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Diamond Candles is an e-commerce company located in Durham, North Carolina. The company makes 100% all-natural soy candles with a surprise ring hidden within every candle. Diamond Candles features a vibrant online community on its Facebook page of 236,000+ fans and is growing rapidly. This is an interview with Josh Beaty, Director of Social Marketing & Community, about using Facebook for “social selling.”
What do you do that garners the most “likes” on Facebook?
One of the major contributors is customer posts of their ring “reveals” (footage of the rings that customers find inside their Diamond Candles). I often suggest calls to action such as: “Give a big thumbs up” (which is essentially a “like”); or, “If you’d LOVE to have a candle and ring like this, tap ‘share’ to let your friends and family know!” The community has become accustomed to “liking” and “sharing” our content when they love it. As a result, it drives traffic to our Facebook page.
Because of the viral nature of Facebook, each time a customer comments on a photo from our business page, that comment and the photo show up in the customer’s news feed so everyone they know sees what the comments. Then we get countless messages from people who are new to the page wanting to know more and how to get them.
We also bring in a lot of “likes” due to the Wishpond contest app we use. Wishpond makes it pretty easy to run a contest on any channel. It’s user friendly, mobile-compatible, and it contains a viral effect that sends out an auto-post to each user’s news feed so that friends and family can see they entered and get in on the action.
How do customers feel about the contests?
Our customers LOVE contests and giveaways. They enjoy the thrill of having a chance at winning a great product. Thousands of people enter our contests and giveaways every time we hold one. I launch them on a weekly basis — sometimes twice a week.
Do you have holiday sales on Facebook?
We use holidays as a time to engage with the community, not so much for marketing near holidays. Customers already want to order candles for gifts, so unless we have a new product to feature, I tend to stay away from hard sells.
I do find holidays are a great time to gain more insights about our customers. We want to know what drives them to us, and we learn about what the time of year means to them, and how our product fits into the mix. This is good intelligence we learn from year to year. Sometimes I incorporate contests and giveaways to encourage customers to share insights into what brings them to us time and time again on Facebook.
How about the rest of the year — do you conduct discounts/sales?
Our customers love a sale. We run them rarely, so when it happens, our customers are thrilled to take advantage of the opportunity. We promote them on all our social media accounts and get a great response.
Do you share company news or awards on Facebook?
We don’t really “toot our horn” all that much because we want our Facebook page to be about the customer. Occasionally we may share a fun bit of information.
For instance, at the end of November, I was in contact with a representative from the NBC Today Show who was interested in featuring our candles. We worked out the details of when the show would air. The night before the show aired our feature, I shared that information with our community so that they could tune in. The feedback we received from our customers was excellent; they were thrilled that we made it onto such a big-time morning show and they congratulated us by the hundreds right on our Facebook page. It was amazing feedback!
What visuals work best?
Without a doubt the most popular images are the photos of our candles paired with a closeup of a ring reveal. Adding a call to action will usually increase the “likes” by 65% over posts with no call to action. For variety, I don’t always add a request to “like” us — I save 789these requests for the very special posts that I know will get the best feedback.
What do you do to be human, not “corporate”?
We rarely use any type of corporate jargon like “We at Diamond Candles” or refer to ourselves as “The Diamond Candles Company”. The interaction on Facebook revolves around a fun and friendly brand identity. In fact, customers call us “DC” for short. We want customers to know that our community is full of fun and open for interaction. We’re completely approachable for conversation and questions. In fact, I often find that our customers tag us in photos of screenshots when we reply to them. I think this approach makes it clear how important they are to our success.
How do you navigate the fine line between having products for sale without pushing or hard selling?
Since most of our customer are women aged 18 to 36, candles and rings are two items that a significant majority of them use and wear regularly. Combine two very popular everyday items and add the thrill of excitement to candle burning and treasure hunting — that equals pure fun and happy customers.
There’s a lot of excitement in our community when a new scent launches. A new scent is almost as much of a thrill as a giveaway. Once we announce a new candle on Facebook, there’s a big rush to purchase it. The data from the back end and community feedback confirm that just announcing a new candle leads to lots of sales.
Let’s end with summing up how you feel about Facebook for marketing.
For small e-commerce businesses, Facebook can be a power tool to leverage the landscape of the Internet. Businesses should not be scared of social media, but embrace the potential that’s hidden within the platform. With the right social marketing team, your business will thrive.
Josh Beaty is Director of Social Marketing & Community at Diamond Candles.