point and the background is blurred out
  • Superzoom – Mainly used for comedic effect as it dramatically zooms into the image
  • Livestreams – A real-time video stream that notifies your followers

Snapchat Stories Social media changes in 2018 snapchat icon

Here’s what Snapchat does differently: augmented reality filters. There are a few other tools Snapchat has to offer, but its filter capabilities really stand out. These filters alter the experience you are sharing to further enhance your content in a way that is both fun and imaginative. You’ll see an example in the video below! Like Instagram, Snapchat utilizes various stickers, but the best kind in my humble opinion is Bitmojis. Bitmojis are tiny avatars you can create to resemble yourself! Once created, Bitmoji populates a collection of stickers with your avatar and various phrases or emotions. This is a great way to HAVE FUN with your disappearing content on social media and showcase your personality in the social space.

Here are a few more things you should know about Snapchat:

  • Younger Audience – Unlike Instagram, most of Snapchat’s users are Generation Y and Z. This age group may not be luxury item purchasers just yet, but they will soon enter an age with access to more disposable income. Start playing in THEIR space today, creating tomorrow’s customer.
  • More Impulsive – Snapchat users are shown to be 68% more likely to make an impulsive buy. So hit them with the right message at the right time for a big payoff. Try utilizing Snapchat for a flash sale to test if this channel resonates with your audience.

WHY use Disappearing Content on Social Media

Now you know a little bit about stories and you’ve got a taste of how they work. Here are a few reasons why you should add disappearing content on social media to your strategy today:

  • Discoverability – Using the hashtag and location stickers on Instagram or using the Snap Map on Snapchat stories provides another way for potential customers to find you on social media.
  • Links – Neither Instagram or Snapchat make it particularly easy to drive traffic to your blog or website. But you CAN post links in stories. Unfortunately, it’s ONLY available on Instagram for verified accounts or accounts with 10,000 followers. Hopefully, this capability trickles down to all business accounts soon.
  • Real Estate – Every time you post a story, you’ll get prime positioning at the TOP of a user’s feed. This is not how the regular news feed works! So, if you want to increase brand awareness, keep customers engaged, and stay top of mind with your social followers: Add stories to your strategy.
Disappearing content on social media matt stuller bitmoji

Both of these platforms allow you to show up each day as your authentic self. Use stories to give a glimpse a behind-the-scenes moment or a day in the life of a jeweler. Also, try employee features, customer appreciation posts, and your take on upcoming trends to show off your expertise and increase your credibility. Don’t get me wrong: Stories are useful for showing off product details and service offerings. But remember, the most valuable part of your Instagram and Snapchat Stories comes from creating your store’s story. After all, they aren’t called stories because they are a string of random photos and videos. It’s because they tell the story of what a day in your business is like. Keep it authentic to show your audience who you are. This is the fastest way to turn a social follower into a paying customer.  

Find more social media tips here


Thanks for making it all the way to the bottom here! If you’re reading this, tag us in YOUR Instagram to let us know one thing you learned from this blog post and we’ll repost them to ours. Here’s to keeping it cool in the social space. Until next time!




How to Get Love on Social Media

Grow Your Social Media Campaign Blog Header

I know what you’re thinking. With a headline about how to get love on social media, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wait, is Stuller about to give us dating tips?” Well, technically we could. We do often boast about our matchmaking skills, as a number of Stuller employees have met their spouses right here in the building. But that’s a story for another time and, well, this isn’t Tinder.

So, if for some reason you WERE here for dating advice, now’s the time to swipe left. But if you’re here to learn how to grow your social media following, keep reading.

FACEBOOK – Promote

The key to growing your Facebook following is diligent promotion. Put that little lowercase f icon everywhere— it’s the best tip I can give you! It needs to be in all of the following places:

Business Cards

This tip is one of the more modern ones I’m going to give you today. Add your Facebook link to your business cards. In this day and age, your customers (especially the millennials) are already on Facebook. Asking them to connect with you online is more probable than them calling or emailing. Want me to blow your mind? Some business owners are handing out social cards in lieu of business cards. These little cards contain links/handles to all social media accounts rather than typical contact info. I know, crazy right? Until it starts to work . . .

Emails

If you do any kind of email marketing, your social media icons need to be built into your email template (Read the website section below for placement). I know it’s pretty basic, but it’s important. The other tip I have for you is to send out social-specific emails. For example, we send out a Valentine’s Day email inviting readers to shop our most-pinned styles of the season. This achieves two things for us:

1. It raises awareness of our Pinterest account. We see our following spike over a 2-3 day period every time we send one of these out.

