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Social Media Listening Tips

This article was first run in National Jeweler.
By: Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams.

Everyone thinks of using social media to say something but, the truth is, those who are also listening on social media can reap great rewards.

Simply defined, social listening is tracking social media platforms for mentions of your store/brand or conversations related to your product, store, or brand. But the best social listeners are paying attention to more than just mentions of their own brand.

Jewelers can broaden their approach to discover conversations about topics of interest to our industry (proposals, engagement rings, how to buy a diamond, gold jewelry, etc.) and/or what styles or categories are trending (drop earrings, baroque pearls, rubies/sapphires/emeralds, etc.).

Listening vs. Monitoring

According to Rod Worley, president of jewelry consulting firm Four Grainer, “Social monitoring involves observing online discussions and charting their directions over time. Social listening, on the other hand, requires a desire to hear with focus, interpret within the context, and understand in a way that is actionable.”

Because so many people worldwide now use social media, Worley believes it is critical for jewelers to go a step beyond monitoring their social media and to engage in social listening in order to be successful. Without a developed strategy for social listening, jewelers don’t have a plan for future success.

According to the Four Grainer experts, broad-based social listening can spot emerging jewelry trends, expose unmet needs in the marketplace, and highlight client pain points.

Jewelers who engage in social listening can use all this information to develop and revise their business strategies or best practices in a flexible way, responding to market dynamics as they emerge.

Jewelry marketer Laryssa Wirstiuk, founder of marketing agency and podcast Joy Joya adds, “Social listening is also about paying attention to your target customers, keeping your finger on the pulse of the jewelry industry, and understanding how you can differentiate your brand from your competitors’ brands.”

Worley recommends jewelers use professional services for social listening, given its complexity.

“Many jewelers try to do social listening themselves with the intent to reply directly to customers. Professional services, like those offered at Four Grainer, listen with the goal of understanding, discerning context, and delivering actionable strategies. Therein lies the difference.”

Benefits of Social Listening for Jewelers

Think of social media as a huge, helpful, and transparent focus group, a valuable source of business intelligence.

According to Sprout Social, social listening lets you tap into that focus group, their conversations, and the trends happening, not just around your brand, but around the entire jewelry industry.

It is a powerful tool that can help you understand the conversations that are happening online and what people think about various topics even if your company is not tagged.

When done properly, the benefits of social listening are numerous and include the following.

— Sales. You can use social listening to generate or facilitate sales leads. Specifically, if customers are asking where to purchase or for price information, you can quickly convey the desired info and convert the customer into a buyer.

— Trend tracking. Social media can also be a fun way to gather consumer preferences for your buyers. Find out what diamond shapes are trending, what jewelry brands are being most talked about in your area and/or what categories (pearls, gold, diamonds, etc.) are hot.

— Crisis aversion. If someone is denigrating your business or publicly announcing problems they had with your store or your merchandise, be part of the discussion. Avoid hiding negative comments. Rather, engage politely in a transparent way to resolve the problem and deter potential damage to your reputation.