Online Jewelry Entrepreneur Mines Facebook For Small Business Success
Written by Ken Gaebler
Startup jewelry e-tailer is on track to top $2 million in Year One revenue thanks to Facebook sales.
Experienced entrepreneurs see social media as a double-edged sword. Although marketing your business on Facebook is important, translating social media initiatives into converted sales is much harder than it looks.
Or is it? The Upstart Business Journal recently featured an entrepreneur who is defying the critics and leveraging Facebook to achieve explosive growth during her startup's first year of business.
Jordann Weingartner, founder of I Love Jewelry Auctions, launched her online jewelry business in January 2012. Like many home-based entrepreneurs, she was looking for a rewarding, profitable career that would enable her to be closer to her kids. The difference was that Weingartner's strategy focused on using Facebook as a platform for connecting thousands of consumers to her products.
Over the past twelve months, the business has grown rapidly and is currently on track to top $2 million in revenue during its startup year.
Here's how it works: using high quality product images and daily Facebook alerts, Weingarten invites fans to view her merchandise. When fans see an item they want to purchase, they type the word "SOLD" in the comment section. This triggers an invoice to be sent from the company to the buyer within an hour. Once the customer pays the invoice, either by credit card or PayPal, the item is shipped (for free) within 24 hours.
Although Weingarten's strategy may not be appropriate for all types of small businesses, there are many reasons why social media should be a high priority in 2013 and beyond. Facebook represents a large consumer audience that can be segmented according to geography, interests and other criteria. The nature of social media also presents opportunities to establish personal connections with targeted consumers -- many of which visit their Facebook pages several times a day.
The bottom line is that any serious startup needs to consider not only targeting new customers on Facebook, but also leveraging Facebook to create loyalty relationships and even to convert sales.
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