Reevaluating Your Social Media Plan with 3 Lessons from a Tortoise and a Hare

Two years ago, this month I started posting on Data in the Rough.  The time felt right to continue working on something I was passionate about, jewelry and analytics. I have not done as much analysis as I would like to but I see that as an improvement not a failure. With the holidays’ over and winter in its last stages, it really is an ideal time for anyone that has made a resolution to reevaluate their goals and benchmark their progress. For me it is focusing a little more on driving insight and results through data around me. One way is to refocus on my social media plan.

I am on the usual platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  I have also consulted a few people on their social media for their personal or business use, mainly Facebook and Instagram. The comments and questions I get center around followers, engagement, content to put out, protecting your intellectual property and return on investment, to name a few. All these platforms have different audiences and expectations. So how does a small business owner or someone looking to create their personal brand do it and not waste too much time? A strong and adaptable social media strategy!

To do that you need a plan and a focus. For that I have 3 suggestions as you find the right social media plan and strategy. Since this blog focuses on the jewelry industry I am going to use jewelry from Christie’s auction house to highlight some important lessons from the Aesop fable, The Tortoise and the Hare, that you can apply to creating a stronger social media plan.

Rabbit – by Kutchinsky sold for $10,032 at Christie’s London Auction, gold and gemstones; Turtle – by David Webb sold at Christie’s online auction, gold, platinum, lapis lazuli, mabe pearl, diamonds

So you want to join the latest social media craze, everyone is talking about it, everyone seems to be on it. You should be too, right?

  1. Look at what you are currently doing and see if it is possible to effectively use this new tool. The tortoise challenged the hare to a race, not to prove the tortoise was faster but that he could beat the hare. Can you see yourself benefiting from this new platform? Are your customers asking about your presence on this platform? Is your target audience on this platform? How much time are you willing to spend or pay someone to spend?
Rabbit- by Cartier sold a Christie’s Geneva Auction for $18,118, gold, ruby, enamel; Turtle- artist unknown sold for $15,000, diamonds, pearl
  1. Look at your own attention span and current social media platforms you are on. Do you have patterns that may make it difficult to focus on starting this new social media tool? How can you improve your current social media accounts to learn about yourself and your business moving forward. The hare is clearly faster but he got distracted comparing himself to others. Taunting the tortoise on his slower strategy without thinking about his own did not change either racer.

    Turtle-unknown artist, online auction, emerald, diamond, ruby; Rabbit-by Raymond Yard sold at Christie’s for $37,500, diamond, multi-gem
  2. Don’t compare yourself with others on social media. This is the hardest and most important thing to remember when online. It is hard not to see others bounding ahead and you continue to inch by or feels like you are standing still. The tortoise (turtle) knew that the hare (rabbit) was faster but his slow and steady pace worked for this one race. As I mentioned above, had the rabbit worried about his own progress and not of the turtles then he would have easily done better by finishing the race at his own pace. The rabbit got distracted by the turtle. There are times you’ll feel like the tortoise and see lots of ‘wascally wabbits’ pass you by.
Turtle- by Van Cleef & Arpels sold at Christie’s online, pink and blue sapphires,gold; Rabbit-unknown artist sold at Christie’s London for $893, gold, diamonds, ruby


They get featured on a blog or have a photo that earns them a lot of likes and followers. That kind of thing happens with the world of social media and ‘overnight’ success stories. You need to only focus about your brand and your story. A clear focus and some daily effort can get you a clear path to your own finish line!

That also leads to another question you need to answer, what will be your primary measurement of success for this platform?  Using money as your only way to gage success can leave you missing valuable opportunities. For the jewelry industry, it can take several visits either in a store or online before a purchase is made. The platform you choose to be on is another touch point. Somethings to consider when looking at measurements for your return on investment:

  • Can you sell on this platform?
  • How secure is the payment method?
  • Will this affect your relationship with other stores that sell your product?
  • Is your supply chain agile enough to take an increase in your business? Do your other vendors/suppliers have other clients that may take a higher priority?

So then how can you make progress for your brand if money is not a great metric? Some suggestions for other metrics:

  • Brand awareness-Getting more people interested in your brand could lead you to be picked up by a store or featured on a blog.
  • Getting a specific message out- Are you supporting a cause that is affecting a greater population? I have seen companies that are wanting to make money but also have social issues that need to be addressed, like ending human trafficking.
  • Engagement with your customers-Social media is a great way to get feedback and test out new ideas with your fan base.

