Daniel Burstein

Social Media Marketing: How an online diamond retailer got 6 million Vine loops in one year

December 4th, 2015
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When you think of social media marketing, you may think of the behemoth — Facebook. Sure, it has almost 1.5 billion monthly active users, but where there is a lot of sound, there is a lot of noise. It is difficult to get your message heard.

I interviewed Danny Gavin, Vice President and Director of Marketing, Brian Gavin Diamonds, about using emerging social media platforms to create brand awareness.

 

Here are a few lessons I learned from our conversation.

 

Focus on branding, not selling

Since many emerging platforms are, well, emerging, there hasn’t been a lot of commerce on them yet. Most social platforms focus first on building an audience, and only later on actually monetizing that audience.

New social platforms tend to have a loyal, niche audience that is looking for authentic, organic conversations and wary of the nefarious effects of commercialization. So whatever content you create, make sure it rings true with what the social platform is known for.

Vine, for example, is best known for fun and irreverent clips. (For the uninitiated, Vine is a short-form video sharing service owned by Twitter where people can share six-second-long looping clips.)

On the Brian Gavin Diamonds Vine account, the company used Vine for these lighthearted qualities. Since Chanukah starts this weekend, let’s take a look at the Chanukah Vine Danny and I discussed in the video interview.

 

As you can see, there is no call-to-action. No mention of what products Brian Gavin Diamonds even sells. Just a fun little video with a holiday greeting and the logo.

“We don’t want to oversell. We’re [just] touching that audience that celebrates Chanukah,” Danny said. “It’s a subtle thing. We don’t want to be in people’s faces. But it’s really fun. And I think anyone can appreciate it.”

While digital has become known for that Holy Grail of Marketing — a purchase you can directly track back to an ad or other promo — you should approach emerging social platforms with a decidedly old-school approach: focus on branding, not selling.

 

Be a pioneer

From Elon Musk’s electric cars and rockets and solar panels to Steve Jobs’ iPods and iPhones and iPads, the media loves a pioneer. After all, “new” makes up three-fourths of “news.”

Vine officially launched in 2013, and Brian Gavin Diamonds started using it in 2014. By being among the first brands on a new social platform, Brian Gavin Diamonds was able garner some press from its marketing efforts that put it alongside major brands. Here are some examples:

“The [social] platforms, where there’s not that much usage, give you the ability to make a name for yourself,” Danny said. “We were written up and featured in articles with the best brands in the world — Coke, HP. An unknown company like ours to get propelled to that level, it’s difficult unless you’re going to spend $500 million.”

The lesson here isn’t necessarily to make sure your brand is on Vine. The lesson is to be open to engaging with your audience in novel ways.

That pioneering spirit is in the very DNA of the company. Brian Gavin Diamonds has been selling diamonds online since the late ‘90s. Imagine, selling a $20,000 diamond on the Internet in the age of dial-up — now that’s being a trailblazer.

 

Ultimately, get to know new customers

When I talked to Danny, the company had reached six million Vine loops in just under a year.

“A loop is one time the Vine goes through, so it’s about 6.5 seconds. Your average person will look at a Vine three times. So when you look at how many people we’ve touched through this platform in almost the past year, we’re dealing with almost two million people,” Danny said.

And since we’ve talked, that number has grown to 7,143,003 loops from only 38 posts.

Beyond engagement on Vine, these videos seem to be driving traffic to the diamond retailer’s ecommerce website.

“On the Vine platform, there aren’t really links that you can directly click through. But we did notice that our direct traffic increased significantly during the time period of really pushing the Vines hard,” Danny said.

 

You can learn more about this case study at MarketingSherpa Summit in Las Vegas, where Danny Gavin will be presenting in the Content & Social track.

 

You can follow Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, @DanielBurstein.

 

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Daniel Burstein

About Daniel Burstein

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – digging for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement and field marketing communications.

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