19 Comments

24 Hours of Jewelry on Facebook

March 02, 2011, 17:00 pm  Posted by Lark Jewelry & Beading
 

Love them or hate them, the Oscars were this week. I’m a bit sad that The Social Network didn’t receive more awards. It’s not a great movie, but I feel with certainty that it is an important one. Why? Because it documents the birth of the radical social game-changer known as Facebook.

Group sharing, instant interaction, and rapid updates from sites such as Facebook and Twitter have played a major role in recent events. From Madison, Wisconsin to Cairo, Egypt communities pursuing similar goals are able to communicate information often and with ease.

Left to right, top to bottom: Ana Hagopian, Andrea Piñeros, Bruce Metcalf, Christine Bossler, Claudio Ranfagni, Cynthia Deis, Diane Weimer, Ruudt Peters, Gonzalo Palma, Hanna Liljenberg

This got me thinking about our jewelry community. Are we making the most of the networking tools available to us? How many jewelers include activities such as posting messages, images, and videos, blogging, and tweeting as part their daily or weekly business schedule? I’m thinking not enough. I’m thinking that as a group, we would get about a C+ on our online efforts.

Left to right, top to bottom: Helen Driggs, Henriette Tomasi, Hilary Pffefer, Janel Laza, Jean Van Brederode, Joanna Gollberg, Just Jules, Karin Katovi, Kathryn Holton Stewart, and Kathy Frey

I conducted a little experiment (absolutely NOT scientific) for this blog. For one 24-hour period, I monitored my Facebook account and pulled off all jewelry and jewelry-related images that appeared on my wall. The visuals on this blog are the result of this exercise, and here are the numbers.

704 =  Number of Facebook friends

40 = Number of jewelry images posted in one 24-hour period

1.67 = Average number of  jewelry images posted per hour

5.6% = Percentage of friends that posted jewelry images in one 24-hour period

17 = Number of countries represented in this sample

How do you interpret these findings?  Do the numbers strike you as large or small or average? I would love to hear your comments. Please leave them in the designated area below this post.

Left to right, top to bottom: Laura Lang Dix, Lissa Hashimoto, Lorena Angulo, Lorincz Reka, Margaux Lange, Melody Armstrong, Mes-Tau Précieux, Michael Mara, Muriel Clemenceau, and Peter Skubic

Whether you make jewelry or books or widgets or gizmos for a living, being active online is a requirement. Not so keen on the idea? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret…neither was I at first.

I joined Facebook very late, blogging was the last thing I ever wanted to do, and the very thought of “tweeting” made me gag. Now I think it’s a fun, creative, and above all valuable, part of my workday.

As I see it, the phrase “social networking” is synonymous with “doing business.” Taking full advantage of all the online outlets available will help us grow stronger worldwide. Promoting ourselves and promoting others makes our work more visible, increases profitability, and allows us to have long, healthy careers as jewelers. Radical notions, indeed!

Left to right, top to bottom: Maria Mamkaeva, Claudio Ranfagni, Sandra Dadles, Sergio Figar, Su Trindle, Tessa-Blazey, Thomasin Durgin, Todd Reed, Virginia Wynne, Wall Street Journal, and Abrao Friszman

For more information on any of the jewelers featured in this blog, please visit their websites:

Argentina Muriel Clemenceau Australia Janel Laza, Tessa Blazey Austria Peter Skubic Brazil Abrao Friszman Canada Melody Armstrong France Andrea Piñeros, Mes-Tau Précieux Germany Henriette Tomasi Hungary Lorincz Reka Italy Claudio Ranfagni, Sergio Figar Japan Karin Kato, Liisa Hashimoto The Netherlands Laura Lang Dix, Ruudt Peters Peru Gonzalo Palma Russia Maria Mamkaeva Spain Ana Hagopian Sweden Hanna Liljenberg United Kingdom Su Trindle United States of America Bruce Metcalf, Christine Bossler, Cynthia Deis, Diane Weimer, Helen Driggs, Hilary Pfeifer, Jean Van Brederode, Joanna Gollberg, Just Jules, Kathryn Holton Stewart, Kathy Frey, Lorena Angulo, Margaux Lange, Michael Mara, Sandra Dadles, Thomasin Durgin, Todd Reed, Virginia Wynne, The Wall Street Journal

 
 
 
 

19 Responses

    Kathryn says:

    I have often said… I think people would find it fascinating to look over our shoulders and onto our benches. As Jewelers we live connected to our workplace. Occasionally surfacing to eat and explore the world for inspiration and returning to the solitude of our benches to continue to create. Facebook , blogging, and the social networking has allowed us to let people peek into this world of jewelry creation and the fascinating process behind it. I now chat with engravers and metal artists all over the world on a regular basis, watch them work , & ask them advice. The solitude of my bench is now an international playground of talent. What more could we ask for? I love that we can peer into each so many creative zones and yet stay focused on the work at hand. In the beginning I looked to show off our work and was rewarded with enjoying all of yours as well. Thanks for writing this Martha , I am pleased to be one of the 40 new images posted. Keep posting fellow metalworkers and inspiring us all! Kathryn Holton Stewart, Holton Stewart Designs.

    Facebook is indeed a great way to socialize as a studio artist. I like it that you monitored it for 24 hours. Would be intresting to see what would happen with the numbers if you did this every month. Thumbs up for this post. Helga van Leipsig

    Anonymous says:

    I love this post Marthe…several years ago when I first started using Facebook I tried to encourage Jewelry Artists of all types (Beads to CAD) to start using the “business page” platform by doing a “Daily Jewel” page that highlighted a different designer or gem each day.

