Small Business editor of the NZ Herald

Small Business: Social media - Halfdan Hansen, Jens Hansen

Halfdan Hansen leads a team of seven at Jens Hansen, the Nelson-based artisan jewellery workshop established by his late father.

Halfdan Hansen of Jens Hansen.
Halfdan Hansen of Jens Hansen.

The workshop is famed for making The One Ring, used in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies and also sells unique diamond engagement and wedding rings around the world.

What presence does Jens Hansen have on social media?

Our customer base is global, and extremely varied. The One Ring customers may not be the same people who buy our handcrafted engagement rings, so our social media presence reflects this. For example, we set up Tumblr just for the movie fans, whereas Pinterest is more focused on our dress and engagement jewellery designs, and we have recently set up Instagram to give all customers a glimpse of life behind the scenes here in Nelson.

Facebook is our catchall, where we talk to customers about all sorts of things - from the movie, to new designs, workshop happenings - and where we share customer stories (with their permission!). We are also on Twitter and Google +, which are linked to Facebook, and YouTube.

How much time does the business allocate to social media?

Something is happening on one of the platforms pretty much every day - or we are at least planning every day, if not posting. We have someone who oversees everything and monitors followers' comments, and they coordinate what we are doing, but you also have to be pretty flexible. New things happen every day, so you have to have the mindset of spotting stories that would be of interest to your followers.

Can you give some examples of any strategies you've used in social media that you've found particularly effective, especially in terms of generating sales?

People love competitions on social media, and these have worked very well to increase followers on Tumblr and Facebook, for example. Boosting Facebook posts has also definitely helped grow our Facebook 'likes'. After Facebook changed the rules about who gets what posts from Pages we noticed a plateau, so we tested different levels of paid boosts to work out what was the best spend.

In terms of sales, posting photos of new designs has resulted in a sale every time. Engaging people in stories is fun, and we love to tell people what we are up to, but our followers also want to see what our jewellers are making. They want that one-off piece of jewellery, so we make sure our schedule includes photos of new designs as soon as the guys have finished making something cool.

On the other hand, are there some strategies that you've tried, but just haven't been effective for your particular audience?

I would have to say that Pinterest is not working that well for us yet - it's one channel we have not really invested a lot of time in. But we have now assigned someone to work on Pinterest to ascertain the best images to use and how to spread the word, so we will see how that goes.

I think the other thing you have to be careful about is running too many competitions. They are a great way of attracting new people, but we have found it is better to limit how many you run, so they remain exciting and special to the customer.

Coming up in Small Business: The natural beauty products sector is on a growth trajectory and plays to many of 'brand New Zealand's' strengths. If you've got a small business in this space and a good story to tell about establishing your brand, get in touch.

- NZ Herald

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