Is it time for you to join the social bandwagon?

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Jenny House on the intricacies of social networking for business.

By goldsmith Jenny House

Like this and hash tag that, are phrases that are becoming the norm. Most may know that I am referring to social media terminology, be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, a blog or the new Google+.

Facebook is one I’ve known for many years. After being a traitor from MySpace I joined Facebook under duress from my friends, afraid of missing the next big thing. Slowly but surely it crept in my life. I’m on most days seeing what my friends are up to, but also watching what brands and businesses are up to. From liking Swarovski on Facebook I was able to participate in a treasure hunt in London with the opportunity of winning some jewellery.

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Jeremy France Jewellers in Winchester recently entered the world of social media. As an independent jeweller they are a good representation of a forward-looking business joining the bandwagon and seeing what comes of it. They told me: “We have our faithful clientele trough our door time after time, but now being on Twitter and Facebook we can focus on the younger generation. We are quite surprised with the amount of time needed to spend updating a status for little reward, but it’s early days.”

I joined Twitter only recently and was part of the social media team for London Jewellery Week, using Twitter as a way of spreading information on events. Twitter is a platform for instant information through comments, pictures or links to websites. Be quick though, the more people you follow the more Tweets you have to catch up with or risk missing out on opportunities. Twitter is easy to set up and get started but the tricky business is getting people to follow you, the people who are actually interested in what you have to say. The trick with that is to get involved with popular discussions by using the hash tag (#) and referencing the associated title.

Take International Jewellery London this year, which used #ijl2011. It also situated a Twitter board around the hall so anyone using that hash tag would get their tweet mentioned. They told me: “IJL’s social media campaign has gone from strength to strength in 2011 and now has over 3,000 Twitter followers, hundreds of who engaged in the live action at the show. It was great to interact with our followers and hear their IJL experiences.”

IJL was a good place for me to chat about social media with people in the trade. A great debate over dinner led to the general consensus agreeing that social media is a good opportunity but it’s difficult to draw the line with something interesting and useful from the inane drivel.

I only have so much free time to fill with this Facebook and Twitter malarkey, so I cheat and use an app called Tweet deck that combines Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can post on both at the same time with links and photos.

Facebook and Twitter for me are the ones to be participating in. It’s fun and I’ve found them useful for finding opportunities. The only thing I haven’t tried, but am planning to do shortly, is a blog. I’ll keep you posted on that one. Otherwise I’ll see you on Twitter @Jennifer_House.

 

This article was taken from the November issue of Professional Jeweller magazine. To read the issue online click here. If you work in the watch or jewellery trade and would like to write a column for Professional Jeweller on a topic of your choice email info@professionaljeweller.com

 

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