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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Social Media Case Study: Creating a Diamond Retailer's Online Voice

    Posted by Inbound Marketing Agents


    Crafting a company’s image is one of the most difficult tasks that a marketing team can face. It’s a garden exposed to all the elements and the difference between the sunflower that stretches its limbs towards the sky and the fledgling tulips that rise with promise and droop at first frost is often in the hands of the gardener.  

    It is also undoubtedly a game of patience. A company image not only takes a fully synchronized effort from all departments and employees of a company, but also the time to let this image grow in the minds of those who see your brand. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was the image that comes to mind when you think of Apple.  

    Social Media Defines Brand Voice

    Social media is a catalyst. It allows us to have a brand new voice with our audience, literally starting and participating in conversations. It humanizes brands so effectively that people now turn to Taco Bell’s Twitter account for its sense of humor, or in the case of a previous client of mine, to an insurance company for grassroots initiatives in their communities.  

    Through social media I was able to give an insurance company a voice that led a conversation about projects that were affecting communities directly affecting their audience. Were their insurance rates the best in the industry? No, they weren’t, but they were the brand that helped to open the new recreation center where your son plays basketball. This kind of brand recognition is invaluable, and it’s the kind of company image that is now highly achievable, with effective use of social media and an online voice.  

    There are a couple lessons I have learned that I think are useful in understanding how social media can be used to develop or even create your company’s online voice. I’ll use an example from one of my more recent clients, a jewelry retailer called Genesis Diamonds.  

    1) Establish what we want our image to be.

    This seems almost absurdly simple, but it is in fact often the most overlooked. It is the first thing you must ask yourself, and what will ultimately serve as the lighthouse when you feel yourself drifting too far from shore. It is a way to set a target, and have something to measure up against.  

    If you find that people view your brand as disingenuous when you were going for that brand that gives back to its community, you’ll know something is wrong, and will always have that reference point to work with.  

    In my work with Genesis Diamonds Nashville, we wanted to make the brand the voice of authority when it came to designer jewelry, but also to be an authority on all things related to that happy (albeit stressful) period between buying a ring from us and the moment you finally say “I do”.  

    We shared articles on spring wedding colors and cake designs. We partnered with blogs that were publishing helpful content about wedding dress fashion. We curated lists of quotes that couples might find inspiring for their wedding vows. We created beautiful artwork with designer jewelry and posted multiple times a day on our social channels.  

    social media example

    (source: Genesis Diamonds Facebook page)

    In short, we became an authoritative voice when it came to weddings and designer jewelry.  

    2) Define your audience.

    I would argue it is of equal importance to understand who your audience is than defining your desired image. Without knowing your audience, you cannot tailor your online voice to have the right conversations.  

    Have you ever seen the glazed over eyes of an eight year old when you try to discuss the merits of Russian literature? In a world that is increasingly filled with noise, your online voice needs to be relevant to your audience or it will be ignored.  

    Making sure you are speaking to your audience is the only way to ensure a meaningful conversation, and the only way to ensure that the time and effort you put into crafting your image does not fall on deaf ears.  

    With Genesis Diamonds, whose sales are predominantly related to engagement rings, it was fairly easy to determine the audience, but I did take these important steps to better understand the audience:  

    • I utilized the knowledge we had offline to develop my audience online. Namely, I spoke to sales representatives and to our customer service manager, leaning on their expertise to find the demographic information I needed.

    • I used social media analytics to determine what my existing online demographics were.

    • I took any discrepancies in these accounts back to our management team, and bridged the gap between our offline and online knowledge.

      Here is what I found:  

    Offline

    Our audience is most commonly 20-45 year old men. These were customers that were coming into the store looking for engagement rings.      

    Online   

    While the age groups were consistent online and offline, most of my online audience was comprised of women.  

    Diving deeper still, I went back to management with this information. What I learned was that often women will like or comment on the rings they like (or even outright tag their significant other in the post!) and their significant other would then come in and make the purchase.  

    From utilizing the expertise of the company’s offline operations, I was able to adjust my voice to better suit my audience. Now the conversations began to take a new tone.  

    Here we are asking the predominantly female audience to choose between four engagement ring images:  

    social media example

    (source: Genesis Diamonds Facebook page)  

    Here we ask our audience if they would wear a ring like this, and we see someone tagging their significant other, letting them know they love the designer jewelry Tacori:  

    social media example

    (source: Genesis Diamonds Facebook page)    

    If we had not taken the time to define our audience, or simply mirrored our offline audience, the voice we have online would have been vastly different and likely would have missed the mark.  

    With our desired image defined, and with the knowledge of with whom we are speaking, we can tailor our social voice to deliver true meaning to our audience, and true meaning to our brand. By doing this, not only will you find that your newfound voice is consistent with the company image that you are trying to portray, but also that it is a voice worth listening to.  

    The results  

    Engagement on Genesis Diamonds’ content increased by approximately 200%. There were likes, comments and sharing that was previously non-existent. This increased engagement also resulted in an increase in reach, where more people previously unexposed to the brand are now turning to Genesis Diamonds as a reliable voice online in their search for an engagement ring and for tips and tricks related to pre-wedding planning.  

    This has also led to an almost 50% growth in followers online and increased traffic to the website where customers can research what they are looking for and also make purchases.  

    Simply by defining how we want the public to see us, and by identifying our audience through offline investigation and online analytics, we were able to establish huge growth in our online presence.  

    Social media affords large gains with limited barriers to entry, creating a conversation between you and your customers with a voice that is truly worth listening to.    

    Guest Author Bio: Scott Cameron originally hails from Toronto, where he has worked with numerous clients in social media monitoring and marketing. He now lives in Nashville and is a Social Media Consultant, helping companies get the most out of their Social Media and Digital Marketing efforts. Follow Scott’s professional work on Twitter.

    Inbound Marketing Guest Blogging

    header image credit: ilovebutter/flickr/cc

    Topics: Social Media