National Jeweler Network

Retail Surveys

For jewelers, it’s Facebook or nothing

By Michelle Graff

January 02, 2014


The final holiday poll focused on social media. A total of 297 retailers took the survey, which was conducted between Dec. 16 and 23.

Click here to see a pie chart of the results from the final National Jeweler holiday poll.

New York--National Jeweler’s final holiday poll showed that while many jewelers found Facebook to be an effective marketing tool this holiday season, there are still a percentage of retailers who aren’t engaged in social media at all.

Of the 297 respondents to the poll fielded online between Dec. 16 and 23, more than half (61 percent) said Facebook was the most effective social media platform for generating holiday season sales and/or traffic.

The second largest percentage of survey-takers, 17 percent, said they are not engaged in social media.

Other forms of social media included in the poll received very few votes. After Facebook, the most effective platforms cited by respondents were Instagram, selected by 7 percent of survey-takers; Pinterest (3 percent); and Twitter and YouTube (both 2 percent).

Vine, an application that creates short, looping videos, received less than 1 percent of the votes cast.

A total of 7 percent of respondents checked “other,” filling in responses such as “nothing works” and “all of the above but at various levels of effectiveness.”

When conducting interviews for its holiday sales reports, National Jeweler asked retailers about their use of social media, and the results mirrored those of the poll: Facebook was cited most often as being the most effective social media platform.

Both Michigan retailer Randy Cole, CEO of The Diamond Vault, and Bill Longnecker, co-owner of Longnecker Jewelry in McCook, Neb., said they have seen positive results from the social media site.
 
Longnecker said McCook is a town of about 7,000 and he has nearly 1,400 likes on Facebook.

“We advertise on Facebook to a large area, about an hour outside of our ZIP code. We market to those groups and usually get a reach of about 14,000 to 15,000 people a week,” he said. “Facebook gives us an extremely affordable way to interact and be a jeweler for people.”

While the store’s Facebook ads depict images of jewelry, the store’s page itself is a place for sharing stories, holiday videos and community information.

Other jewelers, however, said while social media is part of their holiday marketing plans, more traditional forms of advertising, such as print, generate more results for them.

Jeff Fox, of Barnes Jewelry in Amarillo, Texas, said the store uses social media “very sparingly.” He said “old-school” forms of advertising, such as radio, TV and print, still constitute about 95 percent of the store’s outreach.

“That’s a good question,” he said when asked why. “We are slow to transition is the honest answer. We’ve also had continued success with this (traditional media).”

Fox said the store continues to see sales growth, adding that he’s seen people pour a lot of time and money into Facebook, “and I don’t know that it’s necessarily generating results. You can have a thousand likes but it doesn’t necessarily mean your business is any better,” he said.

At Manfredi Jewels in Greenwich, Conn., Roberto Chiappelloni said they use Facebook and Twitter but believe that the most effective method of marketing is local advertising, as most of their customers live within 10 or 20 miles of the store.

“The largest concentration of our money is spent that way, especially in local magazines. I don’t know if there’s any way to measure this kind of thing, though, unless you attach some kind of special deal to it and see how many shoppers come in asking for that deal,” he said.

--Senior Editor Hannah Connorton and Associate Editor Brecken Branstrator contributed to this report.