    Since “business pages” are searchable and viewable by people who aren’t on FB I really felt it was going to be a powerful marketing tool. It is still great to share on your personal page – but the “Business Page” is where the magic happens. http://www.facebook.com/dailyjewel

    KathyFrey says:

    It’s a relief that I had posted something :) so thanks for including me! It’s been my goal this year to do at least 3 facebook fan page updates a week, 3 blog posts a week, and tweeting along as time allows…. it does pay off and it helped me to quantify it. I’ve been keeping up on doing that regular activity with the exception of the 3-day power outage last week, but this is a new week and you can be sure I’m going to blog about your post now :)

    Hilary Pfeifer says:

    Marthe, I could not agree with you more. Social networking allows its users to communicate in ways that often enhance our face-time encounters with other human beings. Both real and virtual interaction are important to participating in our 21st century community of makers.

    Barb says:

    I was also late and reluctant to join facebook at first, but in a little more than 2 years, I have completely changed my mind. I can showcase new designs, ask for feedback on tools and materials, easily contact other artists with similar interests and get a peek into how my peers work. It is like a support group before a big show when everyone posts about their progress, challenges and crazy work habits. One random shot of a design in progress turned into a published project in Beadwork – which is one of many examples of how social networking can enhance your visibility and put you to work. Technology has allowed me to share my studio with tons of artists that I admire and get to know people who take my classes. It isn’t deep, but it is fun and valuable. Great post, Marthe, I love the stats!

    Laura Lang - Dix says:

    hello Marthe.. I am very supprised that I am on your list. :-)) ..so we can see that social network as Facebook and Twitter works…
    your blog is very inspirational for me and many others..
    Thank you for including me …
    Greetings Laura lang Dix

    Martha,
    Gracias (thanks) for including me in your post. I agree with what you are saying. Social networking is a great way to promote our craft, I have been doing it since 2009 and little by little I have been taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Thanks to using the social networking I had a lot of opportunities to get published and be featured. Great tool to use to self promote and connect.
    http://www.facebook.com/LorenaAnguloJewelry?ref=mf

    Bruce Metcalf says:

    My experience with online self-promotion is this: while it’s nice for community building, it has zero impact on my bottom line. I have yet to meet a collector who trolls Facebook (or blogs, or tweets) to look at jewelry. And why should they? If I’m going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a purchase, I want to see the real thing. My sense – and I could be wrong about this – is that purchases of studio jewelry online are mostly limited to low price points and impulse buying. Can anybody confirm or deny this?

    I post images online as a kind of service to the community. That’s fine, but I can’t say I hunger to be more in touch than I already am. But I could be rather backwards in that respect: I don’t even like to make phone calls!

    Melody says:

    I think there should be some kind of interactive swap in tools and such….Sometimes you upgrade and the old tool isn’t necessary or you have texture plates you’re tired of….Just thinking…and maybe someone else needs exactly that and will trade you some of their stuff for it?

    Alliebonline says:

    I agree with this. I am a metalsmith just shy of two yours out of OCAC and I’m doing the etsy presence and facebook. But so far the unique, conceptual, higher priced work gets attention but does not sell. The “easy” jewelry – the more trend or fashion stuff priced at $50 or under is what seems to go online.

    Interesting complex because my partner works in the glass world and it’s completely the opposite. He has sold and knows other artists who have sold several thousand dollar pieces while the $30 work only sells in person. I’m not sure why this ie.

    Anonymous says:

    Bruce – I totally disagree – however I don’t want to high jack Marthe’s blog post. Just in brief – this is where the Business page is so different from a personal profile page on FB. I agree that there are still people who need to hold an object to purchase it…but all you have to do is look at the diamond dealers, jewelers, gem cutters and artisans who sell 4-5-6 figure pieces online…to know that isn’t true for everyone.

    Anonymous says:

    Allie – the difference on Etsy is that all the networking tends to be with other Etsy sellers. So if you do supplies you are going to have better sell through…I think that artisans tend to hang out with other artisans (those people aren’t your customers. What other areas have your interest? maybe contact with realtors – parents of your kids friends might be a better investment of time.

    I have been pleasantly surprised how many larger commissions we picked up this year specifically online. All were engagement and they where all directly from either etsy or Facebook discovery. We also have had a number of folks wonder in our shop because they follow us on facebook so I have to think the effort is worth it. The best angle is steady communication without pushy sales techniques. In otherwords we like to entertain and raise awareness of the work we do but don’t try to direct sell on Facebook. Etsy of course is direct sale and we have had more luck there on higher end than I originally thought we would.

    I wanted to say Thank you to Marthe for insighting this thread of conversation and for introducing me to this forum , I look forward to being part of it ….(now that I have an official profile here and I am no longer a generic silouette as I was on my comment above) ….;-)

    Well said Kathryn, and thanks for turning me on to this new page.

    The numbers posted are interesting, I think 1.67 images posted per hour is quite a few! It’s hard to interpret the data without knowing how many of the 704 friends make jewelry, but I’m guessing it’s a big percentage. As Kathryn said, many of us work in solitude and the internet is the way we connect with the world outside throughout our days. In addition to a powerful marketing tool, the web is great for networking, sharing techniques, and supporting one another. I made my living as an artist in the mid 1990s and at times the isolation was very hard to take – now the web fills that void and allows me to keep plugging away without feeling detached from society.

    Ginnysflawless says:

    I am Loving this Jewelry “You have to check it out” http://www.charmeddesign.com/

    My little comment

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