2. We still get some ROI. It’s a misconception to think that you can’t do both at once!

Website

You have some options when it comes to exact placement of your icons on your website, but each location has its pros and cons. Some sites feature social buttons on the sidebar that follows users as they scroll up and down the homepage. This leans toward a more in-your-face approach and some users may not perceive it as a pleasant experience. Prime location is right up at the top of your website layout. Having them up top allows users to discover them, finding your social accounts when that wasn’t necessarily what they were looking for. Here’s a drawback: Some say having social buttons at the top of your homepage diverts traffic from your website before they have the chance to convert (I’m a social media junkie, so this is where I’d put them). Finally, you can put the icons at the bottom of your page. Users have to be looking for them to find them, BUT here’s the good news: we ARE looking for them. If we want to find you on social media, visitors will scroll all the way to the bottom of your page! My advice? Test out all three locations. Rotate your icons through each of these placements for equal time periods and track the clicks. Use that data to determine their forever home.

Grow your social media icon placement

Here are a few social icon variations for your webpage

And Finally,

Promote your page itself if you have the budget for it. On the left-hand side of your Facebook Page, beneath your tabs, there is a Promote button. When you click on this button, you are prompted with the following: How would you like to grow your business? “Exponentially!” you would say. Just kidding. Select Promote Your Page and it will guide you through building a campaign specifically for page likes. This is different than any other type of advertising we have walked you through before, but Facebook makes it really simple when you go this route and targeting (the hardest, most important part) is the same. Check out this post if you need a refresher on building a target audience.

INSTAGRAM – Engage

Instagram gives you the opportunity to grow your social media by creating a community around your brand. The platform is unique in the fact that content from business owners, employees, potential customers, and influencers can all be found relatively easily. That’s because Instagram has made discoverability simple with hashtags and geotags.

Hashtags

For anyone who may not know, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a # that is a clickable link to related content (FUN FACT: hashtags actually began on Twitter. Most of the social platforms have adopted the technology, but Instagram is where the real #Magic happens today). So anyway, how do we use them to grow our community? The best way to use hashtags is to join conversations that could be relevant to your industry. For example, as I write this post, #ValentinesDay2018 has been used 68,305 times. Hop in that conversation by using the hashtag on your post and start showing your content to users who are already interested in Valentine’s Day — and subsequently Valentine’s Day gifts. :)

Another way you can use hashtags is by developing one specific hashtag for your brand (We use #HowIStuller). Once you choose the right tag, use it in all your posts and encourage others to use it too! Your employees can use it when posting about a new collection they love at work. Your customers can use it when posting about their latest purchase. And your BEST customers, the ones who are repeat purchasers, will use your hashtag frequently and are what we call Brand Advocates in the social media world. Brand Advocates are the modern day word-of-mouth and THAT is how you get more followers on Instagram.

Geotags

Geotags are not new to Instagram, but they are semi-new to Instagram Stories. These tags are location-based and when clicked, they show your store’s location on a map within the Instagram app. This is especially useful for brick and mortars who are trying to use social media to draw foot traffic to their stores.

Grow Your Social Media Geotags Instagram Grow Your Social Media Geotags Instagram

You can also use this strategy in Instagram Stories by adding the Location Sticker— it’s really simple! After you’ve taken your photo for your Story, choose the sticker option; the Location Sticker is the first choice. Once you click it, you’ll be able to search for your store’s location just like above. My advice when using Geotags on Stories? You can get away with using it about once per day. Add the Location Sticker on the first Story of your sequence. Make sure it’s large enough to see, but not so large that it distracts users from your story’s message.

The best part about either of these types of tags is their discoverability. When users click on #ValentinesDay2018, your post can show up in the results whether they are following you or not. Likewise, when users click on your geolocation, a feed of your other recent content pops up. That means that introducing new users to your brand and content is just a few tags away! Now all you have to do is make sure that content is engaging enough for them to tap the Follow Button.

PINTEREST – Optimize & Curate

Pinterest is a search engine. It’s Google, except sparkly. So if it works like Google, we’ve got to optimize it for Google. Here’s how:

Enhance Your Profile

Fill out your Business Profile settings completely. Add accurate contact information, use your logo as your profile picture and write an About Me that is concise, yet descriptive. There’s a lot of spam accounts floating around Pinterest these days, so take the time to give your settings a look to boost your credibility.

Claim Your Website

THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and it takes 30 seconds or less! You know what? Why don’t you open a new tab right now? Go ahead. I’ll wait.



Now, go to Pinterest.com/Settings. Choose Claim Website on the left-hand side. Copy and paste your website URL. Click Claim to unlock exclusive website analytics, your logo featured on all of your pins, and early access to new tools. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Grow Your Social Media Pinterest Claim Website

Keyword Rich Descriptions

Your original pins (the ones you create from scratch, here’s how) should have captions that are filled with relevant keywords. Creative, catchy copy works well on other platforms, but Pinterest is a search engine at the end of the day. It’s really important to write clearly and use words that describe your pin’s subject accurately.

