â€œWe bring sparkle to everybodyâ€™s life.â€
~ Nicole Green, Swarovski store manager
The Magnificent Mile often reminds me of Holly Golightly, loving the lifestyle the store windows allude to, but not quite living that truly affluent and luxurious life (from a material perspective, I have abundance in other ways). So it was fun to channel her a bit more last week with Breakfast at Swarovskiâ€™s.
Dressed in business casual attire rather than the iconic black dress, and being served bagels and coffeeÂ inside 540 North Michigan Avenue, the WIN Innovation Circle was given some pre-opening shopping exclusivity last week.
Womenâ€™s Innovation NetworkÂ President Valerie Beck shared 6 tips for the mastermind topic â€œSocial Media Success, not Stress.â€
1. Social media brings new customers
By customers posting events on Facebook (and thereby endorsing you), it generates referrals to new customers.
2. It gives legitimacy to your business
More and more people want to see a web presence or a Facebook page to research companies or get more information. You have to be where your customers look for you.
3. It provides connections to others in your industry
Retweeting, relinking and â€˜likingâ€™ pages can all lead to online conversations, new ideas, and referral sources. Utilizing the â€œ@â€œ function in Facebook and Twitter, â€œlinks everybodyâ€™s billboard into your (online) billboard,â€ she said.
4. It becomes a connection to vendors
â€œEvery business needs to buy something from someone else,â€ said Valerie, and being online lets people know youâ€™re in the market for those services or products.
5. It can help us discover opportunities
Friends and connections can alert you to events in your field, industry articles, and applicable organizations as you follow more people.
6. It can let you relax into your business
Social media can be utilized as a free promotional tool, with some automated functions to get the word out. â€œBy budgeting an hour a day for social media, it becomes a task, not a hurdle,â€ said Valerie.
â€œSocial media is like rooms in a house
where you are throwing a party.
The kitchen represents Facebook, and the den might be Twitter.
[Each social media tool] provides a way
for everyone to feel welcome at your party.â€
~ Valerie Beck
During the question and answer session WIN co-founder Erica ThomasÂ shared some of the most common tools to tap into: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Pinterest, and to see where your audience is most likely to find you. We also chatted about the benefits of lurking on the public sites like Twitter to learn more about oneâ€™s industry and see what conversations and resources are out there.
Like WIN, Swarovski isnâ€™t exclusively for women. They have a menâ€™s collection as well.
At the drawing, I happened to be the lucky winner of a MySpa gift certificate, which Iâ€™ll try to coincide with the next Spa & Cupcakes event (I havenâ€™t won anything in years!).
Store Manager Nicole Green told us that this U.S. flagship store opened two and a half years ago, and is the largest in America. Founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski, the company is still family-owned. He developed a special crystal cutting machine in Austria, and to this day only 7 people know the secret formula. Swarovski has 300 stores in the United States and 600 worldwide.
Swarovski is currently promoting a â€œSing, Swing and Shineâ€ theme with inspiration from the 1960â€™s.
We lingered for networking and shopping. Like the crow in Dumbo, my eyes were drawn to the â€œSparklies!â€ and as I conversed with fellow attendees we roamed the store to pick out our favorites. I admired the butterfly section, of course!
Since Valerie announced the upcoming WIN Candy Gala on April 24th, I honed in on some dangling earrings (my short do doesnâ€™t sweep up like my long tresses did). Getting a free gift with purchase sweetened the deal. We actually walked away with three rings, instead of having to figure out how to get a crystal set into a Cracker Jack ring.
The Megan set and the Mimosa rings
Followed by a committee meeting at which we brainstormed about the gala and our upcoming summer retreat, this was a sparkly and celebratory morning indeed.
to communicate and advertise.â€
~Â Valerie Beck
ADDENDUM: As of March 10, 2013, I no longer support the WIN Board and its actions. However, I do support small business, women-owned businesses, and the gracious hosts of past WIN events.