This is only a starting point. I am going to continue to look at different social media platforms and tools to see what might help you in moving forward with your social media plan. It’s a race with yourself that will determine your outcome.  Keep following Data in the Rough for more on jewelry and the data behind the diamonds. Let me know your thoughts on the subject and what platforms you’d like to hear about. Instagram is a favorite of mine so I’ll be posting a bit more on that throughout the next few months. As a thank you for reading this post below are my two favorite pieces of jewelry that I found when looking for turtle and rabbit jewelry to use for my blog.

A pink diamond and white diamond rabbits’ brooch with a ruby by Graff sold at Christie’s Hong Kong Auction for a little over $129,000. The turtle is an antique brooch sold a Christie’s auction for $70,500 and is made of opals, diamonds and rubies!

Harvard Retail & Luxury Goods Conference: How Brands like Cartier are blending their Heritage with Data Analytics

Harvard Business School hosted the 12th Annual Retail and Luxury Goods Conference with a daylong event on February 21. Brands represented at the conference included Richemont, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch and other retailers. The theme of the conference was Reinventing Retail. I attended the conference and felt that the brands I heard were having a message of blending their traditions with insight’s from data. I will include my key takeaways from the two sessions I attended: The Future of Tradition and Innovation with Insight.

The Future of Tradition


  • Mercedes Abramo, President & CEO, Cartier North America
  • Michelle Giguere, Director of Buying, Tory Burch
  • Scott Cameron, Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer , Canada Goose
  • Jody Hall, Chief Food Adventurer & Director of Sourcing, HEB Grocers
  • Pippa Morgan: Executive Vice President-Retail Division, Aritzia


The Future of Tradition panel
The Future of Tradition panel


*Online Store

The biggest issue with online shopping was how to create the online experience that is true to the brand’s in-store experience. Mercedes Abramo (Cartier) also talked about trying to find out how high a price point could be online to buy jewelry. For Cartier like other retailers it is a trial and error process. Luxury especially jewelry has been later to the online market. Pippa Morgan (Aritzia) had the best explanation and advice, “measure twice, cut once”. Execution is crucial for the online market.

*Social Media

What has worked for luxury brands? The panel talked about success with Instagram in reaching and interacting with customers. Mercedes Abramo (Cartier), claimed YouTube was the best channel in reaching a Cartier customer. The reason was due to needing longer amounts of time to educate potential buyers on a product. Instagram is only a photo or a 15-second video, not enough to give the detail necessary to tell Cartier’s story.

The final thoughts were to look to your physical store for answers. You have a chance to talk to your customer and see what they are experience. Do not think that being involved in the stores daily activities is beneath you, it is a great resource. My thoughts for those with only an online presence be on your website and see if you can get feedback from customers and employees.


Innovating with Insight


  • Omer Artun, CEO/Founder, AgilOne
  • Paul Hatch, Senior Marketing Director, Walmart
  • Thibault Munier, Co-Founder/COO, Numberly
  • Jessica Schinazi, Senior Manager-Marketing Service & Business Development, Richemont North America
Innovating with Insight panel
Innovating with Insight panel


*Customer Insights with data

The speakers on the second panel had very clear views on the actions needed to innovate their company. The major need was how to get away from the single view of a customer and use the data mined to be more responsive to that customer’s shopping experience. One suggestion was to get away from the ‘silos of data’ and to start to create data action strategies. The benefits of getting a better understanding of different customers can create new marketing opportunities. Jessica Schinazi (Richemont) gave one example of how insights from their data provided them answers on a new type of customer group. There was increased activity of online shoppers in the Midwest. Richemont has stores in the area but they found out these customers were Chinese students coming to college. So Richemont discover a ‘micro group’ that it could understand how to serve better. Paul Hatch (Walmart) also added that understanding the data benefits the customer by using the insight to improve the mix of product in the store.

*A/B Testing

Another topic was A/B testing in order to find out which way was best in customizing the online experience. One tip was to add common sense to your algorithms. You do not want to run into the ‘Bread and Bananas’ issue, if a person has bread in their basket they will most likely buy bananas. So instead of recommending bananas (that the customer will most likely buy anyway) try to get another product that they might want so that you can increase the items in that basket.


The final thought were not focusing exclusively on the data but take time to talk to the people involved in the business and learn all you can about your company’s core business.

Baume & Mercier ad at the conference
Baume & Mercier ad at the conference

The conference was a great event for me. In addition to meeting the panelists, I ate lunch with an employee of Baume & Mercier who talked about how his passion for the watch industry lead him to the job he holds now. He worked at Hertz, before landing his dream job. If you are in the Boston area in February of 2017, I highly recommend attending the Harvard Retail & Luxury Goods Conference. Sign up for my email at the top right of the page to keep up to date on more posts!