New Vendor | Meet Crystal Media

Crystal Vilkaitis launched Crystal Media in August of 2012 after working for SnapRetail for several years. After meeting with retailers across the country giving seminars on social media, she found that many of them needed additional assistance with their social media marketing. Crystal Media works exclusively with independent retailers who need help marketing their stores on ever-changing social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Read on to learn more about Crystal and her passion behind her company.Crystal-Vilkaitis-1

Curious to what Crystal does to help out indie retailers and how her company got started? So were we! We had a chance to have a little Q&A with her!

Q: Tell us a little bit about Crystal Media. How did you get started?

CM: Crystal Media works exclusively with independent retailers who need help marketing their stores on ever-changing social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

I started Crystal Media in August of 2012 after working with SnapRetail for several years. Part of my job there was to travel to wholesale markets and teach retailers across the country how to use social media. But they needed a lot of help, more than I could provide in an hour seminar at market.

After meeting so many retailers who felt lost when it came to marketing and finding how much I love to teach and help them succeed, I launched Crystal Media and Social Edge two months later. Social Edge is a membership website where retailers can access on-demand social media training courses, at any time, from anywhere.

Q: How has 2015 been going so far?

CM: So far, 2015 has been an awesome year. In October of 2014, we started managing social media for retailers, because they are often too busy to really leverage these online tools. Plus, they don’t always know what works and they don’t want to learn it, but they know it’s important to their store.

In 2015, we’ve seen great successes for our management clients, grown Social Edge by more than 20% and I personally have spoke at more conferences and markets in 2015 than I did in all of 2014. I was the keynote speaker at a conference for jewelers in New Zealand in March. Talk about an incredible opportunity and experience!

Q: What do you love most about your products and services that you offer?

CM: I LOVE teaching and helping the retailer. Too often I hear, “This is a stupid question, but…,” and to me, there are no stupid questions, especially when it comes to social media marketing. These sites change daily and there are so many hidden tools and tricks that people don’t naturally know about, or can easily find. I love helping a retailer navigate these waters and receiving an email from them afterwards filled with enthusiasm, telling me about their success. To see independent retailers grow their business using social media, to help the heart beat of America, that to me is so incredibly rewarding.

Q: What do your customers love most about YOU and your business?

CM: I’ve heard from several retailers that I have a way of teaching social media that makes it very understandable and less intimidating. I also work hard at providing examples and content that relates to retailers, giving examples of how to market an in-store event, use an email to amplify a sale, how to run a Facebook Ad campaign to target people who love a certain product line they carry in store, etc. What retailers love about Crystal Media and Social Edge is the content, and for our management clients, we’ve heard from many of them that we become their voice, quickly. We work hard at representing our clients online in an authentic tone, targeting their perfect clients. I’ve also had retailers tell me, “You help me sleep at night!” because they don’t have to worry about their social media. We take care of it. If I can help a retailer get a couple more hours of sleep, then that counts for something. I know how busy retailers are J.

Q: What’s on the horizon for Crystal Media or something new you can tease us with?

CM: After seeing such great success with our management clients, we’re opening more spots for retailers to become a client, and growing our team. We’re also releasing a new service offering soon where we manage all of your online local listings and help you get found in Google, Yahoo and Bing search results from a desktop computer AND mobile device. Finally, in May Social Edge is becoming it’s own website. Currently it lives on CrystalMedia.co, but we’re moving it because it’s grown into such a valuable resources that it requires it’s own brand and website. Exciting things are happening, and I’m so thankful for my team, our partners and of course, the incredible retailers I get to work with each day.

Q: What are the benefits to becoming a member of Social Edge?

CM:

  • Access to social media training courses in one location so you don’t have to spend time researching or going to several sites to try to find answers
  • Training content that is made for retailers, which provides case studies and success examples that Social Edge members can replicate for themselves.
  • Support! You can’t call Pinterest or Instagram or Facebook but you can contact me and finally get your questions answered. I can’t tell you how many times a Social Edge member has said, “You have no idea how long I’ve been trying to figure this out! Thank you so much for the help.” Social Edge members have access to a monthly, live Q&A session where they can read other retailers’ questions, and get answers to their own.
  • Updates on social media changes so you’re current, following best practices and abiding by rules and terms.
  • Access to a community of other like-minded retailers. We have a private Facebook group where members can share successes, challenges, new tools or websites they find, and of course they can ask questions.

