Many retail jewelers still struggle managing the time it takes to promote themselves on social media. Unfortunately, even though you can hire an agency to manage your social accounts, the best way to engage your customers is to establish your brand's own online identity.
It's difficult to allocate the time needed to engage on social media amidst the daily routine needed to run a jewelry store. Instead of doing it all yourself, you could allow your employees to engage socially.
Many businesses fear social media as a time sucking black hole and would rather not pay employees for what is viewed as lost time. Instead of disallowing it, retail jewelers should be encouraging social media use in the work place, especially from their smartphones.
You can't simply tell them to use social media during the day; you have to give them some ground rules.
Here are a few that you can use:
1. Allow employees to socially engage using the business accounts, but also allow them to be brand ambassadors by using their own accounts.
2. Don't post anything socially that you would not want to explain to your grandmother. This includes embarrassing or offensive topics.
3. Never post anything about religion or politics because you will always offend some of your customers.
4. Establish an overall point of view for the business. Make sure everyone keeps that point of view in mind for each social post. Employees should ask themselves "Will this post further the company goal, or is there a chance it could be misconstrued?"
5. Let the employees use their own common sense without having to get your approval for everything they want to post. Just make sure they keep item number 4 in mind.
6. Include a social media policy in your company handbook that all employees must be aware of. That policy needs to specify that employees are not allowed to post anything damaging, confidential, or proprietary to a social account. Doing so will yield appropriate consequences.
7. Set ground rules about what is not allowed to be posted online. This could include limitations of what types of workplace photos are approved, for example, photos at the repair bench and helping a customer are approved, but photos of the back office are not.
8. Employees with especially active social media accounts should be encouraged to include disclaimers whenever there's a possibility that their personal opinion could be mistaken as company opinion.
9. Similarly, don't allow employees to post recommendations about your store to their personal accounts without clearly indicating that they work for you. This is part of the transparent nature of the internet.
10. Explain to your employees how you will monitor social activity. Every state has different laws with how you can monitor employee online activity.
Build your own internet guidelines using these ten starting points. Just keep in mind that social media is a place to be social, not overly controlling. Your customers will enjoy the social atmosphere that can only be created by employees, rather than a hired agency.