Social Media Success and The Women’s Jewelry Association

Ok, a quick show of hands: who is afraid of Twitter? Paralyzed by Google+? Confused by Klout?

Last week, my friend and fellow jewelry writer/blogger, Erika Winters and I asked those very questions, when we presented our strategies and tips for Social Media Success to our local Women’s Jewelry Association chapter. It turned out to be a fantastic conversation about how our local jewelry retailers and designers can use this medium to maximum benefit.

Erika Winters and Monica Stephenson

Do we look like Social Media experts? Hopefully yes, thanks to Erika Winters and her graphic design skills.

30 people came to listen at the idazzle showroom, and in the true spirit of social media, contribute their own thoughts and experiences. It was a diverse group, representing a cross-section of the Seattle jewelry market: retailers, small manufacturers and designers, Graduate Gemologists, and those just starting on their career paths.

Erika Winters and Monica Stephenson

Erika Winters and yours truly expounding on social media at the WJA Seattle Social Media Success event, photo courtesy of Suzette Key of Fox’s Gem Shop.

Erika and I had a lot of fun (too much fun?) preparing. We pulled together notes, tips and demographics on the major social media platforms and tools like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest, and Klout. We had visual aids. We couldn’t have pulled off the evening without Seattle WJA Chapter President Jessica Neiwert, and other local founding board members helping with every little nuance and detail.
Erika Winters Instagram

An example of a beautifully curated Instagram account, Erika Winters shared an image of her own Instagram.

Some of the ideas that we shared about why everyone should cultivate a social media presence, and how to effectively communicate:
*Social Media is not going away: the conversation has moved online and it is imperative that you join for your business.
*Over 80% of consumers research online before purchasing: your online presence is more than just your website.
*What are #hashtags and why do we care?
*Be cool! Be engaging! Retweet, share, and promote others!
*Don’t peddle. Don’t spam. Don’t overdo the selfies. And #dontdissyourcustomers.
Vegas Gems Ring Pop

An example of Social Media connections, #VegasGems is more than a hashtag–it’s a group of women who connected first through social media, then in real life, at last year’s Vegas shows and are now a supportive group of friends.

One thing Erika and I really wanted to get across was that even if–or especially if–you are a one-woman show or small entity, you can create a voice and presence. Social Media is an excellent way to engage, support and promote other women in the industry. The Women’s Jewelry Association is a networking organization dedicated to helping women succeed in the jewelry and watch industry. What I love about the WJA is that it unifies the very fragmented jewelry industry and provides opportunities for us to get together, pool ideas, and create new opportunities that add to the conversation. I learn something every time we all get together and collaborate. Although we come from different areas of expertise, there is unifying passion for jewelry, and every single person brings something valuable to the dialogue. We connect, and we are more powerful together. Some of the most important connections that I have made in the past several years have been through social media or the WJA.

By the way, Erika and I could be available for hire for a Social Media talk. We’re working on our jewelry version of a Fallon/Timberlake #Hashtag routine right now…

For more information about the Women’s Jewelry Association and to find out about local chapters, click here.

WJA Seattle Social Success Event

Our incredible turnout at the WJA Seattle Social Media Success event! The jazz hands say it all!

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