Q: What ONE Idea would you like to share with other retailers?

CM: Just one?! It’s hard to pick just one but something I say often is the store owner, in my opinion, should not be the person updating their social media each day. I know how incredibly busy owners are and their time is valuable.

I recommend delegating the posting, picture taking, image and video creation, etc., to someone on staff, and the owner should oversee what they’re doing each month by asking for tracking reports, successes, challenges and focuses for the next month. The owner should tell this person what their goals are for social media marketing to help this person work towards something, be able to measure success, stay motivated and be held accountable.

Owners often want to do everything themselves but that’s not realistic if you want to be as successful as possible. They can still be involved and even post occasionally, but shouldn’t be the one managing all platforms, setting up Facebook ads, optimizing, posting and responding.


 

Screen-Shot-2014-11-23-at-9.27.20-AMCrystal Vilkaitis is the owner of Crystal Media; a company dedicated to helping retailers integrate proven social media, mobile and email marketing strategies into their businesses. Crystal started Social Edge, an online membership group exclusive to retailers looking to gain an edge over competition using social media, who need direct access to what’s important and relevant when it comes to marketing their store and products online. For more information and to receive free bi-weekly social media tips to your email inbox, visit crystalmedia.co or watch a sample course from Social Edge by clicking here.

5 Social Media Ideas To Boost Your Business This Spring and Summer

Written By: Crystal Vilkaitis

Temperatures are rising and your sales should, too! It’s an exciting time to be using social media to market, but the key is knowing what works and how to get the most out of your efforts.

Here are five tips to help grow sales and exposure this spring and summer.

iphone1. Just like Oprah, create a list of your favorite things for spring and summer. Here’s a great example from the team at Shop Therapy Boutique, who featured six items on their Instagram account and added text to the graphic so it stood out to people scrolling through their feed. To create a similar graphic that has an image and/or text on top of the picture, try an app like Pixlr or WordSwag (only available on iPhone).

2. Spring cleaning is a must for our homes and stores, but take it a step further and offer “Today Only” deals on your social media outlets for products you’re ready to get rid of. The keys to making this successful and selling the items are to:

  • Include a photo and/or video
  • Include the original price and the sale price
  • Clearly state this offer is available *Today Only*
  • Use Facebook ads to promote the special deals, since Facebook has stated they won’t show posts that are “overly promotional” for free. This is content your fans will want to know about, so it’s worth promoting or boosting. Note: If you boost, make sure you only target your fans to keep conversion rates higher while spending less.

3. Speaking of Facebook Ads and special deals, consider using the Facebook Offers ad objective and giving your network a super hot spring and summer deal. Click here to watch an episode of Crystal Media TV where I share the Facebook Offer Ad I used to help a retailer generate just under $7,000 in sales and drove 35 people into the store. These ads are a great way to drive foot traffic (and web traffic, if you sell online) and are easy to track so that you know exactly how many people bought from the ad.

4. instagramContests have always been a fun and effective way to get people following you online and interacting with your social media outlets. Consider running a contest where people have to tag their friends to enter to win, which helps increase your online exposure and gets new people into the store.

For example, you can ask people to tag a friend who should receive a gift certificate to your store, or someone who needs a spring/summer makeover. Or you can create something similar to the contest graphic including clear rules that Annabelle posted. To get the ball rolling, you might need to post some of your own pictures and ask staff/family/friends to do the same thing. Then, regram on Instagram or Share on Facebook so people can see examples.

5. Finally, get your online audience involved this spring and summer. Ask them to share their favorite things to do, places to go and their favorite products they bought in your store. An easy way to motivate customers to share pictures of products they bought from you is to post signage in your store and reward this type of behavior.

For example, post in-store signage that says something like, “Each week, we pick one lucky winner to receive a $25 gift certificate just for sharing a picture of something they bought to Facebook or Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us, @YourStoresUsername, and thanks for being a customer!”


Crystal VilkaitisCrystal Vilkaitis is the owner of Crystal Media; a company dedicated to helping retailers integrate proven social media, mobile and email marketing strategies into their businesses. Crystal started Social Edge, an online membership group exclusive to retailers looking to gain an edge over competition using social media, who need direct access to what’s important and relevant when it comes to marketing their store and products online. For more information and to receive free bi-weekly social media tips to your email inbox, visit crystalmedia.co or watch a sample course from Social Edge by clicking here.