So you’ve optimized your Pinterest profile for the search engine that it is. You’re beginning to understand the platform and that’s the first step to gaining more followers on it! The next step? To curate.

Curate Content

Pinterest is a place users go to plan. They plan their next vacation, they plan their next milestone, they plan their next meal — you get it. In order to grow your social media and be effective on any platform, you have to learn how people use it. On Pinterest, people curate ideas and save inspiration. So should you!

Your curated vs. original content ratio should be at least 50/50 — maybe even as high as 80/20. Basically, you should be re-pinning more of other users’ content and less of your own. That’s a pretty intimidating piece of advice, I know, but take baby steps if you must. Change your Engagement Rings board to a Dream Wedding board today and start re-pinning wedding planning tips, color schemes, six-tier cakes and more. Speak to the woman who is dreaming up the best day of her life and gain a follower who now sees you as a knowledgeable, trusted source. Plus, she’ll be interested in learning more about your business. Master this Optimize and Curate concept and one follower will multiply into a strong, passionate community in no time!

Grow your social media computer tablet mobile

In Closing

I’ve offered you my best tips on growing your social media following today. Usually, I would wrap it up right about now by saying, “I hope these ideas help you rock the social space,” or “Good luck out there in the crazy world of social media!”

Not today!

Instead, I’m challenging you. I challenge you to take ONE tip from this blog and schedule some time right now to implement it into your social media strategy. Write it down on your calendar. Add an alert on your phone. Put a neon-colored sticky note on your computer. Make it really bold and bright. Do whatever it takes! You made it to the end of this, so you might as well take action.

IF you made it all the way here AND dedicated some time in your busy schedule to grow your social media following, comment down below and let me know! If not, good luck out there in the crazy world of social media!




How to Adapt to Social Media Changes in 2018

The social media game is FAST. Updates roll out inconspicuously and all of a sudden what worked last week doesn’t anymore. So in order to keep up, businesses have to modify strategy at the drop of a hat.

Social media changed in 2018 Kristyn Shay bitmoji

Well, except me.

 

As jewelers, you guys wear many hats. On any given day, you may shift from master bench jeweler to innovative CAD designer to lead sales associate. But here at Stuller, I’m your resident social media maven around the clock! You can count on me to sort out all of the mess Mark Zuckerberg creates and pass it on to you in small doses. So, without further ado, here’s a crash-course on how to adapt to social media changes in 2018.


Social media changes in 2018 Facebook icon  Facebook

Speaking of Mark Zuckerberg, he recently made an announcement (via Facebook status update, of course) that is quickly becoming one of the main social media changes in 2018. In fact, businesses are referring to it as the “Facebook Apocalypse.”

Social media changes in 2018 Mark Zuckerberg Facebook update

(read the full status update here)

 

Long story short: This is not the end of Facebook for businesses

Facebook is rolling out the biggest change to the News Feed algorithm ever, aiming to show users more content from their friends and family. With this new shift coming our way, you’re going to have to focus on delivering engaging content in 2018. And you’re going to have to pay to play! Facebook has made it clear that advertising efforts on Facebook will not be affected by the update. Check out this post for more on Facebook advertising.


Social media changes in 2018 Instagram icon  Instagram

On a lighter note, Instagram saw some major changes in 2017. The platform introduced Stories which was a game-changer for businesses and even more recently, they’ve given us an equally cool update: Hashtag Following. Now, when you search a hashtag on Instagram, you are given the option to “follow” it. New posts containing that hashtag will begin to show up in your feed just like those from accounts you follow. Here’s what this will look like:

Social media changes in 2018 Instagram hashtags Social media changes in 2018 Instagram hashtags

My advice to you? FIRST, follow #HowIStuller to receive updates in your feed from our ever-growing Insta-community. THEN, create a branded hashtag for your store! Follow that hashtag and encourage both your employees and customers to use it in posts about your store or products, then watch your reach GROW in real time.


Social media changes in 2018 pinterest icon  Pinterest

The latest update on Pinterest has basically flown under the radar. Up until recently, you could only organize your Pinterest page by “boards.” Now, you can take it a step further and break down those boards into different sections!

Social media changes in 2018 pinterest board sections

Our Happy Birthday board, for example, is one in particular that will benefit from this new update. If you visit this board and scroll through the pins, you will eventually come across jewelry featuring gemstones other than garnet (even though it is January). That’s because in the past, we had to change the board title each month and pin the corresponding birthstone for that time frame. The new board feature offers a much better solution and in turn, creates a smoother experience. Now, we can title the board “Happy Birthday” and create board sections to represent each month’s birthstone jewelry.

