Topics: Marketing, Social Networking

Q.
I spend a lot of time using social networking websites to connect with other people, but I'm not sure I'm getting any real benefit from it in terms of sales. How much time is "too much" time to spend writing a blog, posting status updates on social networking sites and replying to comments?
- Jenna
A.
Jewelry artists report mixed results from their social networking efforts. Also, it's difficult to track whether sales came directly from a post or comment you wrote, unless your new customer tells you they found you that way. A good way of structuring the time you spend online is to identify three goals for your social networking activities. A sample goal might be to connect with people who enjoy horseback-riding to promote your line of horse-themed pendants. Then, decide how many posts you want to write or respond to each day or week. Social networking should be fun, not a chore, so don't do more than you enjoy. Set aside a certain amount of time on your schedule for online networking and stick to it. Finally, make sure you're truly interested in the subjects you blog about or respond to. Many sites don't permit overt advertising or marketing, and even if they do, keep the "selling" to a minimum. Identify jewelry-making as an interest in your online profile, and include a link to your jewelry-selling site. - Dr. David Weiman

Dr. David Weiman is a respected expert in the field of marketing and selling handcrafted jewelry and a well-read contributor to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads "Ask the Experts". He is the author of Introduction to Marketing and Selling Jewelry, The Jewelry Selling Answer Book and The 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry. A free newsletter on selling handmade jewelry is available at his website: www.marketingjewelry.com.

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