How a social audit resulted in increased market share for Simon G. Jewelry

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Simon G. Jewelry has a 25 percent share of voice in the jewelry space, as a result of a social audit that took the brand’s social strategy to the next level.

Last year, Simon G. Jewelry, a Los Angeles jewelry wholesaler, was considered one of the country’s top wedding and engagement ring designers. Its social didn’t necessarily reflect that, however.

Simon G. Jewelry was active on social, but the family-owned jewelry brand didn’t have much of a strategy there. Posts would just go up when they went up, with very little engagement. The brand seemed trying to get as many followers and fans as possible on social, and expecting that to turn into sales.

It doesn’t work that way, as Three Degrees, the social media arm of Media Storm, knows. The New York City digital agency teamed up with Simon G. Jewelry last year, performing a full social audit for the brand, similarly to the way it helped CBS Sports figure out what to after March Madness is over (people love professional bull riding, it turns out).

“In today’s world where organic reach is so limited, total fan number is not the most important thing,” says Bryan Pedersen, managing director of Three Degrees. “We could either spend a million dollars and get a million fans and match what [competitors] are doing, or we can take advantage of the whitespace. They have these big followings, but they’re not engaging fans as much as you’d think they are.”

Improving Instagram

Prior to the audit, Simon G. Jewelry was active on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and had recently gotten on Instagram, as well. Facebook had the brand’s largest following and Pinterest is practically synonymous with the word “wedding,” but Instagram is still where Pedersen advised the brand to focus its attention.

“In the last year, we saw a shift where Instagram has eclipsed Pinterest in importance for the wedding industry and the jewelry industry as a whole,” says Pedersen.

“It’s a much better platform for engaging, probably because it’s less intrusive,” he adds. “Facebook retargets and you constantly see ads in your news feed. Instagram feels a lot more organic to people.”

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There are a few factors at play, when it comes to the rise of Instagram in the wedding space. One is that it’s a great platform for influencers; its visual nature also makes it a great one for imagery, in general.

…without forgetting Pinterest

Visuals are strong on Pinterest, too, which Brooke Brinkman, vice president of marketing and communication at Simon G. Jewelry, isn’t discounting. She points out that within the jewelry industry, Simon G. Jewelry has the fastest growth on both platforms: 9 percent on Instagram and 7 percent on Pinterest.

“Consumers used to walk into stores with magazine cutouts. They’re not doing that anymore,” says Brinkman. “Facebook is a great platform, but people are walking in and showing you the Pinterest page they made. You have to understand them, and you have to be putting content there, as well.”

Pedersen gives Simon G. Jewelry the “most improved” award for Instagram. The brand has since quadrupled its following – currently 41,400 – but of course, that’s not what matters most.

While Simon G. Jewelry did amass thousands of new followers, the brand learned how to engage them better. It started replying to people quickly, something it hadn’t done before. Three Degrees created a dashboard, which allowed Simon G. Jewelry to share its social successes with the retailers who carry the brand’s jewelry.

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Real-time data

Nothing helped Simon G. Jewelry improve its social acumen like data. The brand uses past social data to determine future posts. And real-time data has proven itself most valuable of all. Three Degrees created a real-time monitoring system making it possible for the brand to congratulate couples as they make engagement and wedding announcements on social media.

Simon G. Jewelry responds to comments and questions quickly, checking its notifications on an hourly basis. It follows people and leaves comments on their posts. It jumps in on relevant hashtags (“If pepperoni pizza is trending, that doesn’t make sense for us,” says Brinkman). All of these things make followers feel appreciated, like they’re part of the brand.

“You may like a product, but what is the product about? What does it say about you?” asks Brinkman. “Consumers nowadays are so savvy to marketing messages and are very much turned off by them; they just want to find a community they can belong to.

“We have to make sure they aren’t just filling a space. They have to feel like an important part of this community, connected to everything we do and say,” she adds.

Greater share of voice

When Simon G. Jewelry was focusing on new fans, it was doing something that’s pretty typical in the jewelry world.

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“Our industry is very old-school in its thinking. For a lot of independent retail jewelers, the business has been in the family for four or five generations,” says Brinkman. “They’re not savvy marketers, which tends to be a challenge in our industry.”

By being more forward-thinking and focusing on the big picture, rather than follower counts, Simon G. Jewelry was able to pull ahead. The brand did increase its follower counts, but more importantly, it increased engagement and share of voice.

That may not be completely attributable to the social audit, but it was certainly a factor. Last June, its share of voice within the jewelry space was 12 percent. By last month, that number had shot up to 25 percent. Web traffic also increased by 114 percent and is projected to jump even more this year.

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