This is only one example of how board organization can work for us in the jewelry industry. How do you use board sections in a creative way on YOUR Pinterest page? Let us know in the comments down below.


That does it for the big three social media changes in 2018 thus far. Here are some quick updates on other channels just for fun!

Social media changes in 2018 twitter icon  Twitter

Have you stayed away from Twitter because the 140 character limit seemed intimidating? Would DOUBLE the characters tempt you to try it out? With its recent update, Twitter now allows for 280 characters to get your message out there.

Social media changes in 2018 snapchat icon  Snapchat

Snapchat wants to separate the social from the media. Similar to how Facebook is trying to show its users more content from friends and family, here’s Snapchat’s proposed solution in the video below!

Closing Thoughts

Our beloved platforms have undergone major social media changes in 2018 . . . and it’s only January! We can expect groundbreaking developments in the online world over the next 12 months. But don’t worry, we’ll keep you updated every step of the way.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that if we work together to tackle social media changes in 2018 quickly, creatively, and with an open mind, jewelry will ROCK the social space this year!

Social media changes in 2018 Kristyn Shay bitmoji



The Reigning March Bridal Madness Champion

Are you excited about this year’s March Bridal Madness contest? The rules of the game are simple:

  1. “Like” Stuller on Facebook.
  2. Submit an image of your custom designed engagement ring or wedding band.
  3. The picture with the most fan votes moves on to final judging.

The stakes are high! The winner receives a Stuller account credit valued at $1,000, and we feature their design on all of Stuller’s social venues. We are accepting submissions now until March 15 for your chance to win!

Find the official contest rules here


Meet John Patrick: The Reigning March Bridal Madness Champion

 

March Bridal Madness John Patrick Wife Phyllis

John and his beautiful wife, Phyllis

My jewelry career began in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as an apprentice jeweler at Wilson’s catalog showroom. My skills improved and I started contracting with other retail jewelry stores. Eventually, I became self-employed. In 1984, my wife, Phyllis, and I opened our own store, Patrick’s Fine Jewelry, in Saint Francisville, Louisiana. After operating in the same location for thirty-two years, we built a new, larger, freestanding store in Saint Francisville in October 2013.

We are a family-owned and operated business. I’m the jeweler and designer while Phyllis is the bookkeeper who assists in sales. My oldest son Johnny oversees marketing and sales. We have five employees who are either relatives or longtime friends of the family. My favorite part of the job is the opportunity to meet with a customer and get a feel for his/her personality. I get to gauge their likes and dislikes and incorporate those views into a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. This leads to complete customer satisfaction.

My specialties include custom designs, French pavé settings, and hand engraving. I’ve become adept at making jewelry that makes her happy and fits his budget. Custom design plays a very important role in our business by setting us apart from other jewelry stores in the area. Customers come into my store and choose a ring custom designed to their tastes and unique. Keeping up with our work volume presents our greatest challege. I am one of the few stores in my area that performs in-house repairs and custom design jewelry.

Looking back, the day we opened our new free-standing store in October 2013 stands out as one of my favorite memories. It is triple the size of my previous rental spot of 30+ years and was designed to accommodate our customers’ needs and my workload. Another highpoint in my career is when my oldest son Johnny decided to come into the jewelry business full time with his mom and myself. He assists in selecting and buying new jewelry designs, excels in sales and customer relations and takes care of all advertising and marketing decisions. His use of social media has taken our store to new heights.

Last year’s March Bridal Madness winning piece
2016 March Bridal Madness Winning Engagement Ring

I am a strong family man and feel God has blessed me beyond all expectations. Phyllis and I have built our jewelry business from a small mom and pop store to a nationally recognized business. We’ve raised two fine sons, the oldest working with me daily. Of course, the door is always open for our younger son to join the family business.

I am very close to my family; I talk to my mother daily and run our family cattle ranch in Woodville, Mississippi. The cattle business helps to keep balance in my life. Each Thursday, I perform ranching duties so I can let out some of the frustration that builds sitting behind a jeweler’s bench. I enjoy staying busy and like the physical aspect that ranching brings into my day. It helps me to stay competitive as I raise registered Angus cattle and bulls for breeding. I was also a volunteer coach for over ten years. It’s so rewarding to see the boys I coached come into my store as young men to make purchases for their wives-to-be. I’m honored to be a part of this special time in their lives and know that I made a positive impact!

I have always chuckled, “God has a sense of humor by placing a jeweler inside of a big, rough, red-neck man like me.”

March Bridal Madness Winner John Patrick's Fine Jewelry


Have you entered into the March Bridal Madness competition yet? What are you waiting for? Find more details about last year’s March Bridal Madness competition here!