The Second Annual MJSA ConFab Conference was held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City on November 3, 2013. The conference was attended by jewelry design students, aspiring jewelry designers, and seasoned jewelers who already design their own jewelry. There were 5 sessions on topics that would help attendees increase their profits. I was honored to present some of my latest findings about how the internet is being used by the jewelry industry.
The data I collect focuses on how retail jewelers use the internet--not necessarily jewelry designers--but the attending designers were able to see how their social media efforts could complement the efforts of the retail jewelers.
I put together this pie chart from data collected from May 2013 through October 2013 showing the most popular social networks that are referring website visitors to retail jewelers. Take a close look at it.
You should notice that Instagram is missing, which turned out to be a big topic of conversation. If Instagram is such a good social network for showing photographs, why isn't it there?
The simple answer: Because most retail jewelry stores are not using it for their business.
The measurements for Instagram are actually included in that "10% Other" piece of the pie.
On the other hand, all the retail jewelers I'm tracking use Facebook; and all that activity accounts for 35% of the social referral traffic. Many, but not all, retail jewelers are using Pinterest. That activity drives 24% of the referral traffic.
Referral traffic from Yelp represents a 23% chunk of the pie simply because Yelp automatically loads business listings into their database. Yelp does position themselves as a social network although you and I wouldn't use it to chat with one another.
Turn your attention now to the 1% of LinkedIn and 2% of Twitter traffic. The only reason those numbers are so small is because the jewelers aren't using them they way they should. My own testing shows that both of these social networks could easily grow to about 7% of social referrals if jewelers post 1 status message to LinkedIn per day and at least 6 tweets to Twitter per day.
Now look at the Google+ traffic. Even though very few jewelers are using Google+ right now, fewer than those using Twitter, the referral traffic already accounts for 5%. This is big!
Google+ is a network for people who have similar interests to your own. It's not about personal connections like Facebook. Google+ is still in its infancy so maybe someday it will grow into a personal connection network, but right now most users are finding more intelligent posts and quality information.
In other words, your customers are already looking for jewelry on Google+ and those people are quickly visiting retail jeweler websites.
The bottom line for today is that any activity you put out there socially will drive traffic to your website. This pie chart isn't showing you what networks bring traffic, but rather, it's a reflection of how retail jewelers are using the networks at the moment.
For all your jewelry designers out there, go ahead and jump on Instagram and post your latest designs. You will attract followers. It's your job to then either sell the customer directly or refer them to a retailer that's